For so long now, I’ve been waking up multiple times a night due to pain in my right shoulder and left ankle. If I happen to awake and the sun is finally up, then I give up on sleep and start my day.

Three nights ago – that changed.

Last night’s sunset – photo by Beth Malbon

Vivid dreams. Ever since starting Chantix (varenicline), I’ve been sleeping deeper, and now I dream.

Three dreams, I remember. No, they don’t make sense.

First Dream

I’m in a parking lot with two of my friends. One I haven’t seen in a long time – Francine, and the other is Callalily – she comes up in a lot of my blogs. This parking lot is near stores, a pet store, and other large brand name stores.

Francine is in my truck bed (a blue Toyota – a truck I’ve always wanted,) and she’s scooping out cat food from a bowl inside a litter pan full of litter.

Meanwhile, Callalily and I are going around the parking lot collecting crates and carriers that belong to all three of us. There are several different kinds and some are contraptions that need to be flattened down. I keep looking back at the pet store, calling for Jason, possibly a dog, but I’m not sure. I’m unclear in my dream if that’s his name.

Then there’s a strange looking wire crate that has an inner door inside a larger door. The inner door has a metal doorknob. I’ve never seen anything like it before. None of us have. We’re scratching our heads, trying to figure out where it came from and how to open it.

Poof – Francine and Callalily disappear.

A man appears where my friends disappeared. His name is Chris. He’s wearing a green, white, and yellow plaid shortsleeved button down shirt with sage green board shorts. He says he’ll open the cage. He says the trick is to walk into the little door, grab hold of the knob and keep walking, the crate will open up bigger.

And then it did – there was a staircase. I told him that I would walk up the staircase and grab a hold of the poles so we could get the crate flattened. The staircase was seriously rickety. It was scary. I had to grab ahold of the poles and swing down from them. Me, in my present state. Ha! But by grabbing hold of the poles, the crate flattened.

Second Dream

Suddenly we were on a beach. I was walking with him and his two children. We were headed to a castle. His daughter was in a black one piece bathing suit with a flowing skirt attached. I was skipping with her, following him and his son.

I saw a beautiful butterfly. It was huge – bigger than my hand! It was peach and yellow and was hovering over the sand. I reached into my pocket for my iphone to take a picture, but my camera phone was back at my truck. I looked back to see if I could run to fetch it. But when I looked for the little girl, she was a dot. When I tried to catch up to her – I lost her, her dad, and brother. There was a huge lake of sea water in the middle of the beach. I didn’t have directions to the castle. I didn’t know what to do.

I started walking around the lake, closer inland and came upon a house. Maybe they would know where the castle was?

Third Dream

Upon entering the house, it was very dark. The walls were made of dark blue cloth. There were people in there – lots of gals and a few men. The men were dressed in dark clothing with hoods, almost like armor. It was cold. The people seemed to ignore me, which was fine by me. The gals were dressed in pink and blue leotards with matching face masks. They were all around a huge room and they were in odd positions. They weren’t talking to each other.

I wandered around looking for the door I entered in, but couldn’t find it. I found several doors. I saw one that looked like an exit door – it was made of wood, whereas the other doors were painted. These were actually double doors. They were super thin. I opened the left one, then the right one, then had to turn the knob on the left one, then the right one, then had to pry the left door open, then pry the right one open, there were several more doors to these doors. I didn’t think this was the way out. So, I wandered around looking for another set of doors.

I found another set, but there was a guard near them. I told him I needed to leave. He said fine, but I needed to open the doors myself. If I get to the red door, I cannot rip it. If I do, I cannot leave. OMG 😱!

I thought these were going to be trick doors. I opened the first one, by sliding the latch open. The next door was simply a twist of the knob, the third door was another latch that went through both doors. Then there was a grate looking door with another sideways latch. The fifth set of doors had the latch on top. The sixth set of doors were blue and were velcro. The seventh set of doors were red. These were attached on the bottom only – I had to go through the doors without ripping the bottom part of the door.

I made it through the doors just to land up in a big pile of powdered snow. I was wearing tennis shoes. My first thought was great, I went through all of that and now my feet are going to freeze.

And then I woke up.