For the last several nights, I've been having horror-show-proportion dreams.
Last night, I dreamed that I was with a friend and her mom wedding dress shopping. With us was a toddler who could barely walk, but we had no stroller or other type of carrier. The child kept falling into potholes, or entangling himself, or being dragged off by strangers. His mother would just leave him alone in whatever quandary he was in, until he figured out how to help himself. Out of desperation I would step in and rescue the child, usually waiting till the last possible moment, thinking surely the child's mother would do something. The grandmother was clueless, floating along in a sea of oblivion, wondering aloud if the sleeves on that one mother's-gown were too puffy, or too lacy. I felt so bad for the child, yet so impotent to help him. At one point, we were all standing around the parking lot of a dreary strip mall, when I heard crying, and looked up to see the mother walking away saying, "You didn't give me your arm. I told you to give me your arm." I couldn't see any sign of the child, so I kneeled down and started stroking a wet, oily patch of pavement, saying "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. When she walks away, I'll help. But where are you?" I turned to see a pothole that had formed around a manhole cover. I peeked in, and sure enough, the baby was lying in the hole with one ear and the side of his head exposed. He was face down in thick mud. I reached for his arm, but he jerked it away from me. I let him drown.
Listening to Leonard Cohen, "Suzanne"