Black Hole Sun and My Childhood Nightmare

I’m sitting in philosophy class.   I’ve been in college long enough to become disenchanted with it.  I’m bored with these classes I’m forced to take with professors who aren’t interested in me or the topics they’re teaching.   The instructor walks in the room, stands in front of the classroom and asks, “How do you know you weren’t born yesterday?”

The class blinks and stares in confusion.

The professor (time has clouded my memory and I forget his name) repeats the question.  “How do you know you weren’t born yesterday?”  He waits a beat, and adds, “Born with all the memories of your life until this point?”

If I remember correctly the class argued with him.  Some even got mad.  Most people didn’t like the idea of only being a day old, and implanted with memories from their lives.  It made them uncomfortable – some said they’d feel cheated.

I sat in stunned silence, knowing if his scenario was real, my story didn’t begin yesterday, it began years ago.


In my eyes, indisposed
In disguises no one knows . . .


I was a little girl.

Normally, my favorite stories start with that sentence.

This is not one of those stories.

It’s not a horror story, dear reader.  Just a weird one.  An extremely unsettling one.  Something created in my childhood brain that gets weirder and weirder as this year progresses.


I was a little girl.

I woke up on my bed – fully clothed.  No idea how I got there, or when I fell asleep.  No idea at what had happened the entire day before that.  I hadn’t been put down for a nap, I would’ve been wearing comfy clothes and under the covers – Mom always prepared the bed for me before my nap.  I was in daytime clothes, and on top of a perfectly-made bed.

And the house.

The house was silent.

No sound of the tv, no clanking of Mom washing dishes, no hum of the air conditioner, nothing.

I was alone.

Completely alone.

And I had woken up from a nightmare about the end of the world.


Hides the face, lies the snake
The sun in my disgrace
Boiling heat, summer stench
‘Neath the black the sky looks dead . . .


In my dream, I was sitting in the grass, playing in the backyard.  I saw shadows moving across the lawn, and I stood up, confused.  I looked at my Dad who was standing there, leaning on his shovel (my parents gardened and landscaped a lot in those days – it was common for them to be outside with a hoe, or shovel, moving around dirt and plants and flowers and seeds), and he was looking at the sky.

The sun was disappearing, being wrapped by a large black thing.  It was eating the sun.  I knew it was the end of the world, and we were all going to die.  My dad stood, unmoving, aware of the end as well, but powerless to do anything.  The world got darker, and darker, and then was completely black.


Call my name through the cream
And I’ll hear you scream again . . .


I woke up, disoriented.  Terrified.  Unable to remember falling asleep, how I’d gotten on the bed, the beginning of my day, anything.  The house was silent.  I was utterly alone for the first time in my childhood existence.  I leaped up and looked out the window next to my bed.  To my immense relief, Mom and Dad were outside, busily digging and gardening in the backyard.  The last thing I remember of this memory is bursting out the front door and running to them, crying.


Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain . . .


So here’s the thing.  I’ve never liked eclipses.  This childhood nightmare is quite possibly the manifestation of an over-active imagination (which I proudly claim), and a ton of news stories about an eclipse that was going to be visible in parts of the US around that time.  I didn’t understand what the eclipse was, it scared me, I feel asleep before being properly put down for a nap, and had a nightmare about the sun being eaten by something and the end of the world.


Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come . . .


Or I was plugged into the Matrix at this exact moment in time, with only vague memories of my childhood  – and no memory of that day.  The actual world had been destroyed by something eating the sun, and we all went into stasis – and the Matrix – until the planet could be fixed.

Sadly, I did not wake up with a knowledge of kung fu.

Another possibility – I am a cylon, transported to that spot in this world and activated at that moment.  Same sun-destroyed theory as above applies here as well, only it happened on a different world.

Let’s ignore the fact they didn’t make little girl cylons.


Whatever happened, the truth is, if I discovered my life actually began at that moment I woke up, I would not question it at all.  It was that strange an event.


Stuttering, cold and damp
Steal the warm wind tired friend
Times are gone for honest men
And sometimes far too long for snakes . . .


So I’ve been going along in my life (or simulation, or alternative robot existence) without much thought for eclipses or the end of the world.  Except in dreams – its not uncommon for me to have an end-of-the-world dream.  I was plagued with them when I was a child.  They creep up in my adult life every now and then.  I’ve always had weird dreams.  Sometimes somewhat prophetic dreams, sometimes alternate universe dreams, usually long, detailed, drawn-out dreams . . . I had no idea it wasn’t normal to have detailed dreams until my husband told me this.  I’ve dreamed entire days sometimes.  Entire stories that play like a movie.  I’ve always had this ability.  The black-hole-sun dream wasn’t one of these dreams.  It was extremely short.  But extremely vivid, and extremely unsettling.


In my shoes, a walking sleep
And my youth I pray to keep . . .


So why talk about this dream today?  What possessed me to write such a dark and depressing blog?

Well . . .

. . . there’s an eclipse coming.

A total eclipse.

There’s a direct path across the United States where it will be the darkest and longest the eclipse can last.

And guess what?

My backyard is on that fucking path.

I live in Nashville, TN.

Not only is there nowhere in the country I can go to get away from the thing . . .



Heaven sent hell away
No one sings like you anymore . . .


So I’m less than pleased with this whole thing.  My irrational brain is convinced when the eclipse hits, I’m either going to wake up in a tub of goo, unplugged from the Matrix,


or wake up in a tub of goo on a cylon ship.


I suddenly realized both my fears involve tubs of goo.



So my rational brain . . .

well, my rational brain doesn’t operate very often or very loudly.

And it’s fairly quiet at the moment.


Black hole sun
Won’t you come
And wash away the rain . . .


And then, there’s this song.

Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden.

I was always terrified by the video, because it was basically my childhood nightmare with details filled in.

I’m not going to post a still from the video because it’s terrifying to my irrational childhood brain. Instead, please enjoy this gif of corgi puppies.


So I’d only seen the video once, and always turned the song off when it came on the radio.  I never cared for Soundgarden because of that one song, but liked Chris Cornell’s voice, and when he fronted Audioslave a few years later, I became a fan.


You know where this is going.

You’ve seen the news.

Chris Cornell died a few days ago.



Black hole sun
Won’t you come
Won’t you come . . .


My husband is still grieving.

A lot of people are still grieving.

Cornell was a hell of a musician.

He died less than 100 days from this eclipse.

Black Hole Sun is all over my newsfeed.


Black hole sun
Black hole sun . . .


I can’t get away from it.


Black hole sun
Black hole sun . . .


I don’t know what it means.


Black hole sun
Black hole sun . . .


But I will morn the death of a beautiful soul.

And a fabulous musician.


And if I disappear on August 21, 2017,

know that I enjoyed this life immensely.

And that I’m in a tub of goo somewhere starting a new one.

And please feed my dogs and cats for me.






This is at the bottom of every news article I’ve seen about Cornell’s death, and it’s at the bottom of everything I’ve posted about him:

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
You do not have to go through this alone.


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