Tiny Beautiful Things: A Review in Dreams

Holy shit my dreams have been intense and seemingly completely fucked-up lately. I blame the book Tiny Beautiful Things, which I purchased from Kindle after finishing Cheryl Strayed’s last book. This one is a compilation of advice columns that she wrote under the pseudonym Sugar. Some of these Dear Sugar columns can still be read over on The Rumpus. The advice she gives is raw, based on her own life experiences, and her no nonsense tell-it-like-she-sees-it mentality, it was a quick read (though I found myself taking breaks in order to process all the advice and stories I encountered.

The stories I encountered in her book did not leave my psyche upon entering dreamland. In one night I had 4 terrifying dreams, including:

  1. A dream where I was sleeping in a dream and my father-in-law came in, spooned me for awhile, and then left when he heard my husband get home. His creeping into my room woke me up, and my dream self pretended to be asleep in order for him to go away sooner. Upon waking I felt very much like a little girl who had been molested (though I have no history of sexual abuse in my past).
  2. A dream where my husband was sexually assaulted by a mentally retarded girl wearing a green shirt. He was tied to a chair when she raped him, and there were many people around, like what you would see at a college frat party.
  3. A dream where my grandma and I visited a museum where the first room was full of mummies and decorated with bones and skulls in designs (I partially blame this on a travel channel show featuring such a place), and I was afraid to look around and we walked into another room which was similarly decorated with taxidermied animals, duck wings and antlers, until finally we made it to the part of the museum we came for…which was a room full of balloons and bouncy balls. WTF?
  4. Perhaps the scariest of all…a dream where I pulled up to a park, was listening to the radio and finishing a snack before I got Potamus out of his carseat to go play. When I did turn the car off and go to get him out of the carseat, I realized that his head had gotten stuck in the straps and he had strangled. If I hadn’t been sitting there calmly eating a snack he might have lived. I called 911 and saw myself dissociate while¬† I did CPR, but he did not live.

Jesus, 4 intense dreams involving sex and death all in one night was a little too much for me. In the daylight I very much enjoy reading her frank advice to people struggling with all sorts of topics, but it entering into my dream-world is a little too much. Perhaps my next book choice will be something with a little…lighter…material?

What should I read next? Any good suggestions?