BY LYDIA A. CYRUS
I graduated from college one month ago. Still, I am having the dreams. The ones where everything that has not settled or come to pass arises again and comes to gather before my closed eyes. Just before I graduated I dreamt that I had died in my bed and that Leslie Marmon Silko mourned over me. She cried and said a prayer for me and my waking body wept for her and her grief. Then there is the dream where I become caretaker for wild animals: A tiger, a bear, and a wolf. I hold the images clearly even after waking up. The softness of the bear’s black fur and the way the tiger playfully bit down on my arm, his roar.
I have never dreamed that I am someone’s mother and this concerns me. I have never dreamed that I am someone’s lover either. Four days ago I had a sequence of dreams. In one of them, my ankles are tied together by a rope which is tied to the back of a boat and I am drowned that way. Pulled forward by the boat, under the water. In another, I am in the bathtub at my Aunt’s house. The one she decorated in tropical fish. The one my closest cousin and I played in as children. She had mermaid Barbies which we submersed in the water. Then I have a thought: I would like to die in that bathtub. But there are requirements. I use a black bath bomb to turn the water a solid black. Then I take something, a pill, which causes me to lose the function of my body, my control. I drown that way.
Before the sequence is over and I wake up I hear a voice. A different aunt. A snippet from an actual conversation that took place days before. I am not thrown backwards into time. If I had been, I would have seen myself sitting next to this aunt. On the couch as the evening news airs and the anchor talks about Monica Lewinsky. How Bill Clinton says he never apologized to her personally. But in this dream I don’t see that, I only hear the sound of her voice. She says she just wants to be famous. She’s pulling a Marilyn Monroe. Then I wake up, sweating.
Lydia A. Cyrus is a creative nonfiction writer and poet from Huntington, West Virginia. Her work as been featured in Thoreau's Rooster, Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Albion Review, and Luna Luna. Her essay "We Love You Anyway," was featured in the 2017 anthology Family Don't End with Blood which chronicles the lives of fans and actors from the television show Supernatural.
She lives and works in Huntington where she spends her time being politically active and volunteering. She is a proud Mountain Woman who strives to make positive change in Southern Appalachia. She enjoys the color red and all things Wonder Woman related! You can usually find her walking around the woods and surrounding areas as she strives to find solitude in the natural world. Twitter: @lydiaacyrus