I Collect Nightmares

I dream a lot, but I rarely have nightmares. I think that if I ever found myself haunted by terrible dreams, I would self-prescribe a generous dose of Granny Weatherwax’s headology. So… when Björn, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asked, “How about the nightly visits?” I responded with a poem inspired by Granny’s headology, in Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade.

.
I collect nightmares.

Petunia was my first, named
after a great-aunt, who forced me
into pink lace, taffeta and chiffon,
topped by a brain-shrinking tiara.

She wilts under black ink,
runs screaming
at the sight of comfy jeans.

.
The Prick, my second nightmare,
wears eyes, teeth and stink
that fit Aunt Petunia’s son.
She says The Prick doesn’t exist;
but armed me with couch-talk
and pills of fog, to quiet
what might lurk in my dark.

Talk and fog make poor weapons
against crooked teeth and eyes aflame.
To collect The Prick, I had to craft
a heavy Nightmare-Be-Naught Stick.

.
On days of turmoil, The Prick
has tried to creep into my sleep;
but my Stick breaks his teeth
and puts out his eyes
before he can spread his stink.

I collect nightmares… and Sticks.

.
Headology: “Granny Weatherwax had never heard of psychiatry and would have had no truck with it even if she had. There are some arts too black even for a witch. She practiced headology—practiced, in fact, until she was very good at it. And though there may be some superficial similarities between a psychiatrist and a headologist, there is a huge practical difference. A psychiatrist, dealing with a man who fears he is being followed by a large and terrible monster, will endeavor to convince him that monsters don’t exist. Granny Weatherwax would simply give him a chair to stand on and a very heavy stick.” ~ Maskerade

linked to Rereading My Pratchett

I Said No Bogeymen, by Zorm“I Said No Bogeymen”, by Zorm
(This illustration was inspired by Hogfather, a different Pratchett book. But the character’s reaction to the boogeyman makes me think that she, too, has heard of Granny’s headology.)

My Eyeballs Are Secured in Their Femaleness

My eyes are not the best listeners. I told them that we weren’t getting old—just deliciously experienced—but they still insisted on needing reading glasses. Since I’m not one to fight her own eyeballs, I went ahead and let them have the glasses… Besides, we can totally pull off the sexy-librarian-with-wild-hair look (our modesty is deliciously nonexistent *cough, cough*).

So… after an appointment with my ophthalmologist, I went to see the optician to get fitted for frames. The moment I saw the first frames, I knew I wanted them. I tried them on. They felt perfect. It was love at first magnification.

The optician began to chuckle and whisper with one of her colleagues. To me, she said, “Oh no, sweetie, those are made for men.”

“I know.” I had read the sign just above the frames’ display. “I still want them.”

“They are very masculine. They won’t look right. Try this.” She offered me a golden monstrosity with minuscule lenses.

“No, thanks very much, just fit me for the black frames,” I said, without touching the frames she thought were right for me.

While she wrote out my specific measurements, she started talking to her colleague, in Spanish, about my choice.

I stayed quiet, pretending I didn’t understand. I had been in the hospital almost all day, and didn’t feel like arguing. But when she told the other woman something about how it wasn’t going to be her fault that I was going to “walk around looking like a she-man idiot,” I lost it.

“Listen to me,” I said to her, in Spanish, “My face is mine and I wear what I please. If your ovaries and brain are so diminished that they keep you from doing your job in a professional manner, then move aside so that someone without ridiculous gender issues can take my order. While you are at it, tell your supervisor that I would like to speak to him or her.”

I must’ve been shouting because everyone in the (rather large) waiting room was very quiet. And I turned around to find the optician’s supervisor standing behind me. If I hadn’t been so mad, I would’ve probably laughed at the ludicrousness of the entire situation. But worry not, my Wicked Luvs, I got to laugh later… all by myself… while walking to the bus station… thinking, Hot damn! I should’ve told her that my eyeballs are secured in their femaleness.

Magaly Guerrero - Reading Glasses