Friday, February 17, 2012


I took Patch with me tonight on our weekly Friday night burrito run (burritoes are coming! burritoes are coming!), so conversation was adjusted to communicate with the developing mind of a three-year-old. Which means we spent some time singing songs, making funny noises, arguing about what names she wants to call herself (Muck - rhymes with look, and Squib, for some reason). We also turned, naturally, to Sesame Street.

When we inevitably turned to Grover, I suddenly remembered a horrible memory I had not thought of in years. Perhaps it was one of my earliest traumatic memories - and it in turn triggered remembrance of my first nightmare.

First off - and I did not mention this to Patch - I remember a scene on Sesame Street where Grover was eating some peanut butter. Who as a three- or four-year-old can't relate to this? With a mouthful of peanut butter, poor Grover's lips stuck shut! He couldn't open his mouth! I recall being riveted to the teevee screen. Possibly I had a PB&J sandwich in my hand at the time; can't remember that fact (it was forty some odd years ago). "How can he breathe!" my silent scream ... er, screamed.

Then, another muppet came along and helped Grover open his mouth. Phew! Salvation! Grover thanks his friend profusely, and the friend left. So what does Grover do? No, Grover, no! He takes another bite of the peanut butter and his mouth seals shut again. His frantic muffled wailing haunt me to this day!

Okay, I exaggerate a bit. But it does recall my first nightmare.

I'm my four-year-old self, playing in my grandparent's backyard. Two cartoonish looking characters walk up, both dressed as cowboys. They say stuff and do stuff that make me laugh. I like this dream.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, a sinister looking cartoon comes out through the bushes. It's like the giant Kool-Aid pitcher character, only it's white and has no handle. I feel an immediate sense of dread as it nears.

Suddenly, it envelopes one of the cowboys. I don't know how it did it, but I can distinctly see the little fellow hazily in the body of this creature. His arms are flailing about, searching for a way out, and his mouth is puffing open and shut like a goldfish out of water.

"Let him out!" the other cowboy shrieks. "He can't breathe in there!"

And then I woke up.

Of course I mentioned none of this to my little Patch-o. A few nights ago, around two or three in the morning, she cried out from her bedroom, "I'll be a good girl!" Then, all was silent.

Must've had a bad dream, I thought at the time through my semi-conscious slumber. I just only hope she wasn't visited by that sinister white blobby dream-thing.

No comments: