The first nightmare I can remember having took place on Sesame Street. I was standing in front of Susan and Gordon’s brownstone and somehow fell into that planter thing just next to the stairs (opposite side of the garbage cans and Oscar, obviously). The planter was just the right size for me to lie down in, which I did, and at that point I was swarmed by rats.
I woke up screaming.
Now, I’m not afraid of rats – I had three of them as pets in high school – but apparently rats are a common nightmare motif in my family. My grandmother used to dream about rats. My mom dreamed about them chasing her around one neighborhood house so often that when I go home to visit and drive by that house today, some 25 years-ish later, I still think of it as “The Rat House.” I don’t know why out unconscious selves are so freaked out by rats, but there you go.
The other day, I got a ticket on my car. It was for expired plates, and although I’m in a deeply residential neighborhood where nobody ever monitors this kind of thing, I suspect our shitty neighbors called it in and nevertheless, my tags were expired so that ticket was legit and will be paid. The next day, I got another ticket. Less than 24 hours later, an absurdity that I feel amounts to harassment of someone who works at a job all day when the DMV is actually open. This ticket is some bullshit and will be contested.
In an effort to renew my tags and avoid even more tickets, I took my car to the emissions testing station (it failed) and then to the mechanic (in the hopes of getting it to pass). In addition to fixing the oxygen sensors and telling me my muffler had been almost fully corroded by seawater (what?), my mechanic also cleaned a rat’s nest from under the manifold.
There were rats living in my car. At some point in the last 10 months and some change (the last time I regularly drove my car to and from work every day), some rats crawled up in my car and made their home there, which I guess makes some sense but I would’ve thought with all the hawks and stray cats in our neighborhood that this sort of issue would have straightened itself out.
So. In addition to being a voracious reader, a proficient typist, and an all-around punk as fuck lady, I am also a shelterer of rats. Apparently.