A Dream of Lost Roads

I experienced several dreams last night. I remembered three this morning, but lost track of two of them, because a third dream occupied me.

In the third dream, I was attending a symposium with a female friend, Joan. I don’t recall what the symposium was about. I don’t think that was ever stated. When it ended, I suggested that we go get something to eat somewhere. She agreed. We had separate cars. She would follow me. Cool.

I headed down the road. I was driving an impressively expensive, exotic sports machine. The vehicles around me were older domestic American vehicles. Many weren’t in good condition.

The roads were terrible, and seemed to be getting worse. Within a few minutes of driving, I noticed Joan turned off from behind me. Where was she going? Finding a place to turn around, I went back to look for her. The roads were rapidly worse, degenerating from pavement, concrete or asphalt into rudimentary grassy, gravel trails. Yet, I thought, wait…I know this place.

I parked my car and exited it, looking around as I did. Although still daylight, it was late. The sun had set and dusk was growing. Less people were driving; more people were walking. Those walking were white, older, and obese, often with gray hair. From things said and seen, I knew I was in West Virginia. I’d spent my final high school years there, and then lived there once, for a year. I sometimes went back there because my wife has family there.

Walking around, I began orienting myself. Yes, I was right, I knew where I was. I was in the area where I’d gone to school, but all the businesses and roads were gone. People were walking everywhere.

The sky was indigo at the zenith, with a single bright star over the silhouette of the trees. A cool breeze picked up. I walked up a dirt trail to a small house on a hill. Painting white, it was peeling, had dirty windows and leaned to one side. It looked like it might have been built in the nineteen thirties and then had received poor treatment.

The people inside vaguely knew me. I knew of them but didn’t know them. We chatted about a dog and its owner, a man who ate poorly, but always ensured his dog had the best fresh meat for his meals. We laughed about that. I realized that one of the others was Red. Red, an ex-Marine, had stood trial for murdering his best friend, and was acquitted, even though it happened in a place locked from the inside, with no one else present. He had no memory of the event.

I asked about where I was, to confirm my conclusions. Yes, I was where I thought.

Leaving the little dilapidated hovel of a place, I started down the hill along the worn dirt trail. Remembering Joan, I returned to the house and asked to use their phone, to call my friend and find her location. Calling her, I saw a panel to one side. It had a full map of the area. When she answered the phone, it pinpointed her location with a bright, white star.

I told her that I knew where she was and where she needed to go, and gave her instructions. Then I hung up, thanked the others, and left, going back down the hill to meet my friend. Looking down the hill toward where I’d been before, I saw that all the roads were gone.


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