Creative Nonfiction Dream Story: "When Young Robert Downey Jr. Helped Me Babysit"

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Dreaming is so much fun when you can remember your dreams in vivid detail the next morning, especially the ones that come out of nowhere. Earlier this week, I had a doozy of a dream I can still remember without having written any of it down at the time.

I dreamed it was summertime, and I was in charge of watching a large group of kids while their parents attended a church function. 

Who knows why, but the person acting as my co-chaperone was, of all people, Young Robert Downey Jr., potentially the worst candidate to act as a chaperone in the history of babysitting.

We must have been watching this crew of unruly kids somewhere in the Deep South, because it was hot, sultry, weather, and Spanish moss dangled from the limbs of mammoth trees all around the yard.

To add another terrible factor to the scenario, the estate where we were watching the kids had a large pond, so not only was I in charge of overseeing 20 kids plus Young Robert Downey Jr., but I had to make sure none of them drowned in the process.

I remember there was a swing set nearby the pond, because the kids kept climbing on the swings and jumping off them into the pond.

At some point, Young Robert Downey Jr. revealed he had a bicycle — I don't know where he'd been hiding it; maybe in the folds of that billowy white, floral shirt? — and decided to give all the kids rides around the yard and out on the gravel road in front of the estate.

Well, turns out the gravel punctured a hole in the tire of the bike, and since the bike was Young Robert Downey Jr.'s ride home, it was ultra-important for him to get the tire fixed. All the babysitting came to a screeching halt as I got into an altercation with him over whether he could fix the tire himself or not.

He insisted that all he would need to do would be to sew the punctured seam with really strong thread. I of course laughed this suggestion out of the running. 

Finally, he conceded that he knew a magical seamstress who could charm the puncture shut. She had long fingernails and green hair a la the witches from "Macbeth." 

She appeared in the yard out of nowhere and explained patiently to cocky Young Robert Downey Jr. that his stitches would never have worked to patch the tire, because there was an invasive silkworm species embedded in the tire wall, and it would disintegrate the stitches as soon as he tried to ride away. She said the only way to get rid of the silkworm was through a magical incantation that only she could perform.

Thankfully, her price was low, she soon fixed the tire, and Young Robert Downey Jr. was on his way home. 

I don't know where all the kids went. They just weren't around anymore. I was left on the estate by myself, so I climbed onto a swing wearing a white billowy sheet, and the last thing I remember is floating through the air after jumping off the swing.

Read more posts in the Storytelling Sunday series here.


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