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I had a troubling dream last night. In the dream, I was dating Larry Hagman—not the young Larry Hagman from I Dream of Jeannie or Dallas, but the old Larry Hagman from today, with wild white eyebrows that rival Andy Rooney’s and the oily smile of a lecherous man.
For some reason I was living with Larry Hagman. He was supporting me, and we all know what that means: I had to sleep with Larry Hagman. Luckily my dream-director only had Larry chasing me around the house, ordering me to “get ready”, and waiting to pounce on me from around every corner instead of making me actually share a bed with him. That was the saving grace part of the dream, but still, the icky threat of sex with old Larry Hagman pervaded my dream and made it very scary. I would peek out the windows of our ranch house and there he would be, dressed up like a cowboy, doing isometric exercises against the barn. If he caught my eye, he would smile his big cheesy smile—his dentures glinting in the sun—and I would run and hide again.
In addition to having to fend off Larry, I had to put up with his ten-year-old grandson, who also lived with us and resented my presence. He stole my Centipede and Donkey Kong game DVD’s and smashed them with an axe after we told him that DVD’s were indestructible. He would take long hot showers, then write things in the mirror mist for me to discover during my own shower times: Watch out. Gonna get ya. I hate you. The boy always carried a fluffy white kitten around with him, that is until he killed it.
Larry saw no problem with any of this. He just wanted me to sleep with him.
I finally broke free of the oppression, rising slowly out of the coffin of this dream. I lay there with gloom in my heart, gazing around my own bedroom. There were the pressed flowers in frames, the antique mirror I just bought hanging in its new spot. There was the sock monkey my niece made for me in sewing class. Here was my real world.
But the Larry Hagman dream was obviously the result of pressure and stress, even though in my real life there are no icky old men trying to get me in bed, and no Damien children leaving hostile notes around my home. Where was the pressure coming from?
Could it be that magazine editor who was super-nice when she wanted my writing for free, but Bitch With Claws when I had a simple question, which made me grow horns and bite back for the first time in my life? Could it be the couple of men I date who want to be more than “just friends”, but I’m too busy chasing after myself? Could it be that my elderly parents are sending out distress signals from two thousand miles away, and I continue to sit here, letting my siblings take care of everything.
Do I get an F for “all of the above”? Maybe I need to play with my cats more and go volunteer down at the nursing home. Maybe I deserve Larry Hagman.