But bullies are a novelty in my dreams. I don't recall being frightened of the dream bullies. It's more like they are disturbingly annoying, like particularly vicious Internet trolls. I don't recognize the faces my subconscious has given them, but I recall that they sneer and make snotty, vaguely threatening remarks, though I don't remember any of those, either. I suspect that the dream bullies have appeared at this particular time because of the annoying things going on in my life, all of which are the result of things I have failed to do.
There's that molar crown that lately came off as a result of my not getting the dental work I needed three years ago. There's the relentlessly ingrowing toenail that is the result of my failure to find really good shoes,plus my failure to get the exercise that might have prevented my joints from getting so stiff that it became difficult for me to reach my toes so I could trim my toenails regularly. There's the annual worry that I'm not going to have enough money to pay the property taxes on time, which is the result of my not managing my modest income better than I do. One could say that the bullies are my own shortcomings, come into my dreams to taunt me for my inadequacy. In short, I am my dream bullies.
As it's unlikely that I'll be able (or focused or energetic enough) to solve any of those problems anytime soon, I'll probably be seeing more of these dream bullies. Eventually they'll probably decide to start beating me up, but I'll just have to deal (or fail to deal) with that when and if it happens. But who knows? Maybe my ingrown toenail will get infected and I'll die of septicemia before that happens. After all, I've gotten lucky before. Look how long it took for that molar to lose its crown.
First Things At the Last Minute
by Robert Hass
The white water rush of some warbler's song.
Last night, a few strewings of ransacked moonlight
On the sheets. You don't know what slumped forward
In the nineteen-forties taxi or why they blamed you
Or what the altered landscape, willowy, riparian,
Had to do with the reasons why everyone
Should be giving things away, quickly,
Except for spendthrift sorrow that can't bear
The need to be forgiven and keeps looking for something
To forgive. The motion of washing machines
Is called agitation. Object constancy is a term
Devised to indicate what a child requires
From days. Clean sheets are an example
Of something that, under many circumstances,
A person can control. The patterns moonlight makes
Are chancier, and dreams, well, dreams
Will have their way with you, their way
With you, will have their way.