There are some folks out there who are regularly plagued with nightmares. I’m not one of them. I could probably recount to you in space of a normal blog posting the entire list of all the nightmares I’ve experienced. I guess you could say that I’m fairly lucky to be a regular (as in, nightly) dreamer but to be only occasionally bothered by nightmares.

Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep (rest assured, I’ve already started what promises to be a fascinating post on this subject) and I have to take a little melatonin to add to my natural levels that just aren’t enough to put me out at night. Last night was one of those nights.

Now, for those of you who’ve never had to take melatonin to get a little sleep, I’ll tell you it does some wonky things with one’s dreams. Not necessarily bad things, but definitely intensifies normal dreaming in vividness and clarity.

Last night just happened to be a particularly bad night to take dream-enhancing hormones as things started off badly. There was a massive spider on the floor in my very first dream of the evening. Not massive like tarantula massive, but black, poisonous looking, with hella-long legs. I don’t remember where I was or who I was with, but I remember that spider. And that spider decided it would be awesome to dance on my toes.

In the land of the wide awake and non-dreaming, my toes were twitching. I’ve never experienced twitching toes while awake, but the moment my eyes popped open and my feet started moving to kick away that spider, I knew something was different. My toes were moving without my specific permission. And they wouldn’t stop, so of course for at least three seconds, I believed there really was a large, poisonous spider dancing on the toes of my right foot. The panic that ensued kept me fully wide awake for a good long while, thus defeating the purpose of the melatonin altogether. Blurgh.

This is a running theme in the nightmares I’ve had in my lifetime – scary scary things doing fairly amusing activities  leaving me completely freaked out.

When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare that I was sitting in my dad’s lap. That wasn’t the nightmarish part, of course, it got that way later. All of a sudden I’d look up at Dad and instead of him, I’d find a skeleton in his place. And the skeleton would start to tickle me. Can you imagine how frightening this was for a five year old? Trust me, it was quite upsetting indeed. And it wasn’t one of those one time nightmares – it happened a few times at least, and the images are permanently ingrained into my brain. Very upsetting.

Now, my second nightmare of last night was also a little absurd, because it involved me being chased around a hospital by an elderly, demented man toting his own IV stand. This man couldn’t even run, much less hobble after me, but somehow he caught up. He almost fell over when I shoved his doughy chest, but he still seemed super menacing. My fear actually woke me up.

Maybe the reason why I don’t often haven nightmares is that I find truly ridiculous things to be frightening… I mean who is really scared of dancing spiders (except maybe Ron Weasley)? Or a skeleton who’s only threatening vice is to tickle me? And seriously, an old man with a moving speed similar to a snail’s should not be the most intimidating thing my subconscious mind can come up with. Surely.