Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Black Dreams

When I was about five years old I watched a movie with my father.  The details of how I managed to watch the movie are a little fuzzy.  I am not sure if he was aware I was watching it with him or not.  However the movie itself has been etched forever in my mind.

Twenty plus years later I decided I must find this old movie.  The movie that so impressed itself on my five year old mind, I could still practically recite it by heart.

To my surprise, without remembering anything about the title or any of the actors, I was able to recite some of those lines to my dear friend Google and find that movie.  My husband then tracked it down and bought it for me.

In particular I remembered a certain song.  The song that for so long haunted me.

Because it visited me in my dreams.  My nightmares.

Every night I would awake screaming.  Mommy!  He was there.  He was in my room.  I can still see him.  He is just as vivid now as he was then.  I remember my pounding heart.  The cold sweat.  My quick heavy breaths as I gasped for air.  He was right there in my room, looking over my bed.  He appeared on my window shade.  The clown with his wide menacing grin.  As I screamed he calmly sang his song.  As I cried and pleaded for my mother to come he danced his little dance.

My parents would calm me and tell me that it was just a dream.  That he could not hurt me.  But I SAW him. He was there.  Maybe he couldn't hurt me in real life but he had power in my dreams.  They would tell me it was ok.  I could go back to sleep.  But that was his realm.  He would be there waiting for me.  He was always there waiting for me.  And so I would end up sleeping in their bed for the night.

This is what he sang . . .

Quit laughing!

I fail to see what you find so hilarious!!!

Seriously.  I reveal my deep psychological scars and you can't even be civil enough not to laugh in my face?  

That thing is truly terrifying!  Terrifying I say!!!

Come on look at that monster.  Ok, try to imagine a Clown singing that song.  While dancing on a window shade.  Did I mention he was a plush clown?  Now you see it don't you?


Ok, it is a little funny.  Yes, it's funny.  I have to admit I nearly died laughing when I finally saw the scene that had haunted me all those years.  I somehow remember this movie being much less . . . um . . . campy.

Why a clown?  Well it seems that my 5 year old brain saw some similarities between the alien and a favorite toy.  The clown had dangly fingers just like the alien.  I quickly took care of that problem.  I ripped the poor clown's fingers right out.  When I was in middle school my parents bought a new refrigerator.  When they removed the old one guess what they found underneath?  Yep.  Clown fingers.

That is Leslie Nielsen you see there.  Along with Cindy Williams.  In case I have whetted your appetite, the name of the movie was The Creature Wasn't Nice.  No, not kidding.  They actually renamed it as Naked Space later to try to bank off of the success of Naked Gun.  Also Spaceship for Airplane.  That should tell you a little something about the movie right there.

I strongly caution you not to watch it though.  You will have nightmares.  Not so much from fear but from the horrifying acting.  It has to be the worst movie ever made.  Just in case you are wondering the clip is truly the highlight of the entire movie.   By far!

So what dredges all these memories to the surface?

My son is at that age.  He is four going on five.  He has been having nightmares.

Remember how I told you of my resolve to make Peanut sleep in his own bed?  It turns out there is one thing that makes that resolve crumble.  The sound of my son as he wakes screaming in the night.  I just can not leave him to the mercy of the monsters in his dreams.  And just as I am sure my parents felt I am rendered helpless to fight the creatures that haunt him.  To make things worse it seems his dreams don't take on a particular form.  Sometimes he tells me of something chasing him.  Or someone crying.  Usually all he can tell me is that he had "the black dream."

The black dream comes to him when he closes his eyes.  Even if the lights are on.  Even if he is snuggled tight next to me.  He cries and begs me to take the black dreams away.

I try my best to calm him.  I try to tell him to think of good things.  To try to direct his thoughts and control the dreams.  I try to tell him how to pray.  That God is with him.  That he has guardian angels around him chasing the black dreams away.  Sometimes it helps.  Most of the time it doesn't.

I remember eventually learning to control my own dreams.  At some point I specifically recognized while dreaming that it was only a dream.  I was able to change the dream.  But there were many nightmares before that day.

I pray this phase passes quickly.