Melatonin Dreams of the COVID Cocktail

Challenge from Emily – write about an indelible moment 

So I share a recent indelible moment – about 3 hours recent – and it’s horrifying. Readers beware. Strange what pills will do to “keep us well.”  Backstory: negative COVID test – but take this COVID Cocktail to prevent it……

Apologies for the length…..

Melatonin Dreams of the COVID cocktail

an assortment of vitamins and


1 to 3 milligrams a half hour before bed 

as tolerated 

what does that even mean? 

as tolerated

I’d heard sleepless friends say melatonin causes nightmares 

(in my dream 

I was supposed to be at a horse rodeo 

but never saw 

the first horse 

I was in a big eatery

first at a table with people I didn’t know 

two little Italian boys 

twins, maybe 5 

talking about desserteria 

and then selling $1.75 trinket rings 

as a fundraiser 

my own dad suddenly appeared because my mom wanted one)



in heaven in real life now-

and Dad here- 

(offered to pay for my ring but I scrounged up my own quarters) 

quarters from the same Ziploc sandwich bag 

I keep in my Caribbean Blue Rav 4 console 

that I actually 

-not in a dream –

had used to make the change part of my grilled chicken lunch 

from Big Chic yesterday 

in the drive thru in the sudden deluge 

for $7.06

-a twenty from

my purse, a nickel and penny from the bag, 

two fives and three ones back-

(so I asked the little boys if they’d been to Italy and one said 

yes, he’d gotten an Italian haircut there 

– and kept eating his desserteria

what is an Italian haircut? 

is desserteria even a thing? 

his huge group of older relatives 

strangers I’d never met started getting up from

the next table and had all the Italian features of olive toned skin and 

Ray Romano noses 

and glared at me like I had crossed lines with their boys

I stared back with viral oomph 

squinted my eyes at them 

meeting their challenge

asking with my expression:

how dare they?!? 

I’m not the one who let them sit at a table with total strangers 

eating desserteria 

spend some time with your kids, my eyes accused 

it suddenly seemed like we changed from a restaurant to a train car 

further down the mallish corridor I saw 

a work


-from real life 

– her family I’d heard all had COVID in real life

(and then Joanie and her husband)

I actually saw in real life 

– not just in this crazy dream- 

eating barbecue at the Oink Joint in Zebulon this week

(on the walk I saw 

my friend Peg  

praising the pho

so the Asian girl behind the counter asked me 

what I wanted and I ordered 

“what they were having”

since I don’t know enough about pho to know,

pointing at Peg and Mary)


married friends of mine who’d left their husbands for each other 

back around 2002

(but I left the line for a minute 

– I do not know why –

came back, got in line to pay for the pho 

and realized – no money! 

reached in the pocket of my sweater 

wait, no,

-this was Mom’s Korean sweater) 

-because in real life this week Dad had mailed me a box with her Korean jacket and two Gladys Taber books- 

Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge 


My Own Cookbook

(and I pulled out-

what is this? 

foreign currency? 

paper bills with unknown faces on them 

a five and a one

not knowing whether it was stronger than the dollar or weaker 

a young black girl 

about seven years old

pulled out her own foreign currency to pay for hers

glanced at me and said something

about the food?

in some language I did not understand

I hoped the foreign money might work

– hers did

where was I in this international rodeo? 

in the eating area 

a lady named MooreAnn was there with her husband 

they were showing how they’d made all these jigsaw puzzles

but neither was clothed and they were hairless and plopped against a wall covering themselves with their arms except for one exposed flat and droopy breast 

expressionless lumps

not saying a word while someone else talked for them 

a girl ran out from behind a counter to get a cigarette and a light from someone standing by the wall who seemed to know what she wanted without words 

then she ran back to work behind the counter

someone said it was MooreAnn’s daughter and I said she looks like them

only with clothes

she was wearing running shorts and a T-shirt

running with a lit smoke and a smile

next there was a labor room where 

newborn naked babies were on display 

lying on twin beds with their dads while the moms were off somewhere else 

-God only knows where-

one baby was cute but way bigger than all the rest and had a disproportionately huge head

his bottom was way too plump in a babyish sense and when he lifted his head to grin 

I saw two buck teeth 

up top and little teeth on the bottom

and asked how he’d been born with all those teeth already in and how was he already that big? 

he had to have hurt

a random

lady there to see the babies told me he’d surely have a brain tumor later 

I quipped back it was sad how we don’t know all the answers and why does God let us go through things like this? 

those poor parents 

facing a baby with cancer

and then I went back to a room 

– like a hotel room but not – 

to get things to go home 

-wherever home was

I was making a right hand turn 

in the far left turn lane and maintained my lane 

but a car next to me 

had me wondering if he would do the same- 

I was hyper-aware  

but the car stayed in its own lane

I asked whoever was in the car with me

-I knew them but had no idea who it was – 

how to get back  

– I didn’t know where back was –

but no answer from

the back seat passenger

the roads were dark and desolate and I didn’t know where to go

I guessed at it and saw a child 

a girl of about ten 

wearing magenta shorts and a shirt walking on the edge of the road

-finally, someone who was dressed-

I went around her 

-but a child? 

-on a dark highway? 

-is this not strange? 

And this was when things got worse

I saw the boy

a clothesless boy

about 8 years old

had been hit by a car

and was lying in the road screaming for help

should I stop? 

– of course I should


I missed hitting him and pulled to the side to try to help 

but the Rav was going too fast to stop 

up next in this Melatonin nightmare – another body this one already dead and bloody 

and I could not tell anything at all about the victim that 

like some roadkill 

had been hit several times

and then I saw nothing but blood spots on the road the further I went 

and I convinced myself I should turn around 

because we may be next if we kept going down this road 

I spun the Rav around to take a different way 

– to go back and turn onto the road 

I had passed 

and saw that the car that had been behind me had spun around too

I wondered what

that driver 


in this dream of terror 



we’re they in on the killings!?)

4:21 a.m. in real life-

-thank God I’m back- 

jolted awake by the horror

bolt upright! 

No more Melatonin for me! 


No. More. COVID. Cocktail. 

I’ll take my chances.

I choose real life! 

wide awake

I get up from bed in this log cabin in FDR State Park 

stumble to the toilet

hear a sound 

I’m thinking hubby is behind me in line to pee next

the same way our two dogs line up

for the same spot 

I hear popping sounds on the wooden floor

creaks the whole time I pee

“Hey, baby?”

no response 

I go back to the room

– there he is in bed 

        fast asleep 

as he was when I left

in this haunted cabin #7 

by Lake Delanor 

In FDR State Park

On Saturday,

August 15,


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