2007-12-14

Nightmares, the Homeless, and Smart Kitties!


I've been sort of sick lately with a sore throat that won't go away. Since I don't have to work until 3:30 today, I woke up early contemplating making a doctor's appointment so I could get a strep test. But when I tried calling the doctor, I could never get through, so I figured, "Screw it, I'll just take the extra time to get some extra sleep." When I am sick, getting a lot of extra sleep always helps me feel better.
So I went back to sleep and started having all these nightmares. The kind of nightmares where the situation is so similar to the actual situation, that you can't figure out if you're awake or dreaming! My nightmare started when I dreamed I woke up and heard someone violently shaking the back door, trying to force it open. In my dream all the blood drained out of my face and I felt myself feeling like I was going to faint from terror! I could barely move because I was paralyzed from fear, so I rolled out of the bed and crawled across the floor, so I could look out the stairway window. It turned out the person shaking the door was this homeless lady, who in my dream I somehow knew. She kept putting all this stuff in my driveway. I went out there and told her, "You have to leave, I'm going to get screamed at by my mom if you're here!" The lady told me she just wanted to drop off a few things. The things she was dropping off were small... a baggie full of chocolate chip cookies, a taffy apple, and a Slip-N-Slide. So I politely said, "Oh thanks, bye!" and took the stuff inside. But the lady kept taking more and more stuff out of her huge truck, and leaving it in my backyard! The stuff got larger and larger! I kept going outside and begging her to leave, and she'd just yell at me to leave her alone!
THen I went inside and there was this dude walking around in my house. When I saw him I ran back out of the house, and he followed me, but to my relief he ran right past me and kept on running! I hollered after him, "I'm not calling the cops! I don't want you to get in trouble! Just don't come back!"
Throughout the dream, more people kept wandering through my house, looking accusingly at me as they passed.
At one point, Brandon was at my house with me, and he wanted to go outside and play, but I had to tell him that we had to stay inside because there were homeless people out there putting crap in my yard and I didn't want them to know I was home.
This dream may not have been realistic to most people... but to me it was, because I Actually was homeless for a long time as a teenager and young adult, and as a result I occasionally do have homeless people showing up at my mom's door looking for me. Now, since i Was homeless, I really don't have anything against homeless people, and am sympathetic to the things they go through... and in fact, if I Wasn't staying with my mom right now, I'd probably invite them in for a meal or whatever. But there are basically two kinds of homeless people. There are regular people who are going through a hard time in life and have found themselves homeless, and there are chronically homeless people who keep ending up homeless because of their substance abuse problems, untreated mental illnesses, tendency towards crime and violence, etc. The first type of people tend to get their lives together after a year or two, and if I do manage to run into them again I get to see them in their homes, with their new lives. The second type, the chronically homeless, are the ones who tend to try to track me down. Its almost as if they are trying to pull me back. "Come back, come back to the dark side! Remember when you were homeless too, and we helped you?" they will moan. (Note: Many did help me survive in the beginning, but as people's drug problems progress, they tend to steal from and hurt everyone and anyone, including those they claim to care about.)
In fact, for a while when I had my first apartment (which I moved into directly from a homeless shelter!) I did try to help many of the other "chronically homeless" people out by letting them stay with me. I literally shared everything I had... my food, my clothing, my bathroom, my bed. I would make trips to the food pantry and clothing close to bring back supplies for my growing "family." But as the original two or three homeless friends brought their friends, and their friends friends, and strangers off the street, things got out of control! While I worked ten hours a day, making a two-hour round trip bus ride each day to get to work and back, the homeless were busy converting my small apartment into a drug den! I would come home exhausted at night, and they would just be waking up. They would keep me up all night talking loudly. They would get into fights with each other, breaking my furniture and punching holes in my walls. They would show up at my job, asking me for money. They would make long-distance phone calls on my phone, leaving me with a phone bill I Couldn't pay. (When I put a jar by the phone and told people to drop a quarter in the jar when they made a call, they stole the quarters and used them to buy cigarettes!) If I kicked them out, they would crawl back in through the windows while I was at work. I came to the conclusion that homeless people were a little bit like vampires... once you invite one in, you could never get rid of him.
(My best friend Diana lived in the same apartment complex as me at the time, and she too was famous for running her own mini-shelter in her apartment, but she had much better luck at getting people to leave, somehow... usually!)
Anyway... all this is why, when I finally woke up at half past noon, my heart was pounding loudly, and I had to lie there for a while and convince myself that it really was all a dream!
Now I am using my mom's laptop to write this blog, since our home Internet is still not working! My cat, Sammy-Joe, is full of energy. He's one of the smartest cats I know, because he knows how to play fetch! He brings his little furry toy mouse up to me, drops it at my foot, and then rubs his head against me until I look down. Then, when I throw his mouse, he runs after it, picks it up, and trots back to me with the mouse hanging from his mouth! He drops it at my feet, and nudges me with his head until I throw it again! (When he gets tired of this game, he tends to hide the mouse in my backpack or in my shoe!)

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