Charlotte Dune's Lagoon
Charlotte Dune's Lagoon
I dream of cages, tethers, and chains

I dream of cages, tethers, and chains

Peaches, bars, and fake mermaids. (This is creative non-fiction)

This doesn’t read like non-fiction, but everything is true. (I think.)

Dream Chains by Charlotte Dune

A Monkey Dream

My father, Fred, had a pet monkey named Peaches growing up that his father, Zane, won in a poker game. Though this story is apparently not quite true. According to my own mother, Carol — Zane did not win Peaches, rather a banana trader kept Peaches on his boat in the late 1950’s.

Zane was buying bananas at the Baltimore harbor one day and ended up also taking Peaches along with the boxes of fruit, which he then drove back and sold in rural, western Virginia where we grew up.

Regardless of how she got there, Peaches lived in the laundry room and would throw clothes and clothes pins at my annoyed grandmother, Charlot. (Yes, like Harlot, but with a C.)

We can only guess where Peaches used the “commode.” These functional things were never explained.

Eventually, Charlot got fed up and “disappeared” Peaches. We don’t know to where.

Family lore is like dreams; some parts are there, and some parts are gone.

Last night, I dreamt that my father had kept Peaches all these years in a closet at his house, locked in a cage, hidden behind hanging clothes, and Peaches had grown from a spider monkey to an orangutang, a human-sized primate with a kind, but sad, face, and large, drooping breasts, not unlike granny Charlot herself.

Push aside hanging clothes, and there was Peaches, cramped, barred, forlorn.

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A Lizard Dream

In another dream, my partner, Agah, gathered different lizards, around ten, each a unique breed, size, and color. He tethered the lizards by their tiny ankles to small rope hammocks from the pet store, all hung in a massive glass aquarium on a table with wheels. On the back panel of the glass, he painted fluffy clouds and a blue sky.

Agah rolled his reptile menagerie to a shopping mall and left it in the middle like a jewelry kiosk, for people to admire the immobilized iguana, bearded dragon, chameleon, and other breeds. The lizards appeared content, but I felt unsettled. Perhaps we should not keep wild animals restrained?

Lizard Leashes image from Amazon.


A Dog Dream

In the next dream, Agah couldn’t find our dog Gunter’s favorite tennis ball, so he went to the store and bought thousands of tennis balls. He packed our SUV with the bright neon yellow balls, to the brim. I opened the door and they all spilled out like a damn bursting. Gunter, the dog, went insane.

The Dog’s Dream by Charlotte Dune

A Barn Dream

The third night, I dreamt of a stranger and a looming wooden barn, the kind of person and space you might find in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. The man had a straw hat on that concealed his eyes, and he chewed a stem of wheat. I followed him into the open barn which was as long and wide as a football field. It contained nothing but thin white women dressed as mermaids with artificial and colorful, metallic, scaled tails from Amazon.

Each woman was chained to a rock, like Princess Leia connected to Jabba the Hut. They were this man’s strange fantasy. They said nothing to me.

(I actually own this tail, my Godmother gave it to me for Christmas)

A Writer’s Nightmare

Finally, I found myself in prison. I’d been sentenced to life, though I didn’t know why. I was afraid and crying, begging through the iron cell bars for a pen. “How do I get a pen around here?” I screamed and screamed, but no one came, so I couldn’t write anything.

We wonder where dreams come from. Is it just the brain, clearing out ideas like cobwebs from the rafters of our sleep?

I can only imagine that I dream of cages, tethers, and chains because I’ve been thinking about Nabokov’s monkey in Lolita, finger painting the bars of its own cage.

Something about prison feels like social media, but instead of bars and paint, we have cameras and screens.

Zuckerberg is the scientist and we are the monkey.

Apple is the lab we live in.

Or maybe it’s in the Android where you sleep?

Do you have a recurring dream? What is it about?

What was the last dream you remember? Let me know in the comments.

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Charlotte Dune's Lagoon
Charlotte Dune's Lagoon
Hosted by psychedelic fiction author Charlotte Dune, The Lagoon explores mind-expansion, self-experimentation, healing modalities, books, and big ideas.