Nightmares and Dreamscapes

I find it hilarious that my nightmares are not always scary. In fact, I tend to find them as entertaining as sitting down and watching a horror flick…and sometimes that how my mind perceives them, as horror flicks.

A dream I had back in February of 2005 started out as me viewing a scary movie almost as if my nose were pressed up against the television screen. This gory picture had a small town under attack from an unknown madman who would find different inventive ways to kill off townspeople. Only a few still remain in my memory: a businessman having his head shrunken and stitched up and that tall kid from “Road Trip” being dropping into a boiling pit of tar.

As a group of adults were staring in horror at the poor dork from “Road Trip,” I found myself in the movie. Surrounded by a bunch of town people with less luck than me and the guy who plays Sayid on “Lost,” I thought to myself, This really can’t be good.

I woke up at this point, a little worried about my fate, but soon settled right back into the dream.

A few more people died, but I really cannot remember how. Then I decided to take a shower. Stepping out of the shower to begin my morning routine, I began worrying about whether or not this would be the moment that psycho madman would decide to come after me. Just in case, I armed myself with the only weapon my bathroom offered…my plunger. (Let’s face it, my Intuition razor just isn’t going to cut much more than my knees.)

I looked out the second-story bathroom window, wondering if that would be the way he entered. Then from behind me, the bathroom door cracked from the blow of an axe.


Psycho madman was right there busting through the door. While I could risk breaking a leg before dying, I decided against jumping out the window. Instead, I grabbed the plunger by the rubber end (don’t worry, I’ll definately wash those hands) and waited until the axe struck one more time. As he was occupied trying to wedge the head loose, I jabbed the stick end of the plunger directly into his eye.

With psycho madman blinded, I knew I only had a few seconds to escape. I pushed past him headed toward freedom. Unlike the idiots in scary movies, I knew to run outside. I hit the streets screaming at the world that psycho madman was after me. I found my friends and sought safety.

Unfortunately, that’s when the alarm started going off. I have no idea how the dream ended, but I think it might be a fun one to write down and try to finish, maybe answer a few questions like: Who is the blinded psycho madman? Can you really put out someone’s eye with a plunger? What if Mindy had decided to use the Intuition razor as a weapon? Stay tuned to find out!

Games Kids Play

Whenever I’m stuck inside the house, as I’ve been more or less for the past week, I cannot help but think of my childhood.

My father worked nights and absolutely hated babysitting the five of us when we were home on summer break. As a result, we got to choose: play inside or play outside. Whatever we chose, we would have to do until lunch, and then again until our Mom came home around dinner time. For the most part, the choice was easy, play outside. I mean, if the weather was gorgeous, who would stay inside, confined to a bedroom, bored off his/her butt? Yet, that’s exactly what would happen whenever it rained outside.

Because we would sometimes find ourselves stuck in the house, we would do everything in our power to entertain ourselves. Many a summer days were spent with Paul and I putting our Michael Jackson records on our dinky little record player and playing them backward, swearing that the One-Gloved Wonder was telling us to swear our allegiance to the devil. But even more summer days were spent with us playing the most wonderfully bizarre games that we made up on our own.

One game that was quite the sensation among the five of us seems fairly normal – we’d sit in strategic locations with one person standing in the middle of the room and then would pelt that person with spitwads. You’d think that Allen or Jamie, being the youngest, would be the ones in the middle. But nope, most often that person was me.

I really do believe this explains a lot about myself.

The other game we played, which to this day makes us giggle when we think about it, was called Bus Driver. Two of us would climb up on the top bunk of the bunk beds Jamie and I shared. Each would sit on the end of the bed. The person on the left was the bus driver. The person on the left…

Wait for it.

…was a vampire.

The bus driver would drive down the road, stopping to pick up and drop off passengers, swerving past pot holes, and other bus driverly duties. The vampire would lay back on the bed, and at some random point, the vampire would sit up, look at the bus driver and say, “I vant to suck your blood.” The bus driver would look at the vampire, scream in mortal terror and then leap from the top bunk. With the game complete, someone else would climb into the bus driver’s seat, another would take the vampire’s prone position, and the game would loop until we grew bored and began shooting spitwads.

To be honest, we don’t know if there really was a point to Bus Driver, but that never stopped us from playing it. We told Brittany and Alexis about it, and they looked at us with such bewilderment in their eyes…kind of like that same look you’re giving me right now.

The games were weird, and after a while we would grow bored at being stuck in the house. We’d long for escape…or the sun to shine so we could go outside after lunch. One day, however, Jamie had enough. She screamed she was escaping, then she rushed to the window, threw it open and jumped out. Sounds innocent, I’m sure, except our bedroom window was nine feet off the ground, and she was all of four years old.

We could only see her hands clutching at the sill, and the four of us rushed to the window to gaze down upon her. She just dangled from the window, staring up at us with large, fear-filled eyes. Then with a NOOOOOOOOOO! she dropped into the chasm below.

Just kidding. Her scream was so loud that dad woke up and rushed into the room to find her hanging from the window. He hauled her back inside and promptly grounded the five of us.

We were trapped even longer! 😦

Stuck inside the house, we decided to come up with some new games to entertain ourselves.

Because the three of us girls shared a bedroom, we had two sets of bunk beds in the room, parallel to one another. We decided it would be fun for us to leap from the top bunk of one bed to the bottom bunk of the bed across the room. Paul went first, leaping across the void and deftly landing upon the bed across from us. We all went a few times, then I was up to jump again.

I perched upon the end of the bed and looked across at the jump I was about to take. Then Paul decided to be funny.

He pushed me.

I flew across the room, flipping foward. I nearly  made a complete 360 flip, probably would have had I not run into the bed. I landed with my back hitting the wooden frame of the bed, completely knocking the air out of me.

And people wonder why I didn’t get along with Paul for the first 25 years of my life.

But karma really is a witch. And about an hour later, she got Paul back good.

I was laying up on the top bunk with Jamie, and Paul was on the bunk below, pushing up the top bunk with his feet. Jamie and I were just bobbing around, having fun. I believe the game we were playing was called Washing Machine. But then the washing machine went off track…literally. The top bunk shifted, and as it came back down toward the frame, it was out of alignment. The top bunk plummeted down, smushing Paul like a bug.

Jamie and I rolled off the bed and freed Paul from his mattress tomb. He cried so hard.

Seriously, don’t make karma angry.

I’m sure we made up more games, but those are the ones that really stick out. Others may think we were all a bit nuts, but I tell you what, those games were so much fun to five kids who were bored off their rockers.

Oh and hey, “I vant to suck your blood.”

Hypochondriatic Ravings

I think I’m a touch on the hypochondriatic side.

A month shy of my 19th birthday, I learned that my roommate had a rare disease that killed her hair. The following morning I about died of shock when I washed my hair and a handful of my already too-thin hair clung to my hand instead of my scalp.

Even after Stephanie repeatedly reassured me that the loss was normal (she being the resident expert), I freaked out. Surely I had that incurable, albeit extremely rare, disease. Stephanie and I were practically sisters, so it could happen that each of us were plagued with this troublesome disease.

Of course, my brain’s smoking some high-dollar crack. I don’t have alopecia. My hair’s still sitting atop my head. If anything, it’s thicker than it was way back in 1998.

Roughly five months after my short battle with baldness I read a story in a teen magazine about a young woman fighting depression. Less than two weeks later I was clinically depressed. My eyes took on a permanently red, swollen gaze. Splotches tattoed my cheecks from never-ending crying jags. My boyfriend hated me; my friends hated me; I hated me. That was the worst. All because I read some stupid article.

But that’s not the end of my hypochondria. A couple of summers back I read an article about a man whose I.Q. dropped because he was having a multitude of miniature strokes due to stress.

Could this be why I can’t seem to remember anything anymore? The simplest facts elude my brain’s grasp. Most of my useless trivia has become mere trivia to me.

My recent mental decline could be explained by these strokes. I’ve been the Queen of Stress all my life. At five I developed an ulcer. At 16 it returned with a painful vengance. Always striving for academic excellence, I’ve stressed myself silly. Even now, out in the “real” world, I’m constantly worrying and plagued by drama. Sure, some of the blame is mine for choosing such a taxing vocation. My environments have been killer, but that comes with the territory when your jobs include being a dorm mom to 25 high school girls, running residence halls filled with students who are just starting to fend for themselves, writing story after story for a newspaper, and you think it would be smart to get a master’s degree.

Could I really be afflicted by mini-strokes? Will I one day be left with the I.Q. of a radish? How does one find this out without sounding like a psychotic? Do I just keep growing dumber as each day passes?


Oops, now I think I hurt my brain.

Those Pearly Whites

She was giddy.

Honestly, I was happy for her, but goodness! Mom just had every piece of enamel ripped from the roof of her mouth, leaving her to resemble one of those toothless ancient crones found on humorous greeting cards. And for some reason, she was giddy.

Allen, frightened by Mom’s empty grin, took off in the opposite direction. Amused by this fear, she chased after him, literally looking like an escaped mental patient.

This entire escapade took place in October of 2001, as I tried to talk to Mom and decipher her newly formed lisp. Wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been calling long distance to speak to her for the first time in nearly a month.

In her own way, she told me about the entire procedure and how she received the “royal treatment” afterward from my older brother, Paul.

“I athked Paul to buy me thum pudthing packth when he ran to Wal-Mart for thigaretteth. I muth of pathed out before he got back. Then he lef again. I yelleth and yelleth, but he never anthwered. Tho I got up to get thum pudthing, and you know wha? Your thupid brotha bought the kind you have to make. Can you believe that?”

I simpered just what I knew she wanted to hear. She’s so cute.

The pearly whites came along two days later. Unfortunately for my chicken baby brother, the dentures were a tad too big (she had to wait for the swelling to go down before sizing the teeth).

As Mom would talk or laugh her new teeth would shoot out of her mouth. Allen wound up shrieking and covering his eyes then running into the next room.

Next, the begging would begin.

“Mom, stop! Oh God, put your teeth back in! Stop it! Please!”

Of course, I was on the phone, once again, trying to talk to Mom first, then Allen as she tormented him.

Mom’s teeth were fixed soon enough. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to actually witness Allen’s reaction to the dentures as they flew across the room for the nine hundred, eighty-sixth time. I feared I’d miss a toothless old fart chase her seventeen-year-old son around the house when I stopped in for the holidays.

My fears were put to rest when I visited over Thanksgiving.

At roughly one a.m. I finally said it. “Mom, take your teeth out.”

“Are you sure?” She grinned.

I looked at my baby brother sitting across from Mom on the couch, who shrank back as far as the arm would allow. He grudgingly consented and out they came.

My God! She aged 50 years in a matter of seconds, her cheek sinking in without the enamel to hold them out. So, of course, I laughed my butt off. She looked hilarious. I told her so…repeatedly.

“You look like an old country grandma who should be sitting on the side of the road selling ham.”

“Oh my God, you look like a backwoods hick granny. All you need is a banjo so you can play the theme from Deliverance.”

I was on fire shooting them out. Mom and Allen giggled like mad. Tears stained all of our cheeks. Of course, we laughed so hard that we woke up Jamie.

Words cannot describe how mad she can get, and she was livid. So, we called it a night.

During that trip I realized that my mom’s teeth entranced me. I could not stop staring at them. I wasn’t alone. My brother-in-law Jared stared too, driving Mom nuts.

I don’t know if it was because she never showed off her teeth or just because they were new. I don’t know. What I do know is that when I went home for Christmas, I wasn’t able to take my eyes off those dentures.

Growing Up

If I had to classify my childhood using one word, it sure as heck wouldn’t be “normal.” I think I’d have to go with something like “unique,” “bizarre” or “flippin’ weird.”

Sure, most people, if not everyone, would describe their wonder years using those phrases, and that’s okay. But how many people can count Budweiser as one of their first words?

I thought so.

Yes, one of my first words was Budweiser. No, neither of my parents were alcoholics. I was, however, raised with the aid of television. My other first words probably included “Jack Daniels;” “Nanoo, nanoo” (God, I hate that show) and “Marlboro.”

I was an odd child.

Emphasizing my unique vocabulary, I was a talker. It did not matter if you were a perfect stranger. If I ran into someone, I would talk his/her ear completely off, not even giving him/her the leeway necessary to make it a full-fledged conversation. My mom would stand back and laugh as I verbally assaulted whoever I came across with, “Hi, my name is Mindy,” then break into my entire life’s story. Fifteen minutes later, after the person’s ears had melted off his/her face, my mom would drag me off to the car, my mouth still flying, not wanting to finish my tale until I was completely spent.

That earned me the nickname Motor Mouth Mindy, which I still am called from time to time

In addition to sporting a vocabulary that would make parents cringe and talking non-stop, I was kind enough to save Mom the effort of teaching me how to read. Mom thought I was faking it when I read an entire billboard for McDonalds at the age of three. Surely, I had to have memorized it after someone read it to me. To prove her wrong, I then began reading other items like road signs, drive-through menus or grocery lists.

I loved to read too. I read anything I could grab. In school I’d race through class work so I could grab whatever literary entertainment I could find and dive in. I prayed for rain so I could read through recess. Once, in first grade, I even went as far as forging a letter from my Mom so that I could stay inside and read. Fortunately, Mrs. Hiles, the greatest first grade teacher in the history of the world, didn’t get to read my horrible attempt at cursive as God decided a little rain was necessary, and I got my wish, without having to resort to petty fraud.

My childhood memories run the gamut from joyous (running through my great aunt’s house shouting, “It’s a boy” at Allen’s birth) to sad (watching my great grandfather die of a heart attack when I was three) and from silly (like the time when as an infant Allen gave me a bloody nose by sticking his finger in it) to the truly bizarre (when I went fishing using a bamboo rod the first time, which is a story that I shall share soon). But I wouldn’t trade any of those interesting events for all the money in the world. Without them, I wouldn’t be the goofy oddball y’all know and love.