I had a very strange dream about 9 years ago.
I’d estimate that in the past 10 years, my dreams have lost a sense of familiarity and vividness. Most of my dreams now are left behind in the fog of sleep. Very few accompany me out to daytime lucidness any longer. Because of this, those rare dreams which I do remember upon waking are memorable and I don’t forget them for a long time.
In this case, 9 years.
I must have had it in the early morning hours just before I woke up, because the dream segued into bright sunlight as my eyes flew open in the wake of the drowning pigs.
The drowning pigs.
I think an enticing preface would be to throw out this small anecdote about what I witnessed my father do when I was a young child.
Our house had been plagued by mice. Mice running and darting around through cracks and doorways. Some weren’t wise enough to escape the jaws of the mousetraps, but many were. One wily mouse even left his paw behind. For the longest time I wondered if he chewed his paw off or if it simply fell off in his struggle to be free.
Anyways, my dad found a whole nest of little baby mice once. I watched as he pulled them out, the whole mass of them, and flopped them into a tall pail which he proceeded to fill with water. I watched sadly as they tried to swim to safety but the rims of the pail were too high and their battle consisted of which one could tread the surface longest amount of time before succumbing to gravity and certain death. It was pretty awful and I was affected.
Nine years ago.
Dreams are slippery. To describe them is like trying to describe the oceanic depths to someone who has been blind for life. They are elusive and the task of relaying them accurately is further hindered by the fact that even you, the dream owner, can’t really make sense of them.
My dream took place in an old church.
Old meaning there was wood, old faded wood, old motifs, the wood was not polished or glossy like in most newer churches. The church was crowded. A hoard of devoted worshippers huddled, dressed bleakly and heavily, like some biblical Nathaniel Hawthorne novel.
Here to witness a strange event. Taking place up front, for all to see, at the altar.
A malignant sort of ceremony.
A ceremony which all were here to witness. Certain to bring them an ecstatic sense of Godly oneness.
On the altar there was a large bath. Constructed of old rickety wood, just like the rest of the church.
Where was I?
Who knows. I was there. I was a witness, not part, but not apart.
And I watched as all the churchgoers, this gathered mass, bowed in respect for what was about to commence in the bath.
It was filled with water.
And this is the specific part I forget.
Little piglets materialized out of nowhere.
Suddenly the church was filled with little pink piglets, cute curly piglets.
And the ceremony was begun when the first piglet was thrown in the water.
By who, I don’t know or remember.
The piglet was tossed in the water and I remember watching as it swam futilely for it could not escape or surmount the tall bath walls.
Then another piglet was tossed in.
Soon the bath was filled with tiny piglets, struggling to stay afloat.
But they were doomed.
For the walls of the bath were too high and as the piglets tired, each fat little pink one gave in and sank heavily into the water.
And the crowd prayed.
When I woke up, I was not frightened, but I was very disconcerted.
Such a strange dream.
I climbed out of bed and performed my usual morning ritual at the time. I put on some shorts and a t-shirt (it was a warm time of year. September 11, to be exact).
I stuck headphones in my ears and began my 2-mile walk. It led me through the golf course where the radio talk show announcers were not rattling on with their usual nonsense. No nonsense today. They were serious. Somber even.
As I walked, chills ran down my spine as I listened to their descriptions of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center.
I dreamed of drowning pigs the morning of 9/11.