Fallout In Vietnam

Note: The date given for this dream is approximate.

Whoo, last night was one of those nights, where you have a slew of weird dreams that you can remember in detail the next day. They seem to come in little bursts. You go for a while with just "regular," soon-to-be-forgotten dreams, and then you get this night where it's like they hit you all at once.

They fade already, but some parts I remember clearly...

In one part I can't tell if I was in a war movie or an actual war. Or both. But some kind of nuclear devastation had just occurred. The thing was, I have the feeling it was Vietnam. ? They didn't use nuclear weapons in Vietnam...but dreams never have to make any sense anyway...

I was walking around in a destroyed village and some kids--at least two of them, a boy and a girl, the boy older--came up to me and started jabbering in Vietnamese. It was obvious they were upset. The blast had affected them somehow. They were crying and babbling and I couldn't understand a word they said--all I could seem to get was that they wanted my help in some way. But how could I help? I didn't understand, I wasn't certain what had happened, and I didn't even want to be near them. As awful as that is...I just wanted them to get away from me. Because they were SICK.

This thick, viscous white fluid oozed from their noses and eyes. At first I thought they were only crying but the radiation had gotten to them. I didn't know WHAT that was that was oozing out of them, but it disgusted me so badly that I would rather have left them there than offered to help, even if I could. Of course I felt ashamed. They were just kids, they couldn't help that they were sick, they didn't even know what was going on. But when one of them reached out to me in supplication I shrank away. I didn't want them near me. I didn't want that ooze getting on me, lest whatever it was was contagious, and I didn't want to catch the radiation poisoning from them. I had escaped, luckily, so far...I felt all it would take was one touch from them to break that luck, and I didn't want to take the chance. Screw them. If they couldn't help themselves, I wasn't going to either.

Such a horrid way to think. I've always reached out and wanted help from others, and have always been upset when it was refused, or when others have given up on me too soon. As has happened recently. And now when I'm put in the opposite position, what do I do but withhold my assistance and give up? Just to save my own skin? I didn't like that at all.

But one of the kids had touched me. The boy, I think it was, as he was the more assertive one. I pushed him away and shook my head, insisting I didn't know what I could do to help, and backed away from them. He must have been around fourteen or fifteen, I think, perhaps a bit younger; the girl was younger than he was, but I never looked at her directly. The boy...his face was desperate, terrified. And I refused to help. I even got ANGRY with them for bothering me!

I somehow got away from them and back in touch with an American, perhaps a family member. By now I was a nervous wreck. The run-in with the kids had rattled me. I described the white fluid that had been streaming down their faces and how afraid I was of catching whatever they had. I remember touching my hands to my own eyes as I described this horrid scene.

That was when I began to realize that the white fluid was already starting to stream from my own eyes and nose. I began to panic. I had stayed near the kids too long, or else I'd caught some of the radiation from the blast. It wasn't as bad as the case they had, but it was just beginning, it could get worse, and the final thing was that I HAD IT. I broke down and started sobbing. After how careful I'd been, I'd caught the same thing? How unfair was that? I'd been so careful to keep away from those kids, and yet I still caught it.

I don't know if I was more upset because I'd caught it or because I probably deserved to catch it.

The Monstrous Pet

Note: The date given for this dream is approximate.

In another dream I remember from last night...I suddenly realized I had a new hamster that I never knew I'd had before.

I've had a dream like this before and it upset me the first time, too. In real life I just recently lost my pet hamster; he died in late February. An adorable little dwarf. So far, I've had no luck in finding a replacement; the pet stores in my area have all gone out of business, and the nearest ones (an hour's drive away) don't have baby dwarfs yet. So I'm still looking. And even a couple of weeks later whenever I walk past his empty cage I look down, still thinking I can see his little shadow running around.

In one of my older dreams, I had my hamster, and then I realized I already had a hamster before him, a hamster I had somehow forgotten about completely when buying my new one. My old hamster was still alive, but running around the house unattended, uncared for. I was so ashamed that I could have done such a thing--simply REPLACE that which was dear to me before it was even gone, and then forget that it ever existed! The feeling was such that it hurt me even on waking up that I could do such a thing.

In that dream, I caught the older hamster and sought out a home for it. Hamsters don't get along well together so I can't remember if I put it in the same cage with my new hamster, or found it another cage. I was going to keep BOTH of them and care for them both equally. The thing was...to me, the damage had been done. Perhaps the hamster would live and thrive, but the fact that I'd forgotten about it and replaced it prematurely was unforgivable. I'd live with that guilt forever.

Well, something similar happened in last night's dream.

In my dream, my hamster had recently died, like in real life, I believe. I was sad and still looking for a replacement hamster. That was when I discovered a hamster already living in my house. It wasn't a dwarf, but I think it was a teddybear hamster...its fur wasn't quite so long as that, but it was longer and softer, and it was a beautiful cream color with dark eyes. I was quite surprised to find it. I hadn't even known I'd had a longhaired hamster! (I've always bought goldens and dwarfs in real life.) Still...it was a healthy, albeit adult, hamster, and it was in my house...I guessed it had to be mine for the keeping. It must have been my pet before I had the hamster which died, and once again, I'd forgotten about it. The thing is, in my OTHER hamster dream, once I discovered the older hamster, I remembered having had it before I replaced it. THIS hamster I couldn't remember at ALL! Was my mind really getting so bad that I couldn't even remember my own pets?

I was a bit leery of catching the hamster, as it had been loose a while, I could never remember interacting with it, so I had no way of knowing if it was tame or mean. So I proceeded carefully. And...it was quite easy to catch. In fact, it was the tamest, gentlest hamster I'd ever handled. It stood still (unlike dwarfs), it only sat and looked around when I held it, and it didn't bite or squirm. It had such a placid little face, such beautiful little eyes and beautiful creamy fur. I found myself falling in love with the little thing instantly.

How could I have ever forgotten such a wonderful pet? How negligent was I?

I promptly set up the cage for the "new" hamster, but felt guilty doing so because I didn't do a very good job of it. The cage hadn't been cleaned (with soap and water) from the previous hamster's residence, and I still had to dump out the old shavings. I put the new hamster in the cage and then remembered I had to give him shavings and bedding of his own--no way he was going to sleep on bare wire! I got the shavings and started tossing in handfuls, and some of it landed on his head; I felt guilty again. Why couldn't I do this right! He sat still and endured it as I poured shavings in around him, packing them down with my hand. Such a good little hamster, for how poorly I'd treated him so far. I hoped he could forgive me in his little hamster way.

The dream proceeded much in this manner, with me getting to know the hamster better, even though I should have known him already. It got to the point where I was telling others just how wonderful and lovely a pet he was--so gentle! so well behaved!--I'd never owned a hamster that was such a decent pet as this one! To illustrate this, I pointed a visitor out to his cage, waving my hand in the direction of my wonderful little hamster. I wanted everybody else to see just how adorable he was.

We all looked toward the cage and indeed we saw him bumbling around as hamsters do. He came near the side of the cage, where we could clearly see him, and then he opened his mouth and showed his teeth--and it looked as if he were SNARLING. His mouth opened so wide, and his teeth showed so horrible and sharp--his lips curled back and though he made no sound, he looked ready to bite someone's finger off should they get too close. He did this twice as if in warning, though he couldn't see us, then bumbled off to the other side of the cage again, back to "normal."

I couldn't believe what I'd just seen. For a few brief seconds my perfect pet had appeared to turn into some kind of monster. Even I was afraid of touching him now. What could have caused something seemingly so gentle and beautiful to become so ugly and dangerous? Was I somehow responsible? Was it only a matter of time before I found out what kind of pet I really had?

Addendum to repost: Am I the only one who sees the resemblance between the hamster dream and the "The Mad Horse & The Bear" dream of the other night? Something that was so beautiful and treasured, turning into something ugly and dangerous?

Can't end this on an interesting introspective note, as I never intended to anyway...

2001 Dreams