The Snake

    A few nights ago, I dreamt there was a rattlesnake in my bedroom. The intense fear and loathing I felt actually woke me up. For a surreal minute, I actually envisioned the damn slithery thing under my bed, ready to strike. Sleep was elusive for the better part of an hour after my rude wake up call, so I stayed up trying to analyze the true meaning of my dream.

    In my second year of high school, I read a book by Jamaica Kincaid – “Annie John”, and in that dream, if I remember correctly, Annie dreamt of a black snake in a basket on her head. I made my literature teacher dance with joy when I guessed that it meant an upcoming betrayal, like a black premonition. I simply equated the snake to that of the one in the bible, and assumed (thankfully) correctly that it meant a betrayal such as that of the snake to Adam and Eve.

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    The things I think about at night!

    After a few more restless hours of sleep, I faced the day head-on, but curious about what my dream would represent. I looked for meaning everywhere, and bored everyone by asking what they thought. A favorite cab driver who believed in the meaning of dreams said that it meant sickness. My heart stopped as I can’t afford to get sick. That’s how we are – humans, Belizeans, we believe in the power and meaning of dreams. I hoped it really was betrayal, and not illness, and I hoped that power of the mind would overcome whatever supernatural and dark forces were at play.

    Back story: Dreams represent real life, and it’s symbols show what your mind is meant to pick up on. One can use dreams to either avoid disaster or prepare for life changing events. Dreaming of losing a tooth means death, a wedding means illness, a dream of death means new life (birth) and so on and so forth – if the dreamer can remember what happened during the night. Apparently dreaming of a snake was a new one for me…

    Well, within a couple of days I found out what it meant. Someone who had been pretending to be a friend showed her true colors. Finding out that she’d been saying nasty things behind my back was at first surprising. But then it was not. Maybe it was the dream that primed me for the truth, or maybe it was the fact that I had been expecting her to show herself for who she truly was, an immature and petty child. Either way, it was not totally unexpected. And it is brilliant to know where I stand, with her, and the circle of friends who surround like sycophants, believing they’re better than others. I also won’t lie that being called a “fat cow” wasn’t a stinger. But it did make me laugh to know the source, and to know that in some cases, the phrase “takes one to know one” really does hold true.

    What the situation mostly did for me was the instant gratification of the support system I had built up. Who knew I could find supporters in every corner?! People who’d heard about the comment, who knew about the issue, all of a sudden were being supportive. But more importantly, the real friends I’ve had the good fortune to make in my lifetime were there to at once plot her disfigurement, slow torture, beat down, until finally – the real emotion set it for me, and it was one of indifference. And I repeat the issue mostly to show how one dream can live on for more than a week, full of meaning, and involve so many people, especially when it does come true. I would not be surprised had that nightmare meant illness, the very same people who gave so much support to me would have rallied round as well.

    But now, I want to wake up with an itchy right hand – which of course will mean that I will be coming into money real soon. I’d even take a dream of a funeral – which would mean breaking out the dancing shoes to go to a fabulous wedding. Anything but another rattlesnake. We have enough real-life snakes in our lives to have them crawling on their bellies into our dream.           

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