Over the years, I’ve had many weird dreams. Some super silly that caused me to wake up laughing out loud, while others were quite disturbing, leaving me on edge with great angst. I’ve had to treat myself for night terrors so gruesome that they had me afraid to sleep. I remained awake night after night to avoid the horror that just may play out in my head. My dreams, while they vary from one night to another, are always in color, always vivid, and are usually remembered. Like movies they play in my head as I recall them. I even sometimes have reruns.
A couple of weeks ago, I had yet another strange dream. I was in Safeway, in the frozen section, buying Morning Star and Gardein products. A young sista came over and we started chatting about vegetarian meals. As we were talking, the store began to grow dark. Proceeding to the checkout, she had invited me to some event that was happening. Despite thinking, “I need to get going. Gotta get back home to the hubby and kiddos”, my second thought was “I could use some me time, sounds pretty cool, I’ll go for a bit.” As we exited the store through the sliding doors, the store itself and everything/one in it vanished. Once we were through the doors, we were inside what appeared to be a small dimly lit room, covered in all types of prints, exotic fabrics, smelling of the frankincense and myrrh incense you find at the beauty supply store. In the middle of the room, was a large circular cushion covered in mandala print with sparkly vibrant colors. We lounged on it, chatting about nothing in particular when she offered me a puff of something she was smoking. The weird looking joint that burned purple on the end had the most sweet herbal smelling smoke. Against my better judgement, I thought what the hell and went for it. I immediately felt high, literally. Not just high like buzzed, but high, as in elevated…aware. I realized there was a large screen with a movie playing but also someone else had been in the room with us. It was a caramel colored sista with a short honey blonde fro. I could see/hear them talking to each other….seemingly about me….seemingly up to no good….but as I considered that realization, everything began to fade and I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was lying comfortably on the cushion still, and alone. I got up and stepped outside of this room, realizing it was a tent, kinda like a single-roomed yurt. This tent was among many others and down a hill, there were fields of produce, orchards, and animals off to the far right side. I immediately noticed the scuppernongs hanging from vines, so ripe they were heavy and drooping. The young lady whom I’d followed there had been sitting just outside the door and informed that this land belonged to a black woman for many years. She was the first to own a scuppernong orchard. “In fact,” she said, “that’s her over there.” She pointed and I saw an old woman, sitting with an unfinished knitted blanket across her lap. She was very old, dark pecan brown, with dark eyes, dark hair pulled back in a bun covered by a worn straw hat. I walked over and began talking her head off like a fan girl, telling her how beautiful her land was, how I’d always dreamed of having orchards of my own, and how I used to pick scuppernongs with my mother and grandmother every year, right after school had started. She replied, “I know, she told me.” I was confused. “Who told you?”
“Your grandmother,” she nodded in front of her. There, sitting the whole time, had been my grandmother, also with an unfinished knitted blanket across her lap. I was happy and surprised to see her. She smiled but didn’t speak to me. She knew me, recognized me, and was seemingly even happy to see me, but she didn’t talk. Before I could become concerned and the thought “what’s wrong with her?” even popped into my head, the old woman said, “she’s fine. We’ve been sitting here talking. Go on and look around. I think it’s bout time for them to be putting the animals up for the evening.” Somehow, I knew her. In that instant, I realized she was some part of me, an ancestor, family. And I knew her. She knew me. And my grandmother. I pecked my grandmother on the cheek and walked towards the grape orchards. The smell was so intense, I could taste them in the air. I picked a few and ate them as I toured the apple and peach orchards which were both much smaller than the grape one. I heard my husband’s voice call my name, then my children. I turned and they were coming down the hill in my direction. We went to the animals, where indeed, the field hands were lovingly handling them. To my surprise, there was a huge pen with guinea pigs. My husband suggested that we ask to take a couple of them home. I quickly reminded him that we already had two at home, and a hamster, enough rodents. We started heading back up the hill when I remembered I’d left my belongings in the tent/yurt thing. I told him I’d catch up and went to get my stuff. As I bent down to pick up my purse, I saw my back reflecting in the mirror. It was covered in some sort of strange picture of a female that looked to be demonic towering over a smaller more human looking female amid a chaotic scene. The she-demon reminded me of the female titan from attack on titan except she was black and bald. Her body was feminine, but had no skin. She looked more like a page from my anatomy book, covering the muscular system. Even her breasts were muscle. Her hands here raised in attack with her claws sharp and pointy, hovering. How did that get there? I tried rubbing it off, thinking it was paint, or marker. It didn’t budge nor even smear. It was like an actual two year old tattoo! I started freaking out when I noticed an old woman in the corner. She was sepia skinned and appeared to be Native American with long salt and pepper hair, pulled back into a single braid. She told me that Safeway sista had put that there and she wasn’t supposed to have done that. After looking at my back she shook her head. “I’ll do it,” she said. Another similar looking woman appeared, slightly shorter and just as old as the first. She had a mortar and pestle cupped in one hand, and a bottle of some liquid in the other. They had me sit down on a stool and the first lady began speaking in another language while scribbling with the pestle on my back. It sounded like speaking in tongues, but much calmer, and more control, repetitive and with purpose. The other lady was sprinkling the liquid onto my back with her fingers and humming along. She took a dry cloth and wiped. The tattoo began wiping away, almost like it was chalk. That’s how easy it came off. She continued whispering her tongues until it was completely gone. Then she said, “she wasn’t supposed to do that. It’s gone now.” She handed her cleaning materials to the other woman and stood up tall, looked right into my eyes through the mirror, and said, “wake up.” And I did.
I looked around and I was back in my bed, at home. My husband was standing there, confusion and concern etched on his face. He told me he was about to call an ambulance because he thought something was wrong. He wasn’t sure if I was having a seizure, had blacked out from a migraine, or had a stroke. When I later told him about the dream, he said it seemed as though I’d left and went somewhere else. He and the girls called my name and I looked at him but it was as if I were looking right through him. He left me alone, trying get stuff together since we were leaving for vacation that morning, but when he checked on me, I was still “asleep” but my eyes were fluttering, rolling. Creepy, right?!
Guess what else….so my grandmother, who’s had multiple hallucinations, keeps talking about people from the past (as in dead), who’s been diagnosed with dementia is the one who was chatting with the orchard owner ancestor lady, sitting there not knitting blankets that were different, but both had blue and green in them, and were unfinished. Well they appeared to be finished, up to the strings that both women had on their needles. As if they were completing the blankets, only they weren’t. I thought deep about this detail and came up with nothing. After our vacation, we stopped by my other grandmother’s house on the way back home. She gave me two quarts for my father and a gallon sized bag of….scuppernongs. Now my pregnant azz has been craving them since. The more I thought about who Safeway sista and her friend could have been, I realized, they both resembled me. Different hair, different clothes, but both looked enough like me to be related. Odd right???? Where’s a dream interpreter???