The Tattooed Woman Dream

Short and sharp, it struck like strobe flashes.

I’m somewhere, with others, not sure of that setting. Darkness falls like the lights were turned off.

I’d been laughing. A friend had been right beside me. Befuddled by the sudden disappearance of the light, I turned to the friend, asking, “What happened?”

But he wasn’t there. While mulling this, across the way, on the edge of gloomy woods, I see a woman. I almost think I know her but deciding that I don’t, I turn to look for everyone else.

I don’t know where I’m at. It’s so dark, seeing is difficult. I was outside. Now…am I inside? I’m not sure.

I think I’m in a bar. Seems like it, maybe from outlines made out from a dim, flickering light. At first, I think it’s lightning, but then realize it’s a flickering neon light. Blue, I try to make out what it says.

The woman is beside me, surprising me. She’s smiling. I think, she has nice skin, it’s an interesting dusky color in this light.

Her skin is changing colors. I realize that her skin is dark with tattoos but the tattoos are moving. Afraid that her tattoos are going to grab me, simultaneously curious about what they are, and yet, dismissive that tattoos can ‘get’ me, I freeze with indecisiveness, wanting to run, wanting to turn away, yet wanting to keep looking and to stay there.

I try to make light of the situation and mumble a lame remark at her. She has a full head of dark, reddish hair. She hasn’t said a word. In a way, in this light, she looks like she’s dead, her skin growing paler as the tattoos leave her body.

I think, her tattoos can’t get me, but also think, where are her tattoos going? I think, they must be going to the floor.

I look down to see them. It’s too dark to see the floor. My feet are cold, then I realize, my feet are wet. Dark waters are rising.

I want to get out of the water. I try moving, changing directions. The woman isn’t there. I don’t understand where she went. The blue neon light flashes. I see a door. If I can get there, I can escape.

The water is rising with a gargling sound, a sound that makes me think of a mouth opening wide. The need to rush overtakes me. I struggle toward the door. Tables and chairs block my way. The water feels thick around my legs, more like it’s heavy mud, sucking me in. The water is rising and is climbing my thighs.

My left palm is itchy. Going to scratch it, I discover a small red snake is slithering across my palm. As horror strikes me, I realize that it’s a tattoo.

The floor shifts. The room tilts. The water and furniture are spilled toward the door. Bracing myself, looking for something to grab, I wait to fall out. Outside the door, it’s silvery white. I realize that light is the water. It’s falling down, like a waterfall. I try to see how far down it goes and spy a splashing pool, far, far away.

All the water around me that remains has turned silver and flows like mercury. It’s above my waist. As I look down into the water, I realize that although it’s silver, it doesn’t reflect anything, and then the water clears. Sunlight bursts up through it.

The dream ends.

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