It\’s usually just a couple of lions in my basement, but occasionally they are joined by a tiger or some other big cat. Although I am the one who hid these animals in the house, my dreaming self worries about their welfare.
How can they survive with no sunlight or fresh air? The basement walls are cinder block and windowless; the floor, under a bit of soiled straw, is cold cement. There is no food. The water in the buckets hasn\’t been changed for days. The animals don\’t look too good: their fur is dull and matted, and their ribs show.
The reason they have no food or water is that I am afraid to go down there. What on earth possessed me to get these scary animals in the first place? What was I thinking? I am trying very hard to come up with some way to get rid of them. I could call the Humane Society, but I\’m sure they wouldn\’t want to come in one of their vans to pick up a couple of lions and a tiger. I could call the police, but they would want to know what I was doing with these big dangerous cats in the house. I could put an ad in the paper….
Over and over, I curse myself for getting the animals. I am appalled at my lack of judgment. I don\’t recognize myself: it\’s as if some unknown part of me had suddenly surfaced, turned the basement into a zoo, and then disappeared again, leaving me to deal with the situation.
Guilt about the starving lions, fear that they will eat me, frustration that they are still there–in the dream I bounce from one to the other, looking for an exit. But no matter how hard I try to dispose of the lions, I never manage to get rid of them. So while I get on with my life, they lurk in the basement, waiting for the next opportunity to surface in my dreams.
(P.S., And now my alphabet is finished.)