I’m up much later than I should be. I’ve always been abusive to my sleep cycle, but lately I feel like I’d begun to get a handle on it. That might not have been true.

I feel like going to bed, but 500 words, as promised. I’ll do this quickly so I apologize if I ramble a bit. I’m going to talk about nightmares.

I don’t know about you, but my nightmares seem to fall into categories. Back in college, and for about two years after, I tended to have a lot of insect-based dreams. These would range from the mundane (“Oh no, a bee!”) to the fantastical–which I’ll get to in a minute. I would often wake up screaming. Needless to say this was a bit of a delight to others around the house.

Probably the most singularly odd dream I had involving insects was where I drank a glass of buttermilk and began to vomit fuzzy green caterpillars. Considering I don’t drink buttermilk, and I quite distinctly know that it was buttermilk in the dream, I’m not sure what my mind was getting at.

Other notable insect dreams tend to involve them coming through windows. Nowhere is safe. Teleporting in, or–more frequently–they would secrete acid through their proboscises and melt the glass in order to get at me and those with me in the dream. The worst was where I was trapped in a subway car and in addition to the acid many mosquito-like insects hurled themselves against the glass, causing it to slowly crack. I woke up before the “good part” in horror movie terms, but it terrified me all the same.

For a year or so I had dreams about authority and how it would fail to help. There was a shooting, I tried to dial 911, and the numbers kept switching around on the phone, I kept misdialing, the operator was unhelpful… all kinds of reasons. Actually, after these dreams, I did call 911 on three separate occasions in real life due to witnessing violence (battery, no weapons), and on all three occasions the police were absolutely useless and treated me like an inconvenience… and I’m a cisgender white guy. I began to understand why it was all downhill from there if you didn’t meet those criteria.

Lately I’ve had school dreams, which is natural considering I’m making an effort for grad school. The dreams tend to take place in high school. It always turns out I don’t have homework, or I somehow managed to miss a class I was supposed to be taking for an entire semester, or I’ve been forced into reattending high school as an adult due to some kind of bureaucratic screw-up.

Continuing with the mundane trend, the most recent nightmare I had was pretty tame. The actor James Cromwell bullied me into letting him drive my car, despite my protests that he wasn’t on the insurance. Well, we get into a hit-and-run with a bicyclist–or rather he does and I’m in the passenger seat. The cops question me, assuring me I’m not in trouble, and take James Cromwell away. However, I’m left with the horrifying prospect of explaining to my parents that I let James Cromwell drive the car without being on our insurance and he got into a hit-and-run. The sheer dread of breaking that news to my father was palpable when I woke up, and it was a mundane enough dream that it took me a few minutes to assure myself that, yes, it was only a dream.

I hope your dreams are sweet, readers. I’ll try to make the best of mine. See you in 500 words.