Dreaming On Winter

Hello Up There

I wake in the bottom of an abyss, filtered blue light licking at the edges of the ice cliffs above.

I wake in the bottom of an abyss, filtered blue light licking at the edges of the ice cliffs above. I never want to get up. Winter sucks. I knew it going in. I feel the earth give way beneath me and I sink a little lower.

In my last dream, I was driving on a highway with two passengers who felt like family. We had to get out of the city—Denver, I think it was—but we were escaping from bad people and had not been able to plan our route.

“I think 6th Avenue will take us north and out,” I said. Flanked by purposeful drivers in fast cars, we scanned the signs for the words, “Ft. Collins,” or “Wyoming.” I wanted to slow down but that was impossible.

The dream before that had me telling a kindly, older gentleman how I’d just returned from Europe after giving away my baby. “My second giveaway baby,” I told him, reaching for his white, wrinkled hand, my eyes pleading for a kind word. Joni Mitchell’s song rang in my head, “Everything comes and goes,” and I began to cry.

In a third dream, a crazed mental patient crawled into my bed and threatened to kill me. I easily disabled him, frail as he was. Then I went searching for a nurse or an orderly to take him into custody. I found them celebrating the holidays and had difficulty getting their attention. “Look,” I said, “This guy has already killed several people!”


Bad people, lost highways, abandoned children, and demented patients. I’m surprised I didn’t wake with blood pouring from my nose. But that will happen a little deeper into the cold season, after a couple more months of forced-air heat.

I get up, pee, weigh myself, and slink back into bed. Three pounds over. I am a fat, winter refugee, lost and fleeing. No surprises here. Typical, sucky, winter morning. I reach for Bob and he reaches back. Thank god for Bob.

I get up and begin padding my day with purpose. I start a load of laundry, make a pot of coffee. I’ll have to do yoga and run errands. I could clean the bathrooms, get out the Windex and wash the mirrors. I drag my notebook to the fat, plaid chair between our bedroom windows to write.

Would I even get up if it weren’t for Bob? Can I give my life purpose if he dies? I feel a twinge of pain in my neck. The washer grinds away. I’m stuck in the corner chair.

Get up. Keep moving. If you stop, you’ll freeze to death. Find your way out.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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