The Travel Dream

Such a brief, sharp dream.

My wife and I were outside. Fat, wet snow fell, covered the ground, and blotted our vision. We were dressed for cold, so we were protected, and we were walking somewhere. A man said, “Hey, would you like some airline tickets?”

We laughed and scoffed. “Flying? Now? No, thanks.”

The man insisted, “It’s cheap and safe,” reassurances that amused me.

“Sure.”

He seemed to miss my sarcasm and doubt. “Good. Where do you want to go? You can go anywhere for just three hundred and four dollars.”

“Anywhere? Can I go to Pittsburgh for that?”

“Yes, Pittsburgh, here you are.” He held out two tickets.

“Wait, is that three oh four each? Is it round trip?”

“Yes, yes.”

I was confused. “We don’t want to go to Pittsburgh. It’ll be cold there. It’ll be just like here.”

The man said, “You can go anywhere you want.”

My wife replied, “We want somewhere warm.”

“Yes, through there, those tickets will take you.”

Through where, we were asking him, ourselves, and one another. Then we glided out. A  broad, flat green land spread out at our feet. Spokes of waterways divided the land into wedges. A metropolis served as a hub. A golden haze bathed it all.

“Where are we?” my wife and I asked.

The man answered from behind us, “Wherever you want to be.”

The Leaf Dream

Standing outside, don’t know where it was. Bit dark, like false dawn was just coming on. The light was weak and faded, and color was seeping into the world. A cool wind toyed with my face, and I thought, “This is nice.”

Motion in the air took my attention up and to one side. I thought it was a bird but then gathered it was a leaf. Carried by the light wind, the leaf followed an erratic, tumbling flight. With my first gaze, I mistook it for brown but then realized, no, it’s green. I thought it was a maple leaf.

Pale blue was creeping into the sky by then. After a moment, my orientation changed. Temporarily baffled, I puzzled over what I was seeing and then realized that I was looking down. A split second later, an epiphany went through me that I was the leaf. It so surprised me that I started awake.

Awake in the dark, I stared upward, still seeing the leaf as it faded, amused by the thought, I’m a floating leaf.

The Peculiar Television Show Dream

This dream had me watching and listening to a television show. See, my eyes were closed but the television was on. On television, they were talking about pratfalls.

For a while, though my eyes were closed, I could see the television. I watched as a woman was being interviewed. Wearing a white pleated skirt, high heels, and a golden shirt, she explained how to correctly do falls. As I fell deeper asleep, the television screen faded, but the audio remained. I heard the interviewer (a man) say, “Here, you put your hand on a rail, but then flipped over the rail.”

When this was said, I could see her again. She was walking up a white sidewalk toward a green handrail. She put a hand on the rail and flipped over it.

“Yes,” the woman replied.

“Let’s see that again in slow motion,” the man said. “You can talk us through.”

I opened my eyes to watch. The sound stopped. There wasn’t a television on, of course, and no show to watch.

I felt completely perplexed. It’d seemed so real but it’d just been a dream.

The Broken Glass Dream

At the dream’s beginning, I groaned; not another military dream.

No, it isn’t, my mind rebutted. It dawned on me in the dream that I wasn’t in the military but many people were wearing uniforms.

I was heading to work with tons of other folks. I wore a light blue shirt and dark blue pants, which reminded me of my Air Force uniform, but I saw that it wasn’t. Somehow, I was first to leave and head off. A herd followed me.

I rounded a corner and stopped at a stone wall. Everyone else drew up. Checking the time, I explained, “It’s not opened yet. It’ll open in a moment.”

The wall drew aside, revealing a tunnel. Stepping forward, I drove in a car on a heavily-traveled highway, and then stepped into a busy, busy office.

While greeting others and exchanging banter, I searched for my schedule. Where was I supposed to be today? What was I supposed to be today? I’d just found my schedule and was reviewing it when the boss (a middle-aged bald guy) pulled me aside to go on a special assignment with a woman.

I resisted and complained. I was supposed to be doing something else. The change annoyed me. Boss insisted, though. The woman, who is sketchy and never clearly seen, was ignoring me, irritating me more.

Capitulating, I entered a doorway. Followed by the woman, I went up steps into a control room. It was in a giant Godzilla robot head. Guided by the woman, I began driving and controlling the huge machine.

We marched through a city, looking down on everyone. It seemed like we were just checking things, confirming that everything was going as it was supposed to be.

Shift ended, I stepped into a crowded bar. I thought it was, then saw that it was a communal home. I had a large slushy raspberry-colored drink but the glass broke. The drink contents hung in my hand without a glass. It started to slop apart, but I caught it and kept it together

I moved to set this aside while trying to catch the glass shards. They fell into a stream of fast-moving water that ran through the giant living room.

Our mother, an elderly woman, turned up, demanding to know whose drink that was hanging in the air. I told her that it was mine, that the glass had broke, and the pieces had fallen into the water. I wanted to go after the pieces. Other people said, “No, don’t worry about it,” but Mother said that she was worried about the glass in the water because others might step on it and get hurt.

Agreeing, I stepped into the water. Very warm, it carried me down to a clear, calm pool. Nobody else was present. Stopping there, I looked into the water and found the pieces.

Dream end.

Depressing Dream

The highlight of this depressing dream…

My wife and I were in a car’s backseat. A man was driving. We were on what seemed like an unpaved road. Hard to say; it was snow covered.

Suddenly, ahead – a fawn.

The driver was talking and slow to react.

Then, “I think I hit it.”

The car is stopped. We’re all looking back. I’m saying to my wife, “I’m not surprised, he wasn’t paying attention.” The car behind us avoid us.

Then, a big tanker truck arrives.

The fawn did not make it.

The tanker truck didn’t even slow.

Yeah, depressing. Definitely an anxiety dream about the present, about people not caring, not paying attention, and being helpless to do jack about it.

The Wealthy Friend Dream

I dreamed I had a wealthy friend. We were both young men. He came from a wealthy family, and I was lower middle class.

But he was friendly and generous, insisting that I take his car. His car was white; sleek and flat, it looked like a clam. It doesn’t relate to any car I’ve known in real life, but in the dream world, I knew it was rare and worth several million dollars. Dangling the white square on a chain that that was the key, he kept telling me, “Take my car, use it.” I was reluctant because of its price but because I also knew it was his father’s car.

Eventually, though, I accepted. The doors were gullwing type (as seen on the MB 300 SL coupe back in the 50s and early 60s, or the later Bricklin or Delorean). I entered. The luxurious, tech-loaded interior entranced me. Driving it was amazing. Silent and powerful, everything was effortless — and it literally flew. A press of the button took it over the traffic. Amazing.

I returned to his home. He insisted that I use the car. His mother, too, who told me, “Use it whenever you want.” Okay.

Meanwhile, they wanted to feed me. Not wanting to be seen as a moocher, I declined.

Spin the dream world. I’m now in school in a creative writing class. It’s packed. I’m new to the class and a bit withdrawn and introspective, as I tend to be.

The female instructor tells us some rules, then announces that someone has died. We all react with surprise and grief. A collection for flowers is being taken up. I go up to make a donation.

I plan to donate twenty dollars. Second thoughts strike because it’s almost all I have. The twenty-dollar bill is in my hand. The collection jar is on another male student’s desk, as it was passed over to him. He and a female student are collecting and coordinating the donations. I realize, though, that the male student seems to be pocketing some of the money. I’m not sure. decide, though, to just give ten dollars, as I’ve seen others do. Seeing a ten in the pile of money beside the jar, I attempt to surreptitiously get it and put my twenty in. The woman does something, though, and knocks the jar over. It doesn’t break, but the money is a mess and it draws unwanted attention.

Dream ends.

The Floating Dream

A brief one. I was floating in my home’s dining room, the actual place where I live. Upright, my feet were pointed toward the floor, and I was watching it pass as I floated.

Someone handed me a brown package. “This was just delivered.”

I opened it; my mother had sent me new dress shirts. The one on top was bright blue. There was also new underwear for my wife that she’d been looking for. I called out, “Mom sent me some new shirts and included new underwear for you.”

I awoke. Finding myself flat on my back on my bed, I felt disoriented. The ceiling shouldn’t be facing me, I thought. I’m floating. Sitting up, I realized that I’d been dreaming, but the floating had felt so real.

The Restaurant Dream

What I remember of this vivid string of dreams began with me at home. This home wasn’t one that I’ve ever lived in, but a big, rambling, new place.

My cats were busy being cats but the neighbor’s cat broke in. She ate, which didn’t bother me, but then peed on the floor. I had to chase her down and put her out.

(Note: this has a lot of foundation in real life. The neighbor’s cat used to have free reign, but now, on her last legs, has constant runs, so she’s banned, the poor dear.)

Back to the dream, where my wife is in another room bathing. She’s hollering through the wall, something about how she can’t finish because I’m doing something. I don’t understand at all. Trying to communicate with her wearies me. I flee to my car.

It’s a black sports car. The day is gray and overcast, a sky associated with rainstorms. I drive to a winding section of road in a small town, park and enter a restaurant. It’s a busy old place. The waitresses are young and friendly. I order and eat (nothing that I remember) and then drink a cup of coffee. I’ve been chatting with the waitresses throughout. As I’m waiting for the bill, a woman comes over and asks me out. Surprises me. While she’s attractive, I decline, telling her, I’m married.

I get my bill. There are few customers left. Most are in line to pay. A long line, all the people in line are men. The cash register is on a small knoll outside. It’s a crazy-looking system. For some reason, I now put on my shoes. As I’m doing this, a waitress comes over and chats with me. Then she asks me out. Flattered, I decline. She’s probably a third of my age. I ask her where she would’ve taken me. She tells me to see a movie, Dora. We laugh about that and talk about that movie.

The staff asks if I can help them move some things and clean because the restaurant is changing locations tomorrow. Although I have things to do and don’t want to help, I do what I can. It’s only a few things, and there’s still a line to pay.

The line winds down. I take my leave and go to pay. The owner is the cashier. I hand him my bill, which is on a clipboard. He shows me a receipt and tells me, “It’s already been paid.”

Well, cool. I don’t know how or when, but I’m thankful. There’s no clues on the receipt, and everyone is now gone.

I return to my car. It’s still a gray day. The car is blocked in by trucks. I figure if I back up a hill, I can then leave by going down the other side of a hill. I don’t know how I figured that out. But when I go do make that maneuver, I discover my car is facing the right way. All I do is release the brake and put in the clutch and I’m going down a hill and onto the road, on my way. I do so with truckers standing around, watching me.

I drive off. The dream ends.

The Change Dream

I’d arrived, again, at a new military assignment. How many times has this happened in my dreams?

Wearing a uniform, I checked in, found billeting, changed clothes, and wandered around, orienting myself. All this happened within a large, modern building. I was pleased to be there. Anticipation filled me.

Many young people occupied the place. Everyone seemed happy and engaged with their activities. They’d been working on projects, striking me as students. I had to wait several times as people showed off their projects to their fronts, blocking the way.

But I stayed patient, indulgent, as they were younger, and I thought them less mature, and less responsible, so they deserved some latitude.

Eventually, I was assigned my permanent quarters. Going there, I was surprised that a young male and female were in my quarters. They explained that the previous occupant had just left, and they were leaving, too.

Fine with me. I began searching for my uniform and was surprised that I couldn’t find one. How the hell was that possible? I’d worn a uniform while traveling. Yet, that was gone. I’d sent clothing on ahead, but the battle dress uniforms I’d sent on were also gone. Becoming upset and annoyed, I sought some way to purchase a uniform to carry me through until my uniforms turned up.

A sharp jolt interrupted the proceedings. I was on some steps with others when it happened. Earthquake, I immediately assumed, awaiting aftershocks, ready to run. Everyone, including me, started nervously laughing with relief when no aftershocks came, and then resumed our activities.

I heard, then, that new uniforms were on the way, not just for me, but for everyone. A massive change in how we would look was being initiated. At that point, I thought, oh, I’ve been out of the military for a while. Yes, uniforms have changed since my time. Of course they’re changing. I commented on that to a young group that I encountered.

They told me, no, everyone was being given brand new uniforms as part of a makeover. In fact, they said, new guidelines about how people were supposed to act, work, and behave were also expected. They were all excited but also anxious.

Surprised by their news, I then went searching for guidance about how I was supposed to be acting while also searching for uniforms to wear. I then concluded in an epiphany, my uniform didn’t matter. I would just do what I need to do and worry about a uniform later, if necessary.

Relieved by that, I entered a room. Busy with people doing many things, usually groups, I walked around and determined that it was a rec center with a snack bar. Smelling burgers, I decided to eat, but as I walked over to order, I saw a table of blue binders. That’s the new guidance, I deduced after some studying. I took one of those and start reading. Within a few minutes, I thought, why, this is how I’ve always acted.

I looked around to tell someone else my insight, but all were excitedly talking with one another about the new guidelines. After a few moments, I went in, and ordered a cheeseburger. There was ice cream available, too, and though it tempted me, I could smell that cheeseburger. I paid and took it to my room to eat.

I took a bite of cheeseburger and enjoyed it. It was just as promised, juicy and grilled, with onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. A stillness overtook me. Time had changed. So had the world. The things that were normal were no longer true. My little sisters had aged, my parents had aged, I had aged, my wife had aged, the world had aged.

Guidelines pushed aside, I began eating. The dream ended.

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