Bad Dream

This is something I wrote as part of a larger project involving Freudian dream analysis for one of my classes.  Normally I’d just make something up, but I actually had this dream four years ago and it’s been in my head ever since.  So I used it.  I got an A.

My dream was more realistic and believable than I’m comfortable with:  I had no idea I was dreaming.  My wife and I have been married for three and a half years but the events in the dream take place four months prior to the wedding, just after my 35th birthday.

My wife – we’re in the dream now – threw a huge party for my 35th birthday.  There were way too many people crowded into our tiny apartment and the sound of conversation was the only thing you could hear, drowning out even the sound of the music coming from the satellite radio.  My wife had literally invited all of our friends and about half of our family.  That would be the half that aren’t alcoholics, or are otherwise opposed to drinking, because alcohol seems to be the central theme to most of our parties, acting as the one constant around which everything else must be planned and coordinated.  Drinking and talking, drinking and talking.  And as more alcohol is consumed, the volume of the conversation steadily rises.  One of the dynamics of our parties (that we’re particularly proud of) is that the crowd always manages to hover right on the line between laughing way too hard at something that isn’t as funny as we all think it is, and the annoying redneck rebel yells that you hear at the local bars every five minutes between 8pm and Midnight on the weekends.  We never cross that line.

On the night of the party, however, I managed to cross a line that didn’t need crossing.  I don’t remember exactly what I said – I was way past the point of remembering anything by then.  Did I insult her religion maybe?  Did I insult her family?  I have no idea.  But I do remember the moment that I said it.  As I said it, I looked up at my wife and I saw the smile fall from her face, the brightness fade from her eyes, and I remember thinking that the expression on her face looked as though everything that made her happy had been destroyed.  And at that split second, two things happened simultaneously:  My heart broke, knowing that I’d just verbally shit on the best thing that ever happened to me…and everyone around us began to laugh at what I’d said.  Because, cruel or not, what I’d said was funny.

And now, several weeks later, she still hasn’t spoken to me.  Worse, she hasn’t even acknowledged my presence.  I cry, I plead, I beg for her forgiveness, but I may as well be a ghost.  The only noise I hear her make is the sound of her fingers typing on the keyboard as she surfs the internet looking for a new place to live.  This is the only sound I’ve heard her make since the night of the party.  And the sound is killing me.

And then I woke up.


Tim Hatch lives in a secret volcano headquarters somewhere in the South Pacific, where he controls the world economy and writes confessional poetry about his disappointing childhood.

His poetry has been published in MungBeing, East Jasmine Review, The Pacific Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal Of Healing, Apeiron Review, and he is the recipient of the 2014 Felix Valdez Award.

He finds writing about himself in the third person to be an overtly seductive invitation to tell lies.

He once captured a French Eagle at Talavera.

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