I have to keep this brief tonight. I’ll hope to post photos and more detailed news of my Alabama trip tomorrow. Tonight I need to go to bed as early as possible because at dinner tonight my friend and colleague Dave McEntire started talking about sharks and shark attacks (which are unpleasant, but tolerable as I have known to stay out of the water since I saw Jaws in the 70s – so my risk there is managed) and after sharks were played out Dave worked his way around to alligator attacks. UGGH. I hate alligators! They are one of the creepiest creatures on the planet in my estimation…right up there with crocodiles.
Dave was telling story after story about how alligators attack humans and eat them – yuck! He explained to me how quickly they can dart out of the water, drag you back under water and do the “death roll” (wherein they roll underwater with you until you drown – then they eat you – isn’t that lovely?). I outwardly expressed my disdain and my close to phobic fear of the creatures after Dave’s first alligator story, but he marched on with other stories and alligator factoids. By dinner’s end I knew I would be having nightmares tonight inhabited by alligators.
So I need to go to bed early so I can allow myself additional sleep time because I know I will wake up in the middle of the night repeatedly in a cold sweat from alligator dreams. Dave managed to trigger every alligator fear I had – indeed, he created a couple of new ones. That kind of stuff never fails to wiggle its way into my dreams – so I am planning ahead by going to bed early. I may dream about the death roll, but I won’t look like death warmed over in the morning with a little pre-planning.
Of course, when I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat after having been attacked by an alligator in my dream I am going to call Dave on his cell phone and tell him all about it in extensive detail. After all, who better to share an intense alligator dream with than a connoisseur of alligator stories and factoids?
I am hoping that all my late night calls about alligator dreams will leave an imprint with Dave – an imprint that will cause him to think twice before telling alligator stories to someone who clearly is terribly frightened by them and who repeatedly expressed that she would surely have nightmares having heard all the stories. I told him I would call after each and every bad dream – I think he thought I was joking. I wasn’t. I’ll bet by the time morning rolls around (and a half-dozen late night calls later) he’ll never say alligator to me again.
There is a new alligator factoid in this experience for Dave – the propensity of one’s fear for alligators coupled with one’s ability to have powerful, realistic dreams magnifies the impact of a series of frightening alligator stories. There is likewise a new person factoid in this experience for Dave – the impact on the frightened plus the commitment of the frightened to share it with the party who caused the fear (in all hours of the night) equals bags under the fear incitor’s eyes.
Good night all. Dave – we’ll chat soon.
Day eight hundred and thirteen of the new forty – obla di obla da