I had a premonitory dream last night. I went to bed early, in a foul mood, and slept with bizarre dreams interspersed between tossing and turnings. The part of my dream I remember most clearly was this: Debi and I were running a beachfront marathon, we were in bathing suits, and I was running along wondering where Debi was. I had passed her at some point. All of the sudden--Debi flies by, waving her characteristic greeting, smiling from ear to ear, and then she's but a fading dot in the distance. I was trying to keep her in my sight line, when I felt something come out of the soft sand and gripped my big toe. I pulled my foot out of the sand, in total horror of the slippery eel that had locked his horrible little jaws around my big toe. I called out for help, but no one came to my aid right away. Later, some vague male runner stopped to help pull this sea snake off my foot. I woke up at this point, tossed around in bed for awhile and then entered into yet another weird dream whose details slip my mind now, but I remember snakes.
I hate snakes. Intellectually, I understand these creatures have an important function in the ecosystem, and they are admirably constructed beasts. I admire them academically. I have even tried to like snakes and just get over my instinctual revulsion of the way they look and the disconcerting fact that they eat things whole. The bigger the snake, the greater the revulsion because they eat even bigger things---whole.
My son has an impressive collection of small pets, but I always drew the line at snakes. There was to be no discussion. I will not have a snake in my house ever!!! He begged and tried to talk me into the merits of having a reptile as pet such as: they don't have to be taken for walks, they only eat once a week, they are highly unemotional and don't require lots of handling and affection. Hell no! NEVER!
Then, unfortunate circumstances left my recently widowed friend, Sandy, in possession of two recently acquired snakes that her husband had purchased shortly before his untimely death. I could understand why she didn't want to keep them. She was my friend and agreed to take one of the corn snakes, since my son wanted one so badly. I was even going to try to overcome my revulsion of snakes. Face your fears! I held the snake as much as I could, I made myself watch it eat those dead pathetic pinkies once a week, and I tried to cultivate a little affection for this phallic thing. One day, however, the snake pooped on me when I was holding it. That was the final straw. Snake poop is the foulest substance on earth, and until you've had it on your hands--you have not known true disgust.
Another image burned in my soul concerns the time my son was holding the snake while my husband did the weekly Clorox cleaning of the snake tank. Corny, as he is affectionately called by my son, was feeling a little frisky and crawled up my son's shirt sleeve. My son tried to reach up his sleeve with his other hand and pull him out, but Corny was really hungry (this was feeding day, after all) and thought he would try ingesting my son's finger. All hell broke loose and my son was crying and we tried to figure out how to disengage his jaws. I was mortified and I will never forget the vision of that phallic beast with his horrid little jaws around my son's finger. Finally, Corny loosened his grip, but not without leaving a ring of microscopic teeth marks around his finger. My son got over this very quickly and he calmly intellectualized that the snake was hungry and couldn't see very well, lodged up in dark shirt sleeve. Now....I have as little to do with Corny as possible. I still hate snakes.
Maybe my foretelling dream was rooted in this experience. Interestingly, it was just Debi and I that showed for our weekend trail run. There's a big club race tomorrow and I think the majority of our group wants to save on energy for the race. Debi's running the race too, but she seems less competitive than the others. We started out on Sand Run hike trail, which I'm sick to death of, and today it felt really hard. We opted to run back on the Mingo trail side, rather than the path. We've certainly adapted to trail running and now our bodies prefer it and we welcome the steep hills and the soft mud. Debi was running ahead of me and we were coming upon a steep downward staircase. I was slowing down to approach the staircase and I violently wrenched my right foot on a tortuous snake-like tree root. This was a violent wrenching and I sensed a sound like cartilage on cartilage snapping together. A sharp pain radiated around my ankle and brought me down to the ground. It was awful. The eel from my dream came back to me and was reliving the pain now in my twisted ankle, rather than my big toe. Of course, Debi didn't fade away into the distance and the offending phallic object was snaky tree root, rather than an eel. She was prepared to go run ahead and get the car. She figured there is no way I'm going to be able to run after that. It took about 10 minutes for the pain to subside and then I tried walking a bit. There was no swelling and the pain was going away, rather than intensifying. I was alright. I think I've done enough trail running and my ankles are sufficiently toughened up now to handle the occasional wrenching. Gotta watch those damn snaky roots every minute!
The lesson today is....Beware of phallic shaped things. They are always bad and will certainly get you in trouble. Advice to embrace and live by. Happy running!