lizards and other small disasters

Sometimes, things which seemed like such a good idea in the fraught wee hours, don’t seem so bold and bright when you wake to the slim grey fingers of dawn slipping through your curtains.

But this isn’t about that.

After a troublesome, semi-sleepless night, I dreamed of walking through anonymous, unfamiliar, urban parkland, accompanied by a clever boy and surrounded by many other people. It seemed a busy park. At some point I realised, as you only can in dreams, that the ground was covered with lizards, broken and dying. They looked like chameleons, and perhaps they were, because the livings ones were a beautiful, vibrant green, while the dying and the dead ranged through an autumnal spectrum of yellows, oranges and ashen browns. Their sizes also varied, from smaller than a baby’s pinkie finger to as large as your foot, and a lot of them had bits missing. Legs, tails, the little frills on their back. The living ones looked up at me with their bright, black eyes and gasped.

They lay like fallen leaves, carpeting the ground, and everyone was walking on them, nonchanlantly crunching little reptilian bones beneath joggers and sandals and boots.

I couldn’t move. Tried to pick out gaps to tiptoe between them, or at least between the ones still living, but it was impossible. There were so many of them. I stood there, helpless to save them, helpless to stop everyone else from stepping on them.

I called out to the clever boy, who had gone on ahead, and pointed to the ground. "We can’t move," I said to him. "We can’t just walk on them."

He grew irritated at that, and came back to yank at my hand. "Come on," he said. "They’re only lizards."