Everything's fine during the daylight hours. You lounge in the park, watching widowers play chess, ducking from an errant frisbee throw, reading Proust and thinking of the possibilities.
But at night... when the lights are out, the covers drawn, the wind whipping at the window... demons come out of nowhere, assaulting you with evil thoughts. Trip a granny crossing the street. Laugh during Sunday sharing time. Flip the bird at a motorcyclist for no good reason. Watch House. Like Goodman Brown, you buckle under the barrage.
Why? Why do they come at night?
Freud once opined that dreams are the "royal road to the unconscious." That road, my friend, is a public conveyance. Incubi and succubi wait around for a hackney-cab to your hallucinations, and, once inside, can roam the streets with impunity, like vandals sacking Rome, like Michigan fans after the Rose Bowl.
The trick is not dreaming. Every night, before sleeping, say the Dreamer's Prayer of Protection.
O God, who made the heav'n and earth,
From dreams this night protect me.
Destroy each succubus at birth,
No incubus infect me.
Your slumber will be safe from the torment of dreams and demons, and you can resume your normal life of Proust in the park, basking in the sunshine of grace.
[117th in a series]