I’m trying to get back into Grey’s Anatomy. I loved the first season. Got bored and stopped watching the second season. My daughter wants me to watch the third season with her, so I’m trying. I don’t think it will last. It is hard for me to believe that a large group of supposedly intelligent people who just went through eight years of school and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition would risk it all by performing surgery on each other. My suspension of disbelief does not extend to this scenario.
But I digress. The guy with the night terrors last week. That’s what I meant to use as my jumping board.
The night terrors reminded me of growing up with my younger sister. She had them and we shared a room together all the way until my older sister left home at seventeen. So I was thirteen and my younger sister was eleven when we first got our own rooms. Up until then, I was subjected to my sister’s weird, vivid, surreal, and sometimes terrifying dream landscape.
When we lived in the Valley, she used to wake up EVERY SINGLE MORNING at 6:30 AM screaming bloody murder. And even though it happened every day, my poor mom would come rushing into the room in a panic attack, just in case some serial killer had actually broken into our house and was butchering her girls. Back then my sister’s dream was that it was raining blood. For a few minutes after my mom came in the room and tried to hush her and console her, my sister would scream about the blood and how it covered everything in the room. The fact that I eventually got used to this shows how resilient kids can be.
Her next frequent flyer was trolls. Gnomes. Little people. Our twin beds were lined up parallel, with just a couple feet between us. She’d wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me to make the little trolls down by her feet go away. That they were keeping her awake with their talking. This dream kind of freaked me out, because my sister was and always has been someone with a strong sixth sense. I wasn’t sure if it WAS just a dream, or she saw something I didn’t. But, according to her, they took off when I scolded them to, so I took this as a sign that if they were real they were more scared of me than I was of them.
As we got older, her nightmares turned from fear based to anger and frustration.
So one day in the middle of summer while we were visiting our grandmother, Little Sis falls into a nap on the couch. Now, I was all about visits to Granny’s house. We had been going there for whole weeks during the summer and weekends during the school year our whole life. Granny lived with our uncle, my dad’s older brother, and I loved visiting. They would put a card table up in the living room and we would play card games and board games for hours. I loved that stuff. I loved the safety of their love and the emotional safety in their home. I loved when my granny taught me to knit and crochet and when my uncle taught me how to use C-clamps, saws, hammers, and drills in his workshop. I loved the regularity of their days and their meals and their rituals. It did not change as I became a teenager; I still loved hanging out with my grandma and my uncle.
It was the early 1970 or '71 and when we were not at Granny and uncles, well, we were living quite different lives with our parents and with our friends. But no matter how much shit we were giving our parents, we were always our best selves at granny’s.
So, I’m sitting at the card table in the late afternoon playing canasta with my grandma and my sister is asleep on the couch. About four feet away from us. I think she was about 12 or 13 and I was about 14 or 15. All of a sudden she starts groaning and thrashing slightly. I knew not to trust what might come next. But instead of getting up, walking over, and waking her, I froze. I was the proverbial deer in the headlights. I looked down at my hand of cards and tried to concentrate on my next move. I held my breath and prayed my sis would settle back down to sleep.
As she half rose up, like a vampire-like a half dead corpse, she screamed at the top of her lungs,
Fuck you! You god damned prick asshole son of a bitch! FUCK YOU. Fuck you. Fuuuuuuck. fuck you.............................fuck.
She snored, sighed, and turned over. She fell back asleep.
My granny, she never looked up from her hand of cards. As she played her next card, she casually said, I had no idea Little Sis had started to use language like that. Then she told me not to say anything or tease my sister after she woke up because Granny didn’t want Little Sis to be embarrassed.
I miss my granny still.