By: Sandra Simpson
SANTA FE, NM—My rearview mirror dream catcher isn’t just a hastily made gas station purchase, it’s a very important and culturally significant piece that is both spiritual and practical. Native Americans would hang these woven hoops with feathers and beads above their babies cradles to protect them from bad dreams. In keeping with that tradition, I put mine where I need it most, in my car where I fall asleep for moments at a time while driving.
Maybe I should get more sleep, try caffeine, or even pull over at rest stops. The truth is I feel protected in the physical world as well as the dream world with my dream catcher. I have zero Native American ancestry as far as I know (waiting on someone to buy me a 23andMe, wink wink Aunt Sharon). That doesn’t stop the dream catcher from working as I’ve only slid off the shoulder and never hit the median. My dreams, I might add, have always been brief but lacking hostility and malice. Not one single nightmare have I experienced while my automobile coasts, driverless, until I am jarred back to consciousness.
You may be asking yourself where else I have dreamcatchers. If you’re not, I’m still going to tell you. Last year I had my mom sign a permission slip for the tattoo shop down the street and I got this beautiful cultural tapestry immortalized on my lower back. So when I fall asleep sunbathing at my parent’s pool during my gap year, I’ll suffer only from sunburn and possible melanoma and not from night terrors, which plague me no longer.
Obviously dreamcatchers aren’t for everyone, you have to truly believe that they work or else they’ll trap you in a nightmarish hell that lasts forever. Think about Vincent D’Onofrio’s character’s nightmares in “The Cell” but times, like, a million. Baby scorpions slowly eating you while you can’t move, your best friends all laughing while they just watch and sexually please your mother and father. As your mother and father reach sexual nirvana, all of the involved parties look right into your eyes and, all of their voices now your parents, in unison say, “We never loved each other and we never cared for you!”