I woke up a very vivid, strange dream this afternoon. I’ve not been sleeping well, at all, again. Like most of my dreams, it was disconcerting. Upon waking, and reading events in the news, it was even more disconcerting...
I've been noticing bits of reality creeping into my dreams, but not in the way I normally expect. I take it as a given that previous events try and sift themselves into meaning after the fact, rearranging themselves into odd, quirky narratives. What's troubling, to me at least, is when the dreams show up in the present or short-term future.
[trying to type on the tablet with the bluetooth keyboard is not as easy as I had hoped, but then again, with my hands giving me fits of numbness and weakness on a daily and nightly basis lately, even writing with pen and paper is somewhat difficult]
------- <begin rough recollection of dream> ------
in the dream, the parts I can remember more clearly, than others, I had gone to my doctor’s office for some reason I’m not clear about now. The odd part was, it was Dr. Jones’ office, who’s been retired for over 10 years now. It was in the same building, laid out roughly the same way with dark wood cupboards and windows facing south (though the actual dimensions were skewed, larger and organized somewhat differently, but not egregiously so). He had looked me over and finished talking with me about whatever it was that had brought me there. It seemed uneventful, over all, and I don’t recall any “To Do” actions as follow-ups.
Upon leaving the examination room, I realized I had misplaced my keys (Apartment and mailbox, with the “The Walking Dead” video game ear fob). In the outer area, where I was checking out, the staff were having a ‘working’ Holiday Party of some sort, mingling, with food, and Xmas decorations like tinsel and lights, little gifts. It was cheerful and everyone seemed to be in good, high spirits. One woman, sitting at her desk showed me a set of keys when I asked if anyone had found some, produced a set that almost looked like mine, but the keys were the wrong shape and the fob was a long, thin rectangle that had some logo I didn’t recognize. So instead, I went back to the examination room to check there.
There were a few nurses in the room, which now seemed even larger, one I recognised as Katie (stage manager from NTG, oddly enough!) but either she didn’t recognize me, or was occupied with other things and didn’t notice me, perhaps? As they went about doing their work, I found my keys on the floor, under the edge of some cupboards. After picking them up, I realized there was another woman now in the room with me, younger than me,perhaps 25 with a short pageboy haircut in a dark mahogany brown color, and a large, faded pastel cotton drawstring backpack bag there as well. The bag wasn’t her’s, from what she indicated, and when I looked in it, there was a pile of crumpled, small denomination bills, something like a change purse which might have had the owner’s ID, and (again, with large dimensions out of proportion to the actual outside size) a number (6-8?) of soft, quilted fabric books that one might make for toddlers learning to read. I think I recall them being something along the lines of Winnie the Pooh (and/or Dr. Suess?) stories. They were mostly done, though some of them had seams that still needed finished so I could still see the quilt batting inside them. I got the sense they were meant as a gift for someone.
For whatever reason, instead of turning the bag over to the employees at the front area, I left with the woman I didn’t know, and took the bag with me. The money hadn’t attracted me, and I recall thinking I would try to locate the owner, myself. Why on earth I did that, I don’t know. It certainly would have made more sense to turn the bag over to the staff, since they would have a better way to identify the owner and return it. Why I left with the strange woman, I have even less of a reason to explain.
I ended up in an old, faded crimson Ford pickup truck, an older (late 40s, early 50s) thin guy driving, somehow I was in the middle, and the young woman by the passenger side door. While my home was an easy drive down the highway from the doctor’s office, he didn’t take that route. Instead, we were on backroads that looked like they were in old, reclaimed stripmining areas, with low scrub bushes, a few isolated copses of trees scattered around, and brackish, swampy areas in the low lying gullys along the roads. It was late fall, and cold and overcast, but not actually raining or snowing.
When I realized they were going to the other side of town, and I was even farther away from my place than had I walked directly from the doctor’s office, I told him to stop at the upcoming intersection with an actual STOP sign, so I could get out. Instead, he drove right through the intersection, never even slowing down. She never said anything. After making a left turn and driving another mile or so, I again demanded he stop and let me out. He did so, begrudgingly. I grabbed the mystery purse/bag and got out as quickly as I could, all the while feeling seething anger radiating from him and her seeming upset and scared. I also had the strangest sensation that I was expected to go with them, wherever they were going and to (possibly?) assume the identity indicated by the contents of the bag I had found and taken. My demands to stop and leave them had caused a problem with whatever unspoken (and unknown to me) plan was in place.
While I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, I knew roughly the direction to get home. The largest obstacles were the vast distance to get there before night while walking, and I wasn’t 100% sure the roads we had turned down; I only knew the “as the crow flies” direction based on vague landmarks and the brightness of the sky. I was essentially lost, since this area wasn’t really known to me.
I started walking back down the slight hill we had last turned onto, until I came to the intersection, perhaps a quarter mile back. There was a decrepit, rusty road sign with only one road marked, the other having fallen off, or perhaps removed long ago. All it said, in faded paint, was “War”. A short, rusted iron building, perhaps once a garage or mining storage building stood on the corner, barely safe to be in. On the uphill side, I saw what might have been an even older road sign that had both roads marked. This one said “Irish War” with a shamrock and the other road was marked something that I think began with the letter “M” [but at this point, I’m not sure if I couldn’t make out the other word, or if I’ve forgotten what it was, now that I’m awake. I have the impression I might have almost figured out what it said in the dream to tell the taxi dispatch, but perhaps couldn’t quite be sure because of how faded and worn the paint was].
Regardless, I decided since I still had some cellphone reception, I was going to call for a taxi. I still had a little cash of my own, and if absolutely necessary, I would borrow from the bag I had found at the doctor’s office (though I was loath to do so and hoped it wouldn’t be needed). Standing in the building, and scanning around at all the rusted equipment, I realized I wasn’t able to get a signal with all the metal interfering, let alone being out in the middle of nowhere with poor signal strength to begin with. Before I could step outside to try the call again, however, three men showed up in the building.
They were older, like the driver of the pick-up truck had been. They were also thinner, wiry and, grizzled in dark or dirty work clothes. Life and time had not been completely kind to them. While I was wary, I wasn’t exactly afraid. Somehow, one of them managed to get ahold of my Birkenstock sandals, so I was now barefoot in this tetanus-waiting-to-happen hovel. I went from wary to pissed off. When he wouldn’t give me my shoes back, I recall trying to wrestle them away from him, not actively trying to harm him, more of using Aikido-like momentum altering moves to bring him down to the ground. It wasn’t all that successful, on my part. I remember feeling resigned to the situation, thinking, “fuck it. I’m just leaving without shoes. This isn’t worth the hassle, anymore.”
Before I could get my shoes back, let alone call a cab, get home, or find the owner of the bag, I awoke from the dream.
------- <end rough recollection of dream> ------
The shitty part of all this, aside from the bizarre uncertainty of the dream upon waking, was discovering there had been another shooting. This time at a San Bernardino facility where a holiday event was being held. By what the news is currently reporting as 3 assailants outfitted in tactical gear. Taking into account the differnce from EST and PST, I was having this dream while the events were unfolding....