A Running Dream

Oh, the nights flowed with wild, wild dreams. They remain vivid in memory, but I don’t want to walk through dreamland, just visit a little niche of it.

I needed to get home in a hurry. I was miles away. I decided that the best thing that I could do is run.

A light drizzle was falling. I started running beside the busy, winding two lane highway. At first, cars were passing me. Irritated, I pushed myself to go faster. “I can go faster than them,” I told myself, even though they were going thirty-five to forty miles an hour. Soon, I was keeping up with the cars. I saw people in the vehicles watching and recording my running with their cellphones.

Ahead was a large sweeper. I’d been running on the berm left of the white fog line. The berm and shoulder disappeared; there was a twenty-five foot drop-off. Looking ahead and thinking about it, I decided I had no choice. Reaching the drop-off, I dropped to the lower level like a video-game character, and kept running. I knew that the people in the cars were wondering what’d happened to me, and grinned as I ran up a slope back onto the berm when it returned.

By then, the road’s grade increased as we began ascending a mountain. I can’t keep up, I thought, and then rejected that. Believing I could, I pushed myself to go faster. The road’s speed limit had increased to fifty-five, but as I ran up the hill, I passed the cars. Grinning and sweating, I arrived home.

It wasn’t home, but Mom’s home, where I was visiting with family. My wife was there and we were in a hurry because I needed to make flight arrangements and leave. That’s another part of the dream, though.

I woke up thinking about all of this. It was five ten in the morning. A hungry cat had done his duty and made me get up to do my duty. As I fed him (and another), the dream replayed in my mind, and the Boomtown Rats began singing, “I Don’t Like Mondays”. I went back to bed, back to sleep, and on to other dreams.

 

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The Family & Dogs Dreams

After dreaming about games, weather, and being back in the military, my dreamscape rotated to family and dogs. None of the people in these two dreams, except my wife, are anyone from my life.

In the first dream, I was a white man in a black family. I was an adult and I’m not sure how I came to be part of that family. I liked them but felt a little awkward with them. Mom, a smiling, confident, attractive woman, kept reassuring me that I was part of the family. The others agreed, but with less enthusiasm. I was always there when we ate and watched television, but was normally sitting off by myself.

Then Mom announced we were buying a new car. Cars were my thing so I was enthusiastic. That pleased Mom. She let me led the car-shopping expedition. We ended up buying a blue BMW M4 Cabrio. Mom made the choice, and it surprised me. It’s not a family-oriented car. I asked her with astonishment, “Are you sure?” Mom, always relaxed and in-control, said, “Yes, Michael, and you can drive it.”

My next dream found my wife and I taking care of dogs for several people during a holiday. Quite chaotic, I ended up driving another guy’s car. The car belong to my friend, Dominic. I was also taking care of his dog, Drew. Drew was a big, goofy, not-very-bright white canine who was always loping off to do something. There were several other dogs, but the were always where they were supposed to be, and not getting into trouble.

Lots of things were going on. It was a holiday weekend. We had guests and a big dinner party, the weather was unpredictable, and the dogs kept running off. All but Drew would return. I’d always need to look for Drew.

The big meal ended and we were cleaning up. I had a huge, clear bowl. It’d been used for spaghetti with sauce. Now it was a mess. I kept scrubbing it, per my style, to get it clean. I finally was almost finished

I was baffled about where my car was. Drew disappeared again, and I had to find him. I was exasperated because nobody else was helping.

The dream paused. I said, “Okay, everyone is accounted for except Quinn.” Quinn is my real-existence cat who passed away last November. “I haven’t seen Quinn in a while.” I worried about him being okay. Then I remembered that he’d passed away.

I couldn’t find Drew. One of our guests said that she thought Drew was at his home. I decided to go out to confirm that. As I went to leave, I saw that my wife was cleaning up the house after the dinner, but she was using the big, clear spaghetti bowl that I’d clean as a trash can. That upset me. I told her that I’d cleaned it. She brushed off my concerns.

I drove Dominic’s car out to his place to check to see if Drew was there. I felt bad about using his car, which was a 1960s muscle car, but it was too vague to remember exactly what it was. The car used a lot of gas, and I was worried about using all of his gas. His place was a mixed-used community with a train station, supermarket, fitness center, and townhouses. I went to Dominic’s townhouse.

The townhouse was large and luxurious, with a number of sprawling staircases. The family was home. They’d just gotten back. So was Drew, except he ran off when I went in. There were several other dogs. I decided to walk them while looking for Drew. One dog was very intelligent. I said, “Do you want to go for a walk?” The dog immediately went to the door. I said, “Let’s use the other door.” He turned, went up the steps to the other door.

We left through that door to take a walk and find Drew, but we ended up in the fitness center. The fitness center had a lounge where fit, attractive people were watching the news on television. Through glass walls, I could see into the fitness center where rows of people were exercising.

Finding another way out, I took the dogs for a walk. When I went outside, I found Drew cavorting around the lawns. He’d gotten dirty, of course. Seeing Dominic, I greeted him and chatted. I wasn’t sure if Drew had been at our house during the weekend and was trying to clarify how Drew was at his home. Dominic waved off my questions and concerns, telling me, “Drew is fine. Drew is Drew.”

I walked the dogs across a park and remembered that I had Dominic’s car and had forgotten to tell him.

After walking the dogs, I came across Dominic’s family. They were under the building, in  a plaza, relaxing on a blanket and looking out on the scenery. The plaza was open on all four sides. Mammoth pillars held up the train station and the buildings. From where they were, the trains could be watched as they arrived and departed. Past that was a rolling green countryside

I said, “You know, this isn’t actually a bad place. It’s got everything you need right here.”

Dominic’s wife said, “You know, we were just talking about it, and thought that this is the perfect place for people like you.”

I said, “Who are people like me?”

That’s where the dream ended.

A Doozy of A Dream

I found myself once again in the military, a fact that made me sigh when I awoke. Come on, man. How many times will I return to the military in my dreams?

In my thirties, I was attending a special camp, for elite people. My friend, LR, a colonel, was the commander. We were all wearing our standard Air Force office blues, dark blue pants with a light blue shirt.

I was happy to be there, in the dream. The facilities were a large field surrounded by woods, all of which surrounded a modern complex. I was driving the silver Audi 100 that we had when we lived in Germany. After parking it, I went into the complex.

LR greeted me with a handshake when I entered a building. We chatted a bit, and then there was an agenda briefing, which was essentially that we had guests coming, there would be a dinner, and we were all to make a good impression. Afterwards, we were released to get ready.

Going back out to the Audi to get a few things, I ran into LR. I’d parked the Audi head-in. He told me that they preferred to have the cars backed in, and asked if I could do that for him. Of course, I could.

First, I needed to use a toilet. I discovered I had mild diarrhea. Oh, boy, just what was needed. I returned to the Audi to re-park it and get more items, but forgot to move the car because I needed to use the toilet again. I ran into LR. He reminded me that I said I’d back my car into the space. I told him that I’d forgotten. Then I said, “Stupid of me.” I was irritated that I hadn’t re-parked.

LR said, “No, no, it’s just a small thing. You forgot, that’s all.”

I found a ditch set up with holes in a bench to use as a latrine. After doing my business, I went back to move the car, but I had to use the toilet again. This time, I couldn’t get to a restroom, and crapped my pants. Horrified, I decided that the only thing I could do was take my clothes off, clean myself off, and put on fresh clothes.

Taking my clothes off, I found another ditch set up as a latrine. Someone had put a plastic bag over the hole, though, not to block it, but hanging down, as if to catch it. It puzzled me. But naked, with feces smeared on part of my backside, I decided that I didn’t have time to do anything but use the hole as it was set up.

As I settled into that, the first visitors, a group of ten women, arrived. The gate they were to use was right beside the latrine I was using, but the gate was locked, and they couldn’t enter. Humiliated, I explained that I was naked and having some bowel issues, and I couldn’t unlock the gate. They were sympathetic. More women arrived. I was mortified but also couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.

By then, sixteen women had arrived. The gate still wasn’t open, so some of them sat beside me in the latrine. None of them looked at me, though. At last, the gate was opened. They left.

The dream shifted. By now, I was cleaned up and in a fresh uniform. I was still in good spirits despite what’d happened. I ran into the first group of ten women inside the facilities, where we were queuing for drinks and dinner. They asked me how I was, etc., and then, as a joke, pointed out the restrooms, in case I needed them. I had a good laugh with them about that.

The dream ended.

***

Typing this one out was beneficial. When I finished, I realized that I was worrying over nothing. I was back in the military, of course, because that’s where I’d felt most comfortable. There was order, structure, and accountability in the military. Everything seemed clear and straightforward.

Fascinating how the mind can work.

 

Sunday’s Theme Music

I inadvertently type this post’s title as ‘Sunday’s Dream Music’. Last night was a dreams-on-parade night, with at least three vividly remembered dream. One most remembered moment had my wife and I leave the military service. We were following a friend. He took off and we got lost. Making a wrong turn, we entered a hot area of sandstone caves.

First, I had written about sandstone caves in my novel earlier in the week, so its dream presence intrigued me. Meanwhile, as my wife and I walked among the sandstone caves, I was saying, “I don’t think this is the right place. We took a wrong turn somewhere.”

Others were with us. They stopped to talk while I scouted ahead. As I did, I saw a huge cougar entering a sandstone cave. Hastening back, I got my wife’s attention and gestured her forward. Whispering, I said, “There’s a cougar up ahead. It went into that cave.” Pointing, I went on, “We’re definitely on the wrong track.” As I did, the cougar walked out of the cave, prowled around for a second, and then turned and continued.

We backtracked to a highway. As soon as we reached the highway, I saw a large shopping center. “I think that’s where we need to go,” I said, and led on. Yes, I found the store where my friend had gone, a Giant Eagle Supermarket. From a cougar to a giant eagle. That cracked me up today as I reflected on the dreams.

Once I’d thought about the dreams for a time and started doing other things, my stream delivered Madonna’s 1987 hit about love, dreaming, and sleeping, “La Isla Bonita”.

So here it is, for your listening pleasure.

The Micro-Code Dream

This is a recurring dream. I had it twice, maybe three times in the past few weeks. It’s also a sequel to another dream. The first dream was dreamed at least twice. Both dreams evolved in its depths and complexity, or my ability to remember them. As always,  I wonder how much I remember and how much I manage to fill in gaps through my imagination without being aware that I’m doing so.

In both, the backdrop is that I’m with IBM. The first dream has me being given a project. Not uncommon. I have a print out of several pages. Most of the back pages are lines of micro-code. The first page is an explanation that this list of hospitals need to be notified of these micro-code changes by a specific date. It’s a Friday afternoon. The date is the following Monday.  So, YIKES. The next four pages are lists of hospitals where this code needs to be applied, with identifying fields.

The first thing I do is get a yellow highlighter and a list of hospitals that are our customers. Then I go through the list, highlighting the hospitals that are our customers. I also make notes in black pen.

Follow-up is to create the letter to send these customers. I do this on a computer, merging the letter with the data fields from the hospital lists, import the letters into email, and send them out. Done and done. My boss checks on me. I confirm with her that it’s done. She’s surprised that it was done so quickly, and I show her what I did and how. Done and done.

The second dream has me at some team party. I work in a one-deep position, from home, so I know few people, but I’m on this campus with my team, who are usually just voices on the phone or names in emails. I’m wandering the party and encounter some product engineers. They heard that I took care of the hospital micro-code notification. They have questions. Essentially, they want reassured that it went okay.

First, I sit with a senior guy with the micro-code in a room full of computers on desks and in frames, with people working on things all around us. It’s very noisy with the sounds of fans, hard-drives, and conversations. He shows me the micro-code and begins to ask who and what questions.

Excusing myself, I go to my computer bag in the other room and get my working company, along with a print out of the letter that I sent, and another print out that shows who it went to and when. I give these to him and tell them what they are. He’s surprised and asks me why I gave them to him. I tell him, that’s what I would’ve wanted to know if I was following up.

Everything is quickly answered with these papers. Other of his team members come by to ask and see, and he tells them what I gave them, and they’re all relieved that it’s been done. Time to party.

But first, another team comes up to check on the project, too. The first team gives the second team my papers, tells them what I did, and everyone is satisfied.

As this ends, another engineer is talking loudly at a table. She’s talking about a modem’s identification and wondering who was dumb enough to use last names as part of a modem’s identification. As I turn, I hear another person say my full name, because that’s the name used as a modem identification.

I go over and tell them it was me and answer questions. Yes, it was ignorant, but I was ignorant about the process, working alone, and learning on the job. She said she can change it for me. I shrug that off, because we’re not using it anywhere except the lap now. It’s older and we use new stuff for production and operations, but the old stuff is helpful for trouble-shooting customer issues who are using old stuff.

That ends. Everyone is going off to the party in the next room. I begin a drift that way. Others find me and congratulate me for the work on the project. That amuses me because it seems like it was such a quick and easy project.

The main party is in a huge ballroom at the end of a hall. Music is blaring and people are dancing in there. That’s also where the restrooms are. I need to use one but can’t get to them because of the dancing crowd. I make a long detour around the crowd until I find a place where I can cut through, go in, use the bathroom, and come back out.

When I do, I’ve decided to look up some people while I’m there. I find several and huddle with them. Speaking loudly over the music, in a huddle with our arms intertwined over one another’s back, I tell them that I’ll be leaving soon, but I wanted to thank them and tell them how much I enjoyed working with them.

The dream ended.

The Gold Dream

I was in a house that felt familiar, like something built in the seventies, two stories or more. The bottom story is a garage.

I’m a spectator off to one side, watching this dream. The dream begins with me standing in a room, looking at the clock, and saying, “It’s time to go.” I know that it’s very early, dark, and rainy. The others are up. They’re ready to go, waiting, like me, for the moment. We didn’t want to go too early, but it’s something that we all need to go and do.

Several of the others are my sisters. One is a brother-in-law. Others are not recognized as anyone from my life but I know that they’re more family. There are eight of us.

After I make my announcement, I go downstairs to the garage to wait. Down there, I see water pouring in from the garage’s ceiling. That’s not good, I know, wondering where it’s coming from. It’s an impressive amount. Although not consistent, it seems like the strength and volume available from a garden house.

I’m impatient to leave and call back upstairs to the others to come on. There said they were ready, so why is there now a delay? My brother-in-law comes down first. I point out the water and tell him that we’ll need to check that out later. He agrees, and we speculate about where it could be coming from.

The others come down. The garage door is opened. We go out into the rain. Crossing the dark street, we come to a field. The ground is sodden. I walk forward and find eight markers. They look like brass grave markers with raised letters. They have our names on them.

I find mine. Rain water is collecting on it. The others are talking about what they’re supposed to do. They don’t know.

I think I know what I’m supposed to do. I get down on my hands and knees in the soaked, muddy ground, and put my head on the marker. After I do that, I draw back to confirm that something is going on with the marker and see that a red dotted circle has formed on the marker. It spirals around and around and then goes green.

I tell the others that they need to lay down prone on the ground and put their foreheads on the markers. They don’t want to because of the rain, water, and mud. I tell them, “We can’t go until we’re all in position.” Reluctantly, they get down.

I watch each, confirming that their grave markers show the red dotted circles. I expect them to turn to green. My sister’s circle doesn’t turn. I tell her that she needs to put her head on her marker. She complains but does it. The light goes green. We disappear.

We end up at a complex series of highways, bridges, and tunnels. I’m in Pittsburgh, PA, but it doesn’t look like the Pittsburgh that I know, except we’re at the point, where the Ohio forms from the other two. We’re looking for a VA complex. Nobody knows where it’s at, so we walk around, trying to find it. It’s exasperating.

I talk to the others about the roads, bridges, and tunnels. Suddenly, I’m very knowledgeable. I tell the others about a similar place of roads, bridges, and tunnels, and how they found gold. Since it’s so similar, we can probably find gold here, too, I tell them. That gets them all excited. We begin walking around, looking for gold.

I break away from the group. Turning and looking out, I see a green vale. Gold nuggets dot its sides.

“There,” I say to the others. They come over. I point. “There it is.” I smile at them. “I found the gold.”

 

A Searching Dream

It’s been several months since I’ve had a military dream. Being retired military, I always think of these dreams as representative of my desires for structure, order, and accountability. The dreams usually lack these things, which might be evidence about my state of thoughts when I’m awake.

This dream found me again as an U.S. Air Force master sergeant returned to active duty. As in my final years, I was working for the commander, a brigadier general. In this case, though, nobody was expecting me. Announcing my arrival, I was given a large packet of mail that’d arrived for me in anticipation of my arrival. Other than that, nobody noticed me at all.

The command section was noisy with overcrowded activities. Threading my way through, I asked others where I was supposed to sit. Nobody could answer. As I kept looking, I came into a small room and up against a wall. (You have to love the mind’s sense of humor, right?)

Throwing the mail down in angry disgust, I complained, loud and long, about not having a place to sit and work. Then I told a senior admin person passing by to tell the commander that I was there, and needed a place to work. After walking off, I meandered a bit because I thought I was due a promotion. Where was my promotion. I saw others being promoted, but not me. That irked me. I was certain I was due a promotion, because that was one reason that I’d returned.

Next, I was off on an assignment that took me off base and into the real world. I was driving a truck and towing a trailer. Two others (strangers who were junior NCOs), were with me. We were seeking supplies.

I came to a crowded and chaotic camp full of Army soldiers. I asked a few where I was to get my supplies. They had no idea. Where could I go to find the information? No idea.

Exasperated, I drove around, up dusty trails and around compounds of tents and marshaling areas until I found where I needed to go. I was expected and the trailer was filled with quick efficiency.

Ready to leave, one of the troops accompanying me began acting strange. He seemed to become fascinated with weapons that others were using. I ordered him once to come with me. Responding in a daze, he said, “In a minute,” and walked away.

This intrigued me. I followed him. He seemed to be wandering. I asked him, “Are you looking for something?”

He nodded.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll know it when I see it.”

I told him, “We don’t have time for this. We need to go.” Yet, I wanted to indulge him in his search because it seemed so important to him.

That’s how the dream ended, with me following him through a dusty area as he searched for something that he didn’t know.

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Today’s music comes right out of my dream.

To begin in the dream, my older sister and I were in a walk-in closet. No reason ever became clear as to why we were there. She was chattering, as she’ll sometimes do, which irritated me. A song was playing. The song was muffled, as though it was being heard through walls. I knew the song but I couldn’t place it because of her chattering.

Then I was in a car, driving. My car was fourth in line. We were on a street with a double-yellow line. The three cars ahead of me were on the left side — the wrong side — of the road. I didn’t know why. They were going very slowly. The road was in excellent shape but the fact that we were on road’s wrong side annoyed me. No signs were visible to account for that. I wanted to change over to the right side but not knowing why they were on the left side – what did they know? – kept me behind them, following. I was hugely irked.

Music played then, something about going straight. Then the song, “Amber” by 311 played. I thought amber is all about warning, as in amber flashing lights. “Amber” didn’t end, but “Forty Days and Forty Nights” began. That song, covered by Steppenwolf, was what I’d heard in the closet with my sister.

It was still streaming in my head when I awoke, so here it is, today’s theme music, the Muddy Waters classic as Steppenwolf did it in 1970. Enjoy a little bluesy rock.

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