Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Terrible Dream

Last night, I awoke at 1:30 from a horrific dream involving a dead family member. There was much hysterical crying and such depth of feeling, that I bolted upright in bed covered with sweat. They say that we dream every night but forget them all when we wake up. Well, I will not soon forget this one. Of course, I look over at Pam and she’s laying there enjoying the peaceful sleep of the just, like every night, oblivious to my terror. So, I got up, and walked down stairs to get some water and shake it off.

Molly was no help, dead asleep, acknowledging me only with a couple of feeble tail wags. I drank my water. Now I was wide awake in a completely dark house. I go back upstairs to my office, sit down at the computer and ask the Facebook universe, “ What does one do at 1:48 in the morning.” The answer was self-evident, in the year 2012, one surfs the internet.

It’s always a dicey thing for a parent to post a comment on their kids’ walls. The danger of embarrassing them is very high, the probability of annoying their friends even higher. Earlier in the day my son had posted a picture of an “atheist Christmas tree”. It was a tree-shaped frame consisting of books with a banner hanging in the background with the word “knowledge” in huge letters. Some of the titles featured Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagen, and other atheist luminaries. Patrick’s comment was “ So this is how atheists decorate Christmas trees…” I thought it was a funny picture. I noticed that the shot had cut off the top of the tree so I couldn’t resist a snaky observation as follows:

“ Ok, the picture cuts off at the top. What’s up there? The hammer and sickle?”

Now, as humor goes, it was a poor effort, I admit. But at least it was an effort. Well, now at 2 o’clock in the morning I notice that one of Patrick’s friends has responded with eye-rolling disgust…”..because all atheists are also communists”.

Man-o-man. Must the death of faith always be accompanied by the death of humor? Thoroughly chastened, I resisted the urge to take the bait. I immediately regretted saying anything in the first place. A less evolved parent, or the me of ten years ago, may well have shot back with:

“ Oh, I’m terribly sorry. It’s not that all atheist are communists, it’s that all communists are atheist. I always get that mixed up. My bad.”

But, it was 2 am, so I let it go. I suppose its fine for atheists to assume that all believers are against “knowledge”, as this display powerfully suggests, but positively Neanderthal for us knuckle-dragging Christians to drop the “C” bomb. Ok, I get it. Lesson learned.

After an hour or so of Facebook, ESPN.com, and the latest gossip from the hot stove league, I was ready to give sleep another try. After tossing and turning for thirty minutes or so, and marveling at the picture-perfect sleeping form of my wife, I finally drifted off to sleep. When I finally awoke, it was 8:45, the latest I have slept in over a year. My mother would have been appalled. Half the day was gone. I feel cheated. Now I can’t eat breakfast without screwing up lunch. All because of a dream. Pam reminds me that there is a solution to this problem. It’s called…brunch!