Sunday, February 05, 2006

Snakes, needles and dreams, oh my

I have two Irrational Fears in my life: Needles and Snakes. Rats don’t bug me. I can kill spiders and cockroaches with gleeful abandon while Roommate Jekyll jumps up and down on the bed screaming “Kill it, kill it, KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT! (pause) Don’t use MY SHOE!”

It’s not like a needle dropped me on my head as a kid, or that a snake bit me on the playground. There was an incident with a wasp’s nest when I was an inquisitive four year old with a stick who didn’t pay one bit of attention to “Amy, you leave that strange brown nest looking thing in the gutter alone RIGHT NOW!” An incident which sent both my mother and me to the emergency room. Ah, youth. Ah, blessed memory loss which blocks out traumatic experiences. So you could make the pop psychology conclusion that Millions Of Wasp Stings = Amy’s Fear Of Needles And Fangs, if you’re into that kind of thing.

So Needles and Snakes are not Playtime Pals with me. Now hop along to the TV show Survivor, which premiered its newest season this past Thursday night. I’m embarrassed to admit that I still watch the show, which lost its mojo somewhere after the second season. Not sure what compels me to continue, probably because it’s a ritual with me and Roomie Jekyll, one of the few things we make room in our schedules to do together. She won’t make the transition to the much better reality show The Amazing Race, which still is exciting as ever, (The family edition excluded.)

So here we are with Survivor in Panama, and Host Who Will Never Take His Ugly Hat Off Jeff is intoning how awful and rough it’s gonna be for our hapless contestants. They then cut to a bunch of animal shots in a laughable effort to make the viewing audience think they COULD be killed by a big swooping bird, a shark who’s only attacking the camera because some PA is holding a bloody steak just out of frame, and then…a snake.

Ewwwww. A snake. Icky poo.

But no big deal. Survivor has increasingly used shots of snakes as Squirmy Moments, in case you’re not already squirming at the copious amounts of boobage on display (both on the women and in contestant interactions.) So it’s not like I’ve never seen snakes on my TV screen before.

But that night, I had one of the more realistic nightmares I’ve had in recent memory. I open my eyes (literally) and see a snake in my bed. On the left hand side. It’s black. It’s staring at me. And in the blink of an eye, it starts wiggling towards me. Not slithering. WIGGLING. As in, mighty fast.

I leap out of bed (keep in mind this is not me dreaming that I’m leaping) and stand in the middle of my bedroom, heart pounding, breath ragged, as my Dream Brain and my Rational Brain duke it out. Go back to bed. Can’t. There’s a snake in my bed. No there’s not, you’re dreaming. Go back to bed. Can’t. There’s a snake in my bed. It’s hiding in the covers, and it’s gonna bite my toes the second I shove my feet down. Think about what you’re saying. How did a snake get in your room? Under the door, of course. There’s plenty of room. How did the snake get in your house? Came up through Roomie Jekyll’s bathroom. Why didn’t the snake go after Roomie Jekyll? Because it knows I’m afraid of snakes? It…hey, why am I standing in the middle of my bedroom?

Rational Brain eventually compels me to get back in bed and lo and behold, no snake biting my toes. Pop psychology dictates that I dreamed of a snake because I saw the snake on Survivor. Must try harder to make sure this dude is the last thing I see before I go to bed. He is Tyrone Leitso, who played dreamy sensitive Eric on the lamented show Wonderfalls. Sigh. Give me a moment, please. I’m lost in a fantasy…okay, I’m back.

Now trip along with me to yesterday. This month’s outreach project through one of my churches is a blood drive with the Red Cross. It’s perfect, you can literally save a life without having to invoke God or anything! Yay!

I have a huge masochistic streak that I’m always wrestling with, and it’s this part of me that made me sign up for something that involves a needle, but that was before I was dreaming of Snakes in My Bed. Still, I’m not wimping out. I’m donating plasma for JESUS, dammit! As long as I don’t see at the needle, or watch the blood coming out, I should be okay. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt, but Ms. Masochist hasn’t been sated in awhile, and better thisaway than me courting rejection from beautiful men, ‘cause I’m really trying to be better about that, ha ha ha.

So now that it’s over, I’m either REALLY committed to the idea of community outreach, or the idea of facing Irrational Fears, or the idea that I love being mean to myself, because, people, they got me in BOTH ARMS! BOTH!

There was some kind of paper tissue clot in the needle when they stuck the left arm and the blood wasn’t going anywhere. You know you’re in trouble when you’re staring at the wall and you hear things like, “You need help with that?” “Yeah, it’s…it’s not doing anything.” “You want me to get…” “Yeah, could you?” And then a third voice shows up, “What should I do?” “Well, we can try doing this…” movement that I CAN FEEL IN MY VEIN! ICK ICK ICK ICKY POO! And then, “Okay, we’re gonna have to take this out.” They explain it’s the needle’s fault, and that we can either try the other arm, or I can call it a day. NO! IT’S BLOOD FOR JESUS! HE SHED IT FOR ME! THE LEAST I CAN DO IS REPAY THE FLIPPIN’ FAVOR! Bwah ha ha ha.

Needless to say, the other arm takes just fine, and I do much better than the other chick who’s also trying to donate blood, gets grey faced, has to lie down on the cot, whole nine yards. After I fill up the bag (no, I don’t look at it), they take the needle out, I get grape juice and cookies, try to make small talk with the grey-faced chick who doesn’t wanna talk to anybody. I look at the Grape Juice And Cookies Volunteer, “So, can I go?” “Well, if you’re sure you’re feeling okay.” I feel fine. I feel a-okay fine. Both my arms are bruised to the point where Roomie Heckle is sure that I’m mainlining heroin behind closed doors, but I’m fine.

And that night, I dream about alligators eating Harrison Ford’s blond haired six-year-old son while I’m screaming at them on a yacht. I don’t think Harrison Ford has a blond haired six-year-old son, and I haven’t seen an alligator lately, so I’m getting a little ticked off here. I faced down my Irrational Fears (sorta)! Why don’t I get nice dreams! Damn.

One time, one of my best friends Winifred and I were giggling over stupid questions on a reality show application (I think it was The Mole, though I’m sure they ask these dopey questions on all the reality show applications.) The question was “What is your greatest fear.” Whatever you put down on the application, the show will try their hardest to make sure you have to come face to face with it. So Winifred and I were thinking up really awful stuff, stuff like, I am absolutely terrified of long deep massages on a Caribbean beach administered by the very hot actor Alessandro Nivola.Please, please, whatever you do, do NOT give that man a bottle of oil and a towel and point him in my direction! DON’T YOU DARE!

So there ya go, subconscious. Tonight’s the test. Don’t you even think about putting dreams of Mr. Nivola in my head tonight. Fingers crossed.


Yummyteece said...

Wow... that's a special kind of weird. But i'm with you, because last night, i had oogie weird dream from bad subconscious as well.

Hey Universe, while you're at please.... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let me dream of James Marsters in black leather, licking cake icing of my neck.

Bibi said...

Oh, thank you, thank you! I love it when I laugh out loud and I'm alone.