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 an M.F.A. from Pacific University. Her hobbies include rain-dancing and soothsaying. Larissa has participated in several of Francesca Lia Block's online workshops, and she is the founding editor of Rose Red Review. Her work has appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, December Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and The Toast. She currently lives in Georgia with her cats, one of which is part Florida bobcat.
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?
Barbara Gromadzin Foreman July 28 at 2:47am
What you have posted lately (some removed right after writing it) made me think about how I remember you back then, which may in fact be different than how you remember yourself. You were always this intense light, this spark amongst the teen bullshit, that just seemed to burn so much brighter than your surroundings. I’m so saddened to see you being beaten down by the world and the parental forces that we so valiantly fought against back in the day. Fuck that shit! Don’t you dare lose that spark, that intense light that you probably didn’t even see within yourself (but was undeniable to anyone who knew you). That would be the true tragedy in this story.
Sent via Facebook Mobile
I’m not sure how to respond; it nearly made me cry. I’ve actually referred to myself as having a dim light few people can see, because I’m so shy it takes a bit to get to know me. However, when I speak of a dim light, I mean to cast a negative light on myself. A lot of people seem to like me, though I’m not sure why. I don’t have much to offer. I’m not funny, I’m quiet, and I’m definitely more of a listener. I’d do anything for anyone I care about, but that means nothing, if my company isn’t enjoyable.
I’ve been thinking about how baggers at the grocery store and gas station attendants seem to really like me (enough for one of them to give me a hug when I said I was moving), and it makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Barb’s message makes me wonder even more. It’s not even that I hate myself; I simply wish I had more to contribute in my friendships. What do people really get out of knowing me? A genuine friend, yes, but a quiet one. Perhaps Barb is right, and I don’t see myself the way others do, but when I look into the mirror, I see an obese loser, and when I interact with others, I worry that I’m not interesting enough.
Am I worth anyone’s time? I would like to think so, and Barb and others seem to think so, but I don’t really think so (if that makes sense). That’s a problem.
I wish I could regain my self-confidence. I wish I could simply be. What Barb wrote makes me want to examine myself. Perhaps I need to stop worrying about how I seem and simply be…