With your crooked heart.” —W.H. Auden
Interspersed between bouts cursing, obligatory camwhore sessions, hand biting, and frantic reviewing for my physics exam, I was lucky enough to catch a few desperately needed naps this morning after a particularly rough all nighter. During one such nap, I got a little more acquainted with my subconscious than I would have expected a mere 15 minutes of rest to allow. Without the soft transition into the dreamworld that a healthy sleep schedule gives, I found myself even more shocked and completely enraptured by the arrival a desk sized, speckled brown and white cat than my normal dream self probably would have been. My anxieties completely vanished as the cat sauntered across my study materials and laid down in front of me, offerring its plush fur with a wink and a meow. I laughed wildly, smiling and thanking the “kitty” as I petted it and buried my face in its coat with reckless abandon. This dream was one of the most calming study breaks I’ve ever had. Slowly though I’d began to take notice of just a few of the peculiarities my new cat friend seemed to have: his meow was awkward and high-pitched, his body slightly disproportionate, and his paws a bit misaligned. It was as though all of my own shortcomings, and every detail I’d ever physically felt self-conscious of was being projected onto this already garishly large cat. Even as the uneasiness this caused took hold of me, and as the physics-induced panic began to wake me again, I was surprised to see that the cat just continued to stare at me imploringly, inviting me to take refuge in its fur a little longer.
I’ve been wondering since then if this dream is at all connected to my constant need to verbally remind myself or beg the affirmation that “everything will work out”. Whether it’s a poor decision on my part or a difficult circumstance that I’m being faced with, self-consolation and false rationalization are my go to defense mechanisms of choice. I’d always assumed it was a product of my parents’ resolute coddling or my cushioned upbringing, and I am actually quite embarrassed by this, but I’d never really put much thought into how deeply such inclinations were seeded.
Did all this shit really just fucking manifest itself as a dream cat? Idk. Did I potentially just find a new spirit animal? Probs yes. Probs. Yes.