Need Something to Keep Me From Dreaming
by Donald K. Sanders
All of my life, I’ve been plagued by strange dreams. Some of them are so vivid that I’ll often sit up in bed and talk loud enough to awaken my wife. She worries about me because she knows that most of my dreams include some sort of violence.
I won’t go in to all of that PTSD stuff because I’ve been there before in some prior columns. A couple of nights ago was no exception and my annoyed wife told me that no one else was in the room, so I should go back to sleep.
It was so strange because just a few moments earlier, I was having a conversation with Jesus Christ. In this dream, someone was lightly slapping me on my right cheek. I looked up to see Jesus sitting on my chest with my arms pinned under his knees so I couldn’t move them.
I don’t know how I knew it was Jesus, I just knew it somehow. He was wearing a white uniform like he was playing baseball or something. Behind him, a bright light prevented me from seeing his face. He kept slapping me.
I said, “Jesus, quit slapping me!”
He looked at me and said, “I know you have some questions for me but I will answer only five, so it’s important that you think about it before you say anything.”
Geez, talk about stress in the dream world. I knew this was important and that I had to think fast because he wasn’t going to sit on my chest forever. Then, like a miracle, the first question popped into my head. I was just going to ask the question when poof, I forgot what I was going to say.
Thinking really, really fast I said, “Jesus, why don’t the people that live in my town make me the Citizen of the Year?” I could not believe that I had said something so stupid, but he answered, “Forgive them Donald, for they know not what they do.” That seemed reasonable so I asked the second question.
“Jesus, why does my wife get to pick all of the TV shows that we watch every evening?”
Jesus shook his head and looked at me like I was a dork or something.
“Because she is smarter than you are Donald.”
Next, I asked, “Jesus, why does my friend Judy, from high school still look so young and pretty, like she did when we were young?” Jesus said, “What you are seeing when you look at her is her inner beauty and that will never change.” Then, like a dummy, I asked, “If I ask you about my inner beauty would it count as a question?”
“Yes,” he said.
I had one question left, so I took a moment to think really hard, really, really hard. In an instant, my superior brain came up with two questions that were equally important for me to ask. I thought and I thought, but I could not for the life of me decide which question to ask.
The words that came out of my mouth at that moment astounded me because I didn’t know where the idea came from.
“Jesus, can I have an extra question?”
Jesus looked down at me and said, “No.”
At that, he disappeared with a bright flash.
I said, “Jesus, where are you?” and found myself sitting up in bed saying, “Where are you?”
My wife lifted her head and said, “Don, there is nobody else here, go back to sleep.”
I sat there and thought, “Next time, I’m going to ask the really important questions.” I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t asked something really, really smart like I wanted to.
Next time, I will ask Jesus the questions I’d thought about but didn’t get the chance to ask: “Why does my friend Christy, who has a new baby boy and a husband that she adores so much, have to endure the pain of heart surgery?” I know that she wants to live for her family so that she can take care of them and love them.
My last question, had I not screwed it up, would have been, “Will you fix Christy’s heart?” I could feel the river flowing from my eyes when I realized what I had done. How could I be so stupid? How could I mess up something so important?
I got up and sat on the couch in the dark until the alarm went off and my wife turned on the light. She looked at me and asked if I was alright but I could only shake my head because I know that I’ll never be alright, because I’ve never been alright before.
I need some pills that keep me from dreaming.