Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Bigfoot Dreams, Part Two.

I’ll begin with an acknowledgement: I know that there’s a book entitled “Bigfoot Dreams” by Francine Prose. I have read the book. I have re-read the book many times. (I can’t remember if I purchased it, or if I lovingly adopted it from my roommate’s voluminous library of paperbacks.) I do know that I was intrigued by the title, since I have been having dreams about Bigfoot since I was a little kid. [See “Bigfoot Dreams, Part One.”] It turns out that the protagonist’s Bigfoot Dreams were nothing like my Bigfoot dreams, but the book was charming nonetheless.

The fact that I’ve had recurring Bigfoot dreams (nightmares, actually) is no surprise. I was a child scholar on everything Sasquatch; I was both fascinated and terrified by Bigfoot. By day, I watched Bigfoot movies and documentaries, or read anything I could find about the Giant Hairy One. By night, I trembled in my bed, wondering if he was tall enough to look in my bedroom window. (I slept on the second floor above a sunken patio; that would have to be one honkin’ Sasquatch.)

From my readings, I became familiar with every state that claimed Bigfoot sightings. I was reassured to know there were none where I lived, in Virginia. I sure as heck knew I didn’t ever want to visit the Pacific Northwest, wherever that was, because Bigfoots were loping all over the place there. One summer, the Big Guy was spotted in Ohio while I was there visiting my grandparents. My mom confided much later that they had hidden all newspapers from me during the trip. Good thinking. If I had known about the sightings, I would’ve thumbed a ride back to Bigfoot-free Virginia, pronto.

My nightmare was inspired by the documentary “In Search of Bigfoot,” where a woman sees Bigfoot through her kitchen window as she’s washing dishes. (I insisted on closing all kitchen window curtains after dark from then on.) In the dream, Bigfoot is standing on the front porch. I glimpse him through the wide kitchen bay window. Sometimes it’s the Abominable Snow Man or Yeti, who’s white instead of brown. Sometimes he rings the doorbell, sometimes he just stands there; glaring. I usually wake up before the dream gets much further than that.

So why has Bigfoot gotten the boot in my recurring dream? (He’s been replaced by the rock band KISS.) It might have something to do with the book I’m currently reading: “Bigfoot; the Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality” by Bigfoot expert John Napier. (I’m no longer a rabid scholar of “Bigfootia”, I just happen to like reading at bedtime.)

In what I’ve read so far, Napier has found no credible evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. Napier debunks alleged sighting videos and dismisses a number of footprint photographs. He even explains how Himalayan Sherpas manufacture “Yeti” scalps out of goat skulls and fur. (He asserts that they aren’t trying to deceive anyone, they’re just culturally motivated to please and satisfy those in search of the Yeti.) I’ll have to keep reading to see if Napier ever presents concrete evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. It would be pretty frustrating to be an expert on something that you can’t prove exists...Then again, priests aren’t asked to present photographs of God, are they?

I don't know much about Napier, other than he seems to have expelled Sasquatch from my nightmares. Or, has my subconscious simply matured beyond the grasp of childish fears? When I was a child, I believed in Bigfoot without question. As an adult, I’ve not thought much on the subject. I no longer digest Bigfoot factoids, I don’t surf Sasquatch websites. Perhaps Napier’s book was the icing on the cake of my gray matter. My adult brain can’t justify the existence of Bigfoot without proof. So welcome, KISS, goodbye Bigfoot. I’m think I’m going to miss you.