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Death Is Actually a Woman and Has Got an Ugly Assistant

Illustration by Iranian artist Shahrzad Davar, courtesy of Artpic
OK, I'm not OK!

My day started very badly. Last night my pressure dropped, but I didn't care about it and went to bed. Early in the morning, all my body got numb and I couldn't move my limbs. I couldn't roll over in bed, also my body got badly cold. Then I had a horrible dream...

In my dream, I was talking to a young woman. She had an abnormal big face. I told her she is very ugly, and she got angry. Then suddenly she smiled and I told her now she looks better, but as she was smiling the shape of her face got more and more horrible. An old woman came from somewhere behind her and gave me something. I thanked her and as I was looking what she gave me, I saw two women coming looking exactly like these two women. I looked back and realised the women who are coming are dead, and these two women I talked to are actually the Death. The old woman is the Death and the ugly woman is her assistant. It was like in the movie The Others when Nicole Kidman found a photo under the bed and realised in horror the three servants are dead (The Others is the scariest scary movie I ever watched, by the way). The old woman started grinning at me viciously. At this point I started running, went to my flat and locked all the doors.

It was then when I woke up from that nightmare, or rather morningmare. I found my blanket at the other side of the bed, pulled it over me and went under it like a submarine going under water. I was hoping my body get warmer and I would feel better. But I didn't. My blood pressure was still very low, and I felt big heavy rock is on me. I wished there was someone in the room like my sister or a female friend to take me out of the bed, hold me and give me a hot drink like coffee. But of course no one was there.

What happened to me is called bakhtak in the past in Iran. The old generation call it this. They consider it a person sitting on you when you're asleep and make you have bad dreams and feel bad but you cannot move or shout for help. It has also got a scientific name today but I don't know it. Whether it was bakhtak or something medical, I managed to pull myself out of the bed, went to the kitchen and drank as much black coffee as I could, something which I hardly ever drink unless I feel awful.

I talked about my dream to my friend. She says it means someone is jealous of me. I used to care too much about what I see in my dreams. I used to search for any possible meaning and looked it up in my dream interpretation book. Interpreting dreams is something common over here, people usually believe what they see in their dreams might happen in reality in the future. We have some dream interpretation books, the famous ones are attributed to Daniel, Ibn Sirin, and Imam Sadiq.

Dream interpretation in Iran mainly has got something to do with Islamic philosophy. In Quran, Muslims' holy book, there are stories about prophets or famous people having dreams. The most famous one is the story of Abraham when he had a vision in his dream he was sacrificing his son Ishamel with a sharp knife for God. Or Pharaoh, one of the rulers of ancient Egypt had a dream that 7 meager cows walked out of the Nile and ate 7 other big cows, and Joseph interpreted his dream as there would be a vast drought in Egypt for 7 years. There is another famous story of another Pharaoh and Moses, when he had a bad dream and his dream interpreters told him there would born a baby who would threaten his throne and overthrow him, so he ordered all male infants in Egypt be slayed but baby Moses survived at the end.

In ancient Iran, Persia, before the advent of Islam, we had dream interpretation as well. For example Cyrus the great had a dream in which Darius has got wings on his shoulders and is standing above the World, so he interpreted his Empire is in danger. Also I read Cyrus the great saw in his dream a huge vine has come out of Atoosa's stomach, his daughter, and has gone up and covered the sky. The dream was interpreted his daughter would have a son in future who will rule the whole world. The dream became true and Xerxes was born to Atoosa.

In modern world, Freud; the father of psychoanalysis, claims dream is the gateway to the unconscious. He has got many dream analysis in his famous book The Interpretation of Dreams.

Later on in my life, I moved from dream interpretation books to analysing my dream, which means I moved from historical/traditional approach to the scientific approach.

But lately, with due respect to Freud, I don't think about my dreams anymore. I say it was just a dream, let's forget it.

All I need now is another mug of hot ginger tea, and my warm bed.

I gotta go home.

Sweet dreams.


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