Have you ever had one of those dreams where you are familiar with the surroundings but everybody in the dream looks unfamiliar? For instance, I recently had one where I was in church here in Rockaway at a Mass, but as I looked around I realized that I did not know anyone. The faces looked slightly familiar but not enough to actually realize whom anyone was. Psychologists would probably have a field day with me!
I remember older Italians telling me stories in Brooklyn that they believed those dream sequences had something to do with the “dead.” Spooky stuff, and very superstitious, but in my dreams the people weren’t dead, I just had no idea who they were, or why I was a stranger in my own church.
This was not one of those dreams where you can’t seem to run away because your legs won’t move. I have had those dreams. The mermaid usually has to stop me from thrashing about with a midnight slap to the head. And then there are those dreams where something really bad is going to happen and I am a witness to it but I can’t seem to scream out to warn anyone. Those dreams usually have me attempting to scream in my sleep, which comes out as a series of weird grunts. These dreams are accompanied by an even bigger slap to the head by the “flippered one.”
Many years ago when the kids were young I took them to Mass on a Sunday night. It was late summer, that time when the Mass schedule changes from 7 pm back to 6 pm. When that would happen, the church would accommodate the Polish speaking community with a Mass in Polish. When the congregation marched down the aisle with the red and white flag with the eagle on it, I knew then before a word was spoken that the schedule had changed and I missed it. But I decided to be quiet and to see if the kids noticed. About half way through, after speaking Polish for the opening prayers and the Gospel, one of the youngins’ looked up and finally said, “Hey what are they saying”?!
I always wondered whether this was one of those dream sequences for the kids. We were in a familiar place, however everyone in the church was unfamiliar, and it was in a different language! But rather than thrash about, or attempt to scream out, they just looked up about half way through and said “what gives?” I guess that probably explains the difference between baby boomers and millennials. And why I am the one in need of psychiatric help!
At least I have outgrown the dreams about vampires. As a kid my mom and uncle would always take me to see the famous Hammer vampire films with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. I loved them but it caused me to sleep with a silver cross by my bed, just in case. At least in those dreams I recognized whom I was with: vampires!
So if you see me walking around Rockaway attempting to run or scream but unable to do so, just slap me in the head; but under no circumstances attempt to bite me in the neck, I will sprinkle you with Holy Water!