Gotcha (a Christmas night dream)
Today is a holiday, and I’m in the kitchen in the old apartment of my parents, all by myself cooking for myself (my family is vacationing in Mexico). Suddenly, in the night opening of the kitchen window overlooking the inner yard, a strange figure emerges: a man or a woman wearing a mask of bird’s head with a large beak, just like in some infernal scenes by Hieronymus Bosch.
In this case, however, it is clear that the setting is perfectly innocent and carnivalesque: it’s a holiday and a mother of one of our son’s neighborhood friends showed up to ask when Alex is back from his trip to Cancun, probably her son cannot wait to play with him. “It is known to all that Hieronymus in his childhood years was an ignoramus,” I came up in my mind for some reason. Our apartment is located on the first floor and when we were kids my brother and I would often get in through the kitchen window, in case the back door coming straight into the yard had been locked by our evil neighbor with whom we shared our unit.
While I am thinking of a good answer, the person with a bird’s beak flies from the windowsill to the floor, and a vague sense of anxiety chills my heart: what if this carnivalesque festive outfit of my night guest could simply be a thief’s trick. Indeed, a robber may be hiding under the neighbor’s guise, using the bird’s mask as a device to enter our apartment. Presently, as if in response to my thoughts, the door of the cooker oven, standing behind me, opens down and from there climbs out a short (by a head shorter than me, otherwise he would not fit into the oven) and stocky man over 40: sober, balding, unshaven, and the expression on his face is not festive-like,—some sullen, evil expression he got. In his right hand he holds a small screwdriver, carefully wrapped in a handkerchief embroidered with an unprintable word. He stands behind me, cutting off my retreat from the kitchen and my soul binds with icy horror. I realize that they got me and now the only way for me out is to wake up which I immediately do.
Awaken, I feel good that I was able to fool the robbers so easily. And at last I had quite a classic nightmare in the spirit of early Gogol’s stories! It would be interesting to redream this, but for that I would probably have to recover what I had drank last night and replicate it in exactly the same order. Here is the recipe, you can write it down: 3 shots of Belvedere vodka with herbs, one Hennessy VSOP, and 4 shots of “Balvenie,” aged 12 years in a double cask.