Several days ago, I had a dream that disturbed me greatly. Even now, I can see the images vividly when I close my eyes. Two figures, faceless and unidentifyable, huddle over an overturned barrel, wooden clubs in hand. Like a camera angle in a movie, my point of view is up close on the dying grass where the huge barrel had been. Coiled tightly in my entire vision is at least ten snakes, viporous and deadly. The end of the baseball bat like clubs enter the frame, wheeling quickly. I hear a grunt and thud as the blow lands and snakes fly into the air, their head crushed flat. Another and another churn the ground like butter and send snakes and parts of snakes airborne. One escapes the onslaught and slithers into the surrounding grass. Club blows aimed wildly bruise the fescue until one finds its mark. The loud cracking of vertebrae and lumber fills my ears and jars me awake. I turn to my alarm clock which reads 4:47 in large lime green digits. With a sigh, I realize that three hours earlier I’d tossed and turned with pre-test anxiety and knew that sleep time was effectively over.
As I lay there, I was reminded of a summer ten years ago when my cousin lived in Lincoln and we’d go catch minnows and tadpoles in the drainage ditch by my house. One day, we found a snake lying dead on the ditch floor, rock gouges crushed into its body. We found probably two more snakes that day, alive, and spent quite a while trying to catch them and bring them home.
Fast forward (or Rewind) to the last week of August. At twilight, I went walking as I normally do. A snake slithered off the sidewalk in front of me. My mind went back to the events of the previous paragraph and I continued walking, without thinking too much of it.
Then two Tuesdays ago, I went on a walk after spenting all day on campus. I had seen dead squirrels and grasshoppers almost every day for the past month, and had actually run over a squirrel on my bike perhaps two weeks before. I was watching the lightning but almost stepped on a dead snake. (see a trend here?) I watched the bugs crawl away from the carcass and went back to viewing the horizon. I like watching lightning and did so in the same spot for perhaps ten minutes. The very next day, I saw another dead snake along the bikepath on my way to campus. This pattern unnerved me and I was left wondering if there was a particular message in this.