Last night I had a nightmare. It is the first nightmare I have had in a really long time. I define “nightmare” as “not merely an unpleasant dream, but a dream in which one is terrified and which continues to haunt the dreamer after waking.” It was horrible dream, with a lot of graphic violence and gore. I do not usually dream of graphic violence and gore. I do not usually partake of gore in any form. Well, okay, that’s not strictly true. I do read a lot of serial killer books, but I kind of skim over any gory parts and forget them relatively quickly. I do not usually partake in visual representations of gore, precisely because they are so much harder to forget. But this dream was violent and gory, in addition to terrifying. The worst part of the dream–which covered a time period of several days, possibly weeks–was that I kept coming to a point where I thought, “Phew, I’m safe. My family’s safe.” AND THEN WE WERE NOT SAFE. AGAIN!

I will not describe the dream to you. Usually when I have a vivid dream I like to put it on the internet and crowd-source an interpretation. But most of my dreams are fairly amusing in retrospect. Nightmares are not. But I actually did write this dream down earlier today. One might think that if a dream were very disturbing, as this dream was, one would want to forget it as soon as possible, not write it down for posterity. But I suppose when I get disturbed enough by dreams, I worry that there is some reason that I had the dream that I should probably try to understand. In hindsight this seems silly. Nightmares probably aren’t any more significant than ordinary dreams. Therefore, why should I try to understand them? Also, now that I have written it down, it does seem more silly than terrifying. That is, I imagine that someone else reading about it would laugh at it. I myself am not laughing yet. It’s still haunting me.

And now you’re curious. Don’t be. Suffice it to say that the dream involved a prison housing dangerous criminals under my garage. My family and I were living in our garage because our oppressive government had taken over the main house. The good news is that the garage (in the dream, not in real life) was perfectly adequate for a family of six. The bad news is that it was not adequate for a family of six and several dangerous convicts. If I wasn’t being threatened by dangerous convicts (who were also mutants (thanks to the inhumane living conditions in the sub-garage prison), I was being threatened by corrupt government officials (who suspected me of collaborating in the recent escape of aforementioned convicts). I was in a constant state of fear.

Yes, I realize it does sound a little bit silly. But it was not actually silly. Which you would understand, if you had been there.

I was wondering what might cause a dream like this, assuming it is not a message from God or something equally meaningful. Princess Zurg has been preoccupied with government oppression for at least a twelvemonth. I suppose that would account for me dreaming about an oppressive government (especially one that would take over my house and force our family of six to live in a garage, adequate as it was). And my husband and I did recently watch A Young Doctor’s Notebook on Netflix, which was much gorier than anything else I ever watch on television. (I couldn’t watch CSI because the one episode I saw kept doing close-ups of the victim’s vomit. I found that would not do. But Victim’s Vomit might make a good name for a death metal band. Not that I would listen to a band called that. I’m just putting it out there, in case there are any death metal bands looking for a new name. Use it with my blessing.) I watched those scenes with very squinty eyes, from behind my hands. So that might explain the uncharacteristic dream gore.

Where the prison thing came from, I’m not sure. I haven’t been threatened with prison in a rather long time.

Moving along, though–school is finally back in session. I still haven’t told you about my camping experience from last month. I doubt very much I will ever be in the mood to do so. Maybe I’ll just hit the main points:

* They make air mattresses better than they used to.

* Flushing toilets at the campsite really do make a positive difference.

* A ten-man tent can fit a family of six comfortably. (It isn’t quite as roomy as a dream garage over a dream prison, but then, it doesn’t have the convicted felons either.)

* My husband made gourmet camp food. We ate better while camping than we usually eat at home.

* We camped at two different places. The first place was remote and quiet. It occurred to me, that first night, when I had to leave the tent to go to the bathroom (because ever since the birth of my fourth child, I have to get up at least twice during the night to go to the bathroom), that I should probably be afraid of killers possibly lurking in the woods, but I did not suspect there were any killers in this particular place. And if there were, maybe they would hit the RVs first. I don’t know why, but I think that’s what I would do, if I were a killer.

* The second place was very close to the highway. You could hear the trucks going by all night. Trucks going by on the highway at 55 mph are not quiet. Also, we were no longer camping with nice old people and their grandkids and their RVs but with younger and inconsiderate people who liked to play their obnoxious music well into the night and not retire until maybe 2 a.m. It occurs to me, in retrospect, that I was probably in much more danger of killers at this campsite, and yet I was not afraid of killers here either. Probably because I was too busy thinking about how I might become a killer if those horrible people next to us did not shut up or at least turn off their radio. But I did not become a killer, nor, obviously, was I killed.

* I got sunburned on my knees, but only on my knees. It’s a long story involving oversights in sunblock application. But I lied just now. I did not get sunburned only on my knees. I couldn’t find my hat before we left, so I also got sunburned on my scalp. Never again will I think to myself, “Maybe I should take a hat. Except I can’t find my hat. Maybe I don’t really need to take a hat.” Ladies who are slowly but surely going bald will always need a hat. Which reminds me, I should be looking into Lady Rogaine or something.

* I did not hate camping this year.

* I don’t need to go camping again next year.

That’s all I can remember, frankly. There was more, but who cares? I mean, if I don’t, why should you?