Larissa Nash grew up in the Everglades and spent many summers in Ohio and Hawaii. She holds a B.A. from Loyola University New Orleans and currently lives in Texas with her cats, one of which is part Florida bobcat. Her hobbies include rain-dancing and soothsaying. She is an M.F.A. candidate at Pacific University of Oregon.
Larissa has participated in several of Francesca Lia Block's online workshops, and her work has appeared in online and print publications and is forthcoming in December. Flutter Poetry Journal recently nominated her poem, "The Lady in Red," for the 2013 Best of the Net. Larissa founded Rose Red Review, a fairy tale journal.
Song of the Moment: Loud Like Love
Category Archives: Diary of a Dreaming Girl
I dreamt there was a huge earthquake near L.A. I was on the beach at the time, with my roommate. As the earthquake occurred, I thought about the poem I wrote about a month after I left L.A. (“and I said, / ‘At least I won’t be on the beach / during a quake.’”)–the one I wrote the night before a small quake occurred, the epicenter directly beneath my old apartment in Pomona. The water whooshed backward, and I told my roommate we had to run to our hotel and get “to the second floor, at least.” Once inside, I decided to rescue our cats. They were on the 18th floor. I ran up the stairs, with a container of cat litter. I had to find different stairwells to take, because there was a lot of damage. I helped a few people along the way (one girl’s name was “Denver”), and then hotel waitstaff helped me access secret stairwells (but not without making a snide remark about how good it must feel “to get [my] exercise in”). Everything was white and looked very art gallery, despite the damage and burst pipes. When I reached the 18th floor, I had to walk up an Escher-like stairwell (with 80s pink carpeting). “18l” and “18rn” were written on a sign. I had to cross a ballroom/lounge area to reach a glass door leading to the rooms. Someone was having a 30th birthday party, and I thought, “I’m 36–no, 33–but I remember 30!” The carpet here looked like the carpeting in an 80s bowling alley (bright colors, confetti-like). Someone asked me what was wrong, and I distinctly felt as though the party was for “Denver.” I couldn’t see any damage. On the glass door, “80th Floor.”
Very strange. My brain apparently likes numbers.
I can’t recall the exact night I dreamt this dream, but I know I dreamt it before the flooding began in Colorado. Very spooky/unsettling.
I stood in a room with a floor-to-ceiling glass window. There was a blue couch. Someone had warned everyone to avoid going outside, as the water level of a nearby river had begun to rise. The water swirled against the window. I sat backward on the couch and rested my body against the cushions, in order to watch the river. It looked like a tropical marsh river. I saw sawgrass. I thought I was safe, but then I realized there wasn’t a window. I toppled into the river. I felt its force. I clawed at the back of the couch and finally managed to pull myself into the room. The couch acted as a dam, though water didn’t spill over the couch as the river rose above it. There seemed to be a sort of forcefield in place.
What a strange, unsettling dream:
I died. I can’t remember how. After lingering in a brightly-lit Edwardian mansion (that had been modernized, with stainless steel appliances), I returned to my body, yet I remained in limbo. The house changed: in some rooms, I was in California; in others, my childhood home. I suspect two dreams bled into one another.
Being a ghost wasn’t so bad. I could still talk to everyone. I decided to return to my body, because I wanted to help someone I’ve since forgotten (I think it might have been Frances Bean Cobain, but that is odd). Once inside my body, one thought consumed me: beating the clock. I worried I would run out of time before I began to decompose. When I looked at myself in the mirror (I often look at my reflection in dreams, even though it’s “dangerous”/reveals “the true self;” I’M A REBEL!), my cheeks seemed sunken–my flesh, a bit yellow. I thought I looked bloated. When I left the bathroom (the master bathroom from my childhood home), my parents were waiting for me.
Mommy, I’m rotting.
“I know,” my mom said.
“No, you’re not! You look the same way you did before you died. No one will know the difference,” my dad said.
I’m sure the dream is a metaphor for my body image issues, but it scared me. I thought I could smell myself. Perhaps my subconscious is simply telling me to take a shower?