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Life Before Ten

In This Issue

Daily Column

      Come join the editor Jennifer Barnick as she searches for the Champagne Life....

click for daily column

Sparkling Wine

Interview with flight attendant Peggy O'Brien-Gould by Dr. Timothy Smith

Feature Italy's Surprising Sparklers: A Guide to Italian Sparkling Wine by Sandy Mitchell

Sparkling Wine Review John Euclid reviews Spanish Cavas

Arts & Sciences Flying High: Is Alcohol More Potent at Altitude? by Dr. Timothy Smith

Industry News ...a brief survey of sparkling wine news

First Person

HelloGoodbye Ian E. Detlefsen says hello and George Mentis says goodbye.

Passion ForumDarlene Foster writes about LSU women's hoops

Under the Goldlight—True Tales of Drinking Champagne Felisha Foster revisits New Years 2003

Life Before Ten J. Blake Gordon tackles the nightmare

Art & Literature

The Marcia Reed Virtual Gallery Paintings by Lorraine Smith

Drinker's Poetry Fredrik Bergström and Robert Slattery

Fiction The Garden Keepers by David Sirois

Film in ReviewAnna Luciano opines on a current release; Suzie Sims-Fletcher evaluates a current DVD rental, and John Euclid digs deep in the closet to review a classic movie

Other Goodies

Founder's Page Greeting from Dr. Timothy Smith

Letters to the Editor click for full list

Photo Gallery Click for Pics













A Forceful Dream


J. Blake Gordon

          As a child, I slept, as I sleep now, in a room of my own. As a child, I had a dream that was often repeated in my sleep. Each time, the dream was terrible. Each time, as intense and surprising as the last. Each time, I felt certain of its actuality. Even after I'd awakened. Even when I was not dreaming. This dream was a regular concern between my fifth and tenth years. The regularity of its occurence alarmed and intimidated me. I was always unprepared. Once within the dream, it felt like the end. Like I was at the end. I was helpless. The dream varied its length from night to night, and naturally I awoke before any conclusion was reached. I once read that it is not an uncommon dream, that it can be simply interpreted and understood. I do not remember how it was written to be. This was my dream:

          I'm lying in bed, under the covers and on my back, my arms pressed to my sides. The room is dark, familiar and unfamiliar; it is the middle of the night. I know I have been asleep. I know I am in my own room, though its dimensions have been altered. Through the doorway comes a force. It comes in slowly, hissing. A cloud of ghosts. A sudden menace. An awful presence. It is not like a breeze, nor like a mist. The force seems unrelated to the air, more to the absence of light. It rises and floats, lifeless, shapeless. My eyes open wider. I know I am paralyzed, though I do not wonder why. My body remains straight and motionless. The force expands, a singular mass, and I envision its pressure. The impression is of a manic swarming. The pressure surrounds and bears down over my head. It gathers near the ceiling and along the walls, condensing closer and closer to my bed. It pushes into the corners of the room, invisibly, and out towards the center. Still I cannot move. The force looms. It is sickening, thick and implosive. It is beyond comprehension, and I am frightened beyond belief.

          I realize the force will soon be too much to take, that it cannot be held by the room alone. I become aware of my responsibility to contain it, to prevent any further swelling (or impending destruction). The force is huge now. I must pull its energy into me. I must halt its growth. I want to raise my arms and draw this force, as comprised of numerous elements, together. I want to close my arms around the force and make it small. I feel this is possible - if only it wasn't so strong, if only its strength was mine instead. I know I have not conjured this force, yet I feel sure it is my possession. And the situation is one I have created. But I am unable to manage my situation. I begin to suffocate. The dream ends.

          When I wake up, the darkness is the same, though the weight is gone. I am upset, and usually sweating, but I can move again. I feel foolish for not having realized it was only a dream. Because sometimes I do know when I am dreaming, and I know I do not have to be afraid (or not as quite). When this happens, I am occasionally able to carry objects back with me into my waking state. A Superman doll from a good dream, a handful of worms from a bad one. For a few moments, I truly believe I am clutching materialized remnants of my dreams. In the morning, of course, they are gone, along with the darkness. As I grew older, the dream of force haunted my sleep less frequently. After my teens, it stopped altogether. But it made a strong impression upon my conscious mind. The dream left remnants I carry to this day.







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