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My Snake Nightmare


I’ve had this recurring nightmare about snakes ever since I was a little boy. I looked up snakes in one of those dream interpretations books to see if I could glean some meaning from it. Mostly what I learned is that snakes signify hidden fears and worries that are threatening you. Kind of vague, but this snake dream is so vivid and frequent, it has to mean something significant. Here’s how it goes.

It always starts out the exact same way. I’m on a boat, fishing in the middle of a beautiful lake when suddenly another boat appears out of nowhere with three guys dressed in football uniforms. I say hello to them and then they rape me.

When they leave, I eat the lunch I packed for myself. It’s always the same lunch, a whole-wheat pita with feces and lettuce and a thermos full of Yoo-Hoo.

After I finish, I look up and see my boat is now docked on an island where people are being sacrificed on an altar by a tribe of indigenous people, all of whom bear the face of my mother.

They ask me to sacrifice a few of the people and I say no. Then they rape me and I say yes. I sacrifice a bunch of people. It gets a little hazy but I’m pretty sure they’re all my friends and family. The last guy is bound and gagged and right before I sacrifice him I pull off his blindfold and see that he’s me. Weird.

Then, just like that, I’m swimming underwater through a beautiful coral reef. Only the water is more like blood. I continue to swim, trying to see through the viscous red liquid when suddenly I see something swimming ahead of me. It’s the tail of a gorgeous mermaid. I swim faster to catch up with her. She smiles at me. Then she swims up behind me and rapes me. I’m not sure how, but it definitely feels like rape every time she does it.

I then cut her head off and swim to the top of the water, holding her head up in triumph, and yelling --Vive Le France!--  repeatedly, as the bloody water drips from my now fish-like body.

No sooner do I look down and I’m sitting in a movie theater. My body is human once again and next to me is Adolph Hitler. We’re watching Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock – which, as a strange side note, I don’t think was ever even in the theaters.

I try to reach for Der Führer’s Goobers, but he pulls them away and shoots me an icy stare. In his defense, after raping me he does offer me a handful.

Then just like that, I’m back in my driveway sitting on a tandem bicycle with a Filipino clown who is frothing at the mouth. And that’s then when I see it. About a hundred yards away at the end of my driveway - a Gartner snake no less than a foot-and-a-half long. I freeze and turn ghostly white. My fingers go numb and I let out a blood-curdling scream.

That’s when I wake every time, still screaming and soaked in a cold sweat.

One day I’ll decipher the symbolism of my terrifying snake nightmare. For now I can only hope that my nights aren’t forever haunted by that slithering beast.

Colin Nissan writes TV commercials, humor essays and books. Okay, one book. Don't Be That Guy is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2009