Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider


Before the disease rose from its ancient grave like some sort of zombie, immune to the drugs that doctors had once fought it with, as it shambled toward our unsuspecting towns, determined to catch its prey young.

It’s only 4:30 a.m. This is not my usual time to rise, make coffee, allow the cats back in the house, and check my email. But here I am. Two hours early for the start of the day.

A nightmare woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep and now I have far more sympathy for my boys, who come to me sometimes in the dark of night to moan to me about nightmares. “It was so real,” they whisper. “I could feel it happening. I can stay in your bed, right?”

And then they twist the covers around their bodies and they breath in my face and they make the bed too hot, and still they can’t get back to sleep. “I can still feel it happening,” they whisper.

And now I’ve been reminded about that vulnerability we are prone to in our sleep, where anything can happen. My own nightmare will sound familiar. It’s fairly standard for a mom. I was driving, two of my kids were buckled, sleeping, in the back seats, there was a flood, somehow I steered the car toward a pond that had grown in unexpected ways, the car started to float, I started to scream at my boys to wake up, I reached for one boy and felt the sucking sensation of submersion. And the whole time I was thinking that even if I did get the boys out of the car, there was still the swimming to accomplish, since, as happens in dreams, the shore had receded away from our tragedy and left us stranded, me and two weak swimmers.

Oh, remembering now, the whole thing started, the reason we were driving, because someone’s grandmother committed suicide.

You can see, can’t you, why I’m awake?

I can still feel it happening.

4 thoughts on “Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

  1. Its so true how our dreams can completely drown us. Some of them leaves us so scared that even when you’re awake you feel that somewhere it is there watching us. Something wrong is happening. Our rational mind tells us that it was just a dream but our brain just doesn’t buy it. Well, for some time. Great post.

  2. One of my worst dreams also involved natural elements and news of a grandparent’s death. I really hate those layered bad dreams where there is more than one thing wrong. Hope you get a nice untroubled nap today.

  3. Nightmares are a regular part of my life; as a kid I had them so often that I learned to dream lucidly. That is, I spent most of my time dreaming conscious that I was asleep, and able to manipulate them somewhat. I’d rewind time, make different choices, and engage in the ever popular “hey look I can suddenly fly” trick. Of course, my dreams only got more creative, giving me situations where there was no good choice, where escaping this danger only meant falling into another, like a bad ripoff of Groundhog Day.

    Yeah, my brain is a pretty mean place.

    Anyway, I hope you’ve shaken it off by now.

  4. As irony may have it, your pic for this is what my nightmares are made of. Strange how something so trivial can be so triggering. Water should signify tranquility and relaxation but, having a friend drown, it is what haunts my nightmares.

    BTW, You’ve been nominated 🙂

    Blogger Recognition Award
    The Rules

    Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
    Give a brief story of how your blog got started
    Give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers
    Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog
    List those you’ve nominated in the post and comment on their blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.
    I hope you don’t mind.

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