You know you're a writer when you've got lists upon lists of this stuff on your phone.
You know you’re a writer when you’ve got lists upon lists of this stuff on your phone.

Coyotes are following me everywhere lately.

The other night, during a 67-hour work week, I was attempting to sleep and I kept having these bizarre almost-asleep nightmares. At one point they were bothering me so much that I had to get up, and that’s when I made this list.

SIDENOTE: I know that none of these things sound particularly scary, but dreams are weird, so just trust me, they were.*

In my nightmare, I was driving down a neighbourhood street, or maybe I was on a bike, and as I turned a corner, I saw a yard full of coyotes. But they weren’t just chilling out, they were feeding on something. Their teeth were all bared and bloody, as was their fur, and they were ripping chunks of meat off something on the ground. And the yard wasn’t normal, either. It was like a mountain range of trash with deep, muddy valleys.

And then somehow I crashed into the yard and I was surrounded by four or five of these coyotes, and all I remember is this feeling of panic, like I was about to have to defend myself against these hungry, terrifying creatures.

And then I woke up.

But that wasn’t the first of my coyote incidents.

The day before my nightmare, I was driving to work when I saw something along the side of the road. At first I thought it was a fox, but as I got closer, I realized it was larger. Much larger. I’ve never actually seen a coyote in person, so it took me a minute to realize that’s what it was, but sure enough, there it was: scraggly, dirty hair, pointy ribs, a longish coat of mangy fur around its neck, wandering around looking somewhat crazed and scary. As I drove past it, I thanked my lucky stars that I don’t have dogs who stay outside in the yard on their own, because it looked hungry.

It looked like this, but dirtier.
It looked like this, but dirtier.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that coyote all day.

Maybe because the day before, I was listening to Macklemore in my car, and all of a sudden, the lyrics of “Castle” became clear. You know how you can listen to a song a few times and the lyrics don’t even sound like English, and then all of a sudden they’re crystal clear and you can understand exactly what they’re saying? That happened. And I heard this:

Have you ever killed a coyote in the middle of a party
In the night, in the middle of a party
Have you ever killed a coyote in the middle of the night
In the middle of a party
Brought it home and threw it on the carpet
Sit and kill a coyote, I’m starving
Who wants to eat a coyote?
Who wants to eat a coyote?
Who wants to eat a coyote?

And I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “I wonder why he chose a coyote.”

I think that’s where it all began.

Lesson learned: life is full of strange patterns and coincidences. It’s about figuring them out.

So I’m off to Google coyotes…


P.S. Uh oh…

“To see a coyote in your dream denotes deception and weakness.

To dream that you are attacked by coyotes indicated that you are struggling with your own selfish needs.”

And uh oh again…

“Coyote is usually seen as a trickster and delights in all sorts of pranks, mischief and jokes. James Lewis, in his book The Dream Encyclopaedia, says that Trickster/Coyote is not by nature evil, even though the results of his activities are often unpleasant. These activities centre around bringing attention to our own often hidden stupidity or shams or lies. He is also the unexpected spontaneous ‘idiot’ aspect of life which for no reason at all emerges into our carefully arranged life to upset it. Trickster is a shape shifter and so has the possibility of transformation. The undeveloped, idiot, side of this symbol may have a type of clear-sightedness due to lacking the complications and contradictions of thinking and values. It also may be creative in a serendipitous sort of way. Because it doesn’t seriously hold onto a purpose or idea, this side of our nature may lead us to something new, a change of direction. In some dreams the fool is a figure who is sacrificed.

In general similar to dog or fox. It is sometimes used to represent the ‘trickster’ or tricky and unexpected unplanned for element of life, as is the fox.”

*And also, the dancing kid with their “butt out” doesn’t mean they were naked. The kid was doing a funny little dance and shaking her butt. So stop judging me like five minutes ago, all right?