No! Nooooo! Noooo!

In the night, I woke from a dead sleep, and found it impossible to sleep again.

Why?

I had a dream. It wasn’t necessarily a nightmare – but I was afraid to go back to sleep, for fear that I might fall back into that same dark┬áplace.

In my dream, I’d been caring for two chinchillas. Chinchillas are exotic pets and, at one point, Dylan wanted one more than anything in the world. In real life, we would never get a chinchilla.

But in the dream, I’d been responsible for these chinchillas for awhile. I was just wandering around one day, when I suddenly remembered that I’d left the chinchillas in a closet for weeks.

I’d given them no food, and no water. I’d completely forgotten them.

So I ran for that closet, suddenly remembering my obligations. I wailed, “No! Nooooo! Noooo! Oh my God, no!” My dream-sobs were so deep and painful, I can hardly believe I didn’t wake myself up.

But I had to know what happened to the chinchillas.

It was dark as I opened the closet door, and the sudden light made the animals blink – but only slightly. They were barely breathing, and didn’t move a muscle. Looking like kittens left outside during a flash flood, I could sense their excruciating pain – and I knew that I was the one who caused it.

I looked wildly around for water, still crying, “No! No!” I started dialing 9-1-1 on my cell phone.

And then I woke up.

In a way, I wanted to go back to the dream, and nurse the chinchillas back to health.

But my stronger sense was that those chinchillas were beyond saving. And while it was my fault, I didn’t want to remember what I had done.

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