A recurring dream, which last night became a nightmare: I’m in a house that looks vaguely like my own, only it’s filthy. There’s a vague sense that I’m trying to pack up and move out.
Now, I’ll be the first to grant that I’m not the best housekeeper in the world, but the only rooms that ever are this bad in real life are my bedroom and occasionally my office, and they’re more cluttered than dirty. But in the dream, the whole house is thick with dustbunnies, grime, strange objects (like my parents’ old bowling trophies), books, papers, Cheetos (which I don’t even eat)—and kittens.
Somewhere along the way I have received a litter or litters of kittens, but (a) I keep forgetting about them, so I leave them for days on end to fend for themselves, which is making them feral, and (b) they are so tiny that a couple of them are easily mistaken for dustbunnies.
The two newest kittens—where they keep coming from I have no idea—disappear with shocking ease in the clutter and filth, but once they are allowed into the main house (instead of on the back porch where they have apparently been staying), they have a habit of peeing on the rugs, so at least I can tell where they have been recently, if not where they are currently. And they pee copiously, about ten times the amount a kitten that size would produce.
The meaning is pretty clear, I think: responsibilities that I cannot shirk because they are living things keep appearing in my life unbidden, but I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t keep track of them all, and I fear they will grow into wild creatures if left unattended. Meanwhile I busy myself with making sense out of the chaos while I prepare to begin a new chapter of my life (the image of packing to move). If these responsibilities escape my control, they leave telltale and messy signs of their presence, but they are so elusive that I can’t get a hold on them.
Yup, that’s pretty much my life these days.
Maybe because they’re normally cute and cuddly things that become nasty and dangerous, or maybe because they look like dustbunnies in the dream, I woke up thinking of this bit from the song “I’ve Got a Theory,” from the “Once More With Feeling” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: