My lord, the dreams you sometimes have! Last night I dreamed my daughter and I were shopping for a goat, why I don’t know To nibble the grass? To eat the leftovers? I’m pretty sure goats don’t really eat tin cans the way they did in Saturday morning cartoons but who am I to say? A goat did try to eat my mother’s pocketbook that time at the petting zoo.
Anyway, in this dream the goat is pleasing to me and I am drunk with the recollection of that blank check God wrote Adam & Eve when he supposedly said, “Go ahead, kids! Have dominion over all creatures!” The goat is graceful, petite, lovely in every way – except for his eyes which frighten me badly, looking so much like the eyes of Satan in that super-short shot from Rosemary’s Baby where poor Mia Farrow finds herself pinned under the Dark One, getting impregnated. (Remember her cry? “This is no dream, this is really happening!”? And then boom! one the deed is done her actor-husband’s nemesis falls ill, the husband gets the part and the deal is complete. He sold his wife’s body to Satan for a successful career in the theatre.
To get back to the dream, in it the goat’s eyes are so frightening to me that I try pulling them out, just as I did with the stuffed dog Fluffy I go when I was fives. That experiment proved grisly too since Fluffy’s glass eyes were on long sharp stalks. They looked the way we to the X-ray machine when looked from above .
The only upside in Fluffy’s case was that I could stab them into his straw stuffed head and out again at will.
To get back to the fearsome present tense of the dream, with this real goat I cannot take an eye out and put it back in as I could with Fluffy. With this real goat I start pulling on his eye and out come three or four inches of the complicated circuitry lying behind it, the muscles the tendons, the optic nerve… The goat is mute with terror, mute as a rabbit is said to be mute in extreme distress and my daughter is screaming “Stop!” only I can’t stop and I can’t reverse the damage I have already done?
I think about breaking his neck. as big, dim Lenny does with Curly’s wife in Of Mice and Men but lack the skill for that in this dream. So I just run away from the damage I had caused. I do think Who do I know who owns a gun, to put him out of his suffering? but I have no thought of calling a vet. No thought that a goat could live with just one eye. I just want it all to be over.
Hours later the doorbell rings and a little neighbor boy tells me his family is even now boiling the goat whole, in a great vat, and did I want to stop by later and eat some. I turn from the door and vomit as the curtain falls.
Dreams show us to ourselves all right and often the sight is far from pretty. Go here to see the impregnating scene from Rosemary’s Baby, or, while waiting for your OWN dreams tonight, settle for frightening yourself a little now with one of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings: