the repeat dream




empty stairs-drawn by jay herron 2006

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The deja vu of a particular dream I often have has been going over and over in my head. I often dream of being in a prison-very very large prisons. These are not pleasant dreams-and the memory of each dream tends to last for several days…they have that much of an impact.
Unlike most dreams ( you must understand-I can only comment on my own dreams) unlike most dreams which seem befuddled and mixed – these dreams are in great detail and seem organized.
I believe its something to do with the memory of barracks D.

Although I say the dreams are not pleasant-the situation that is taking place in these prisons is interesting enough to want to continue the dream…not to wake like one would wish as if in a nightmare. The detail and the activity and the immense size of these prisons make the dreams fascinating.
I’m not saying they are dreams of great times-they are’nt…they are fearful and with out a doubt a mystical reality-the situations seem real. I’m just saying they are vivid and it seems alive.

Each of these dreams usually take place in a prison in which the population of convicts have an industry with in thier community-such as the entire prison-these vast places-is one huge flea market,or a section of shops of some sort…and it just seems they cover acres and acres of rows of cells as far as you can see in each direction,nothing but this prison.

Naturally,the thought of ever going to prison has always been a fear. The morning of the rapes the officer who first heard my story-his chuckle and comment….”get used to it” -in reference they were going to send me to prison so it was in my future to be so treated. How can I know if it was my fears and every thought I could muster to put this together in just the few minutes it took me to walk from the interviewers building back across the fenced compound to barracks D….the fears compressed are the reason for these dreams?
I was only given a short few minutes-perhaps only as many as two-to put my thoughts in order to face the men that raped me.
I thought the mistake would have been discovered and I would be set free to return to my ship….

It is hard to explain what is like to be innocent of anything and be locked up for nothing and have every body conclude your guilt with out any kind of a trial and for being stuck in a snow storm-what could a trial be for? What crime did I do?
Guilt became something I could never shake. Once upon a time (I have improved as the years have passed) a certain crime could take place in my area and I would feel such extreme guilt…and not even have any thing to do with a crime of any kind.
My fears of ever going to prison grew deeper of the fears my sons might make an error some where and end up in prison…to show them how terrible life could be I used to take them to Raiford and we’d drive through looking at one prison building after the other. My influence must have impacted my youngest son-he works as a deputy sheriff in the county jail.

I think the recent conversations I’ve had about Rose…this year will be her tenth behind bars (this go around) -have brought the dream into activity-certainly I don’t have these dreams each time I sleep,however…each time I have one the impact lasts for several days.
It was a strange kind of prison.
Large-huge vast place just as always.
You can’t see anything of daylight or out doors. Only everywhere you look-the prison.
The dream I had the other night was each of us had just barely a box to be confined in, just enough room to move around but barely room to sit up or even stand.
All your eyes coud see was one of these boxes one after the other above and side by side and below-all you could see was these boxes. It was easy to know it was a prison-each box had bars to keep us locked inside.
It was kind of a wierd dream-you could hear the typical sounds of the breathing and coughing of the others and you smell the stink-the thousands of men there must be. But yet you could’nt see any one,you could only hear them….and smell them..
In the end of the dream-the important part of this particular dream was the hand of the convict above my cell. It dropped down outside of the bars and I could see it and I touched it and its fingers squeezed mine.

One Response to “the repeat dream”

  1. Carol Says:

    Jay – There are others who also live in a prison – not of their dreams. May I suggest you volunteer some of your time at a children’s burn center or a crippled children’s hospital. These are tiny people who will carry both the mental and physical scars with them for life. Perhaps reading (and NOT the Bible) to some of them a couple of hours a week will relieve some of their anxiety about the next debridement or the next session of being forced to try to walk on legs that won’t work. The rewards could be tremendous. May even relieve some of your anxiety.

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