A Father and His Homicidal Daughter
Dream | January 13, 2013
At a dusty train station out in the middle of the desert a car pulls up. It's a long flat vehicle like a mid-1960s Chrysler. An older man gets out and helps a young lady into the passenger seat.
This is the only dream in black n' white that I can remember. It's like watching an old episode of The Twilight Zone.
Then we're driving on this straight highway through the desert. From the back seat I'm watching the plot unfold. Having just seen Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? last night the man looks exactly like Richard Burton and his daughter is the blonde Sandy Dennis in her late teens.
"How have you been?" he asks in his Mid-Atlantic accent, but she is staring out her window at the empty expanse of the desert, even though there is nothing to see. Not even a cactus for miles around.
There's a bit of silence, then he begins again lamely: "Comfortable trip, was it?"
When she still doesn't answer, he says softly and gently in a fatherly tone. "Look, I know this has all been hard on you, but we have to make the best of the situation. Tell me what you are feeling?"
"I hate you," she states firmly.
"Now what have I ever done to you? I've only wanted the best for you—"
"Stop! Stop the car! Stop!" she screams. He utters some questioning sound but quickly brakes the vehicle to the side of the road.
Even before they stop she jumps out and sprints into the desert and disappears into a shallow wash. Bathroom break? When she appears on the other side she is still running fast, so he goes out after her at full speed. Somewhere out there he catches up to her and grabs her. Kicking and punching, she fights him off but he gets around behind her and restrains her, first getting both her hands in one of his, then grabbing her legs and carrying her sideways in front of him.
About halfway back she bucks against him violently. He stumbles backward and lands on his butt while she rolls to the ground. Up first, she thrusts her foot into his stomach, driving all the air out of his lungs and shoving him backwards again. Then she's running full tilt.
Tired and injured, he nonetheless catches up to her. I think her shoes with the low heels were hindering her pace. Eventually he lugs her back to the vehicle. The trunk pops open magically like a big mouth waiting to be filled. She is presented with an option.
"You can either sit in the front seat and behave, or ride home in the trunk. Which will it be, hm?"
Grudgingly she gets into the passenger seat and they drive off. For the first time I am a physical being in this dream. I look like George Segal in his early 30s.
Ten minutes down the road she pulls some yarn and two long needles from her purse and occupies herself with knitting. Her father appears not to notice but when she lunges toward him with one of those sharp needles he dodges to the side, yanking the steering wheel to the left, diving into the oncoming lane and sending the girl back against the passenger door. In the backseat I lurch forward and grab her backwards, trying to snatch her wrists. The car screeches back into the right lane barely missing an oncoming car that rushes by with its horn blaring against a wall of dust. The momentum hurls her towards him again and she stabs him in the shoulder with one of the needles. He slams down on the brakes and the car screeches around in a semi-circle and stops in the middle of the road blocking both lanes.
At once the empty road is jammed with cars and trucks. A semi-tractor-trailer grinds to a halt right in front of us. The daughter leaps out again and runs toward its driver who has gotten out to inquire but she shoves him aside and climbs into the cab. The noise of grinding gears, and then the huge truck lurches forward and crunches into her father's car, smashing the right headlight and denting that corner like an accordion.
We get out and he forcibly extracts her from the cab. Screaming and fighting every step, she is installed into her seat again. That truck driver just watched this scene quite baffled. Once inside, the father takes her purse and removes any other loose objects in the cab. When he confirms I am holding her shoulders tight he gets back in and we're driving again.
After awhile we arrive at a small town on the edge of the desert, and eventually at some low apartments in a park-like setting. When the car is stopped he turns to her.
"Why are you doing this?" he asks, feeling his shoulder with his left hand.
"It's what you did to her."
"Your mother and I loved each other, but we also had a difficult relationship. I regret cheating on her, but she had no right to take you away from me."
"I won't ever forgive you for ruining our life."
"I'm not asking for forgiveness, but she's gone now and we're going to have to figure out what to do with you now. Can we at least have a truce?"
She doesn't say anything, but their eyes meet and some agreement is understood. I take her suitcase and purse and follow them into one of the buildings.
In the apartment he goes upstairs into his room and she into hers, which opens into the living room and kitchen area. With nothing else to do I start to wash the dishes.
A movement catches my eye. Her hand slips by and grabs a sharp serrated knife from the drying rack. She's trying to stab me with it! We wrestle for awhile until I get around behind her and work her fingers open and pry the knife out. I toss it across the room, but in that moment she's lunging for another in the rack. Before she can grab it I push her back into her room. As she leaps towards me again I drag the door closed.
I call up into his room. "Hey she's trying to kill me down here!"
His voice is noncommittal. "I'm sure you can handle it."
Her door opens and she's standing there with both hands gripped around an ridiculous group of knives all pointing out toward me. On her face a wolfish grin as if she wants to butcher my flesh right then and there.
As the dream is fading away I realize I'm going to have to hog-tie her!