Shipwrecks

Edgy dreams undermine my rest even while I sleep.

Sometimes they seem malicious,

but they help restore balance and serenity.

More frequently, they’re insane, causing me concern about my mental health,

although sometimes, they’re not remembered, listing in the gray of my thinking’s edge

like shipwrecks from other times.

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.

 

Three Brief Dreams, One Night

The first dream was simple and peculiar. I was with male friends from different times of my life, but we were all young adults, regardless of how old I was or they were when I knew them. I think there were a dozen of us. All were people I haven’t seen in years. Some of them have died.

We were playing a game in the living that required us to bounce off the walls. I was watching, though, trying to remember the game’s name and the rules. One friend went into the kitchen. I went after him to ask questions, but the dream was interrupted, and that’s where it stopped.

My second dream was about land, property, and building. My wife and I had bought some property. The deal was set in motion, but was incomplete.

Visiting our property prior to taking possession, a sort of wooded country place of several acres and buildings, we encountered a group of young teenagers with a pile of remotes. They were taking turns hurling remotes at trees and rocks to break the remotes, an activity that fed giddy laughter. Talking to them about it, a smiling girl said that her father encouraged them to break the remotes like this to relieve stress and tension. Feeling that we could use a release, my wife and I threw some remotes and concluded, it is a great way to relieve stress. Meanwhile, I wondered how they’d collected so many remotes.

We went into a small house that was part of our new property. A balding, stocky man and several teenagers were busy working on it inside. An old building with white walls, tall, traditional windows made it a light and airy place. I somehow know that the layout was different than it had been. The man working on the place confirmed it, explaining what had been where and how they’d been moved. As he talked, I said, “That’s right, you’re the original building.” He confirmed that, but I knew that he wasn’t the person who sold us the property. He confirmed that, too, telling me that he’d been hired.

Then I remembered his name was Was, but then questioned myself on the spelling. Was it Was, Waas, or Wass?

In the third dream, I was flying in an aircraft. It seemed like it was an advanced technology. It lacked wings and was quietly traveling fast and high above a planet.

I thought the planet was Earth, but I wasn’t sure, and was collecting details in search of verification. A bright yellow-white sun shone in a blue sky. Only a few sketchy, high cirrus clouds marred the sky’s impeccable blue. The ground below was mostly sandy brown and flat with green and dark blue patches that sometimes looked black. I took the dark blue/black patches to be lakes or puddles. A haze-filled horizon seemed to veil mountains.

I tried understanding which way we were traveling, and the sun’s path, as a way to verify it was Earth. Therein was an interesting duality. I was in the dream with friends (although they’re nobody that I know from this life), discussing our plans (we were on a mission to find other people), but I was also aware that I was in the dream and was trying to understand the dream.

That’s where it ended.

An Inconclusive Dream

First, my sister-in-law was visiting my wife and me. She was upset and came to talk to us.

I can’t describe where we were at. My observations were limited to a very close personal point-of-view. There seemed to be a place in black and white, and seemed like it was night, but we were inside, so I’m not certain of much beyond those basics.

I don’t know what upset my sister-in-law, either, nor why she came to us. All of that is hazy. My wife and I were tired and got into bed to go to sleep, and my sister-in-law got into bed, too.

None of us could sleep. First, one of my cats (the ginger fellow) came in, walked up to my head and looked at my face. I tried pulling my covers over my head so that I could sleep.

Then, I heard voices. After listening and failing to identify who it was or where they originated, I got up and started talking about them. My wife said that she heard them, too. I went to find the source and discovered my nephew. He’s my wife’s other sister’s son. Sitting cross-legged on a bed,  he was engaged in a noisy phone conversation on speaker.

I went back and reported that and then left for downstairs. Downstairs was daylight. Part of it was a gas station, but there was also a junk yard, and other things that I couldn’t make out. The gas station owner turned out to be my lawyer. I was being tried for something. I don’t know the charges. He and I walked around, supposedly to talk about the case, but neither of us were interested in it. He thought I was going to be convicted, and I unconcerned. Strolling around, we were under lights, but outside, but remained daylight. Others were there. They distracted the gas station owner/lawyer, a big old white male with short brown hair dressed in blue overalls. He drifted off to talk to them.

Sitting down, I gazed around the pile of junk. It was mostly old cars, tires, pieces of fencing, and a few appliances. Across the way, I saw a Studebaker Hawk. Rusted and faded, it had lost its side windows and wheels, but was otherwise intact. When the lawyer/GSO returned, I pointed it out for confirmation that’s what I was seeing. Yes, he answered, and then launched into a meandering story about how it came there that I couldn’t hear or understand.

He went away ago. Turning, I discovered a red Ferrari Testarossa Spyder go-cart. I wanted to know if it ran, and what it used for an engine, whether it was electric or gas-powered. I put these questions to the lawyer/GSO when he came back.

ferrari-testarossa-spyder

“Sure,” he said, with a good ol’ boy laugh while scratching himself. “It runs.”

“Can we start it?” I asked.

The laywer/GSO looked around and said (I think), “Let me see if I can find him.”

My wife came down. I told her about the Studebaker and the Ferrari, showing her the latter, telling her that I was waiting to see if it can be started.

The dream ended on that note.

The Boxes Dream

Looking out a window, I saw an elderly white woman gesturing as she ranted. I couldn’t understand what caused her ire, and then realized she addressed the presence of two white boxes. The boxes weren’t large, about the size of a VHS tape cassette each. Her issue seemed to be that they were sitting by the side of the road, and nobody was picking them up. After she pointed the boxes out, I could see the boxes and the road, and see that she stood on a yellow field.

A friend from my military service, Derek, came in and left me a box. Closed, made of brown cardboard, it was about four by four by four inches, a cube. After some time of sitting around the place doing other things, and looking out the window at the ranting woman and the two white boxes, I picked the box up and tried, but failed, to open it. Setting the box down, I left the house.

It was dreary and busy outside. The ranting woman was gone. The two white boxes were still there. I crossed the yellow field to them and picked them up. Cars passed me on the road as I examined the boxes. They were flimsy and empty. I couldn’t understand why the woman was so upset about them and their presence. I looked for a place to discard them. Not finding one, I took the boxes to my place.

I left my place again and went to what seemed like a parcel delivery place. It was very busy. I found a locker with three boxes inside it. They were addressed to someone else, a man. I knew his name, but I didn’t know him, but I believed I knew what was in the boxes. I wanted to know, so I took the boxes to my place, and opened them.

I can’t recall what was in two of the boxes, but shoes were in the third. Feeling ashamed of what I’d done, I closed the boxes and left with them, meaning to return them. I ran into Derek and explained what I’d done, and that I needed to put them back. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I’d done, and I wanted the rightful recipient to get his boxes. Derek couldn’t help. I eventually took the box back to where I’d stolen them and put them there.

After returning home, I took the two white boxes that the woman railed about, and put them back where they’d originally been. Then I went back into my place.

Derek came in and took the box he’d brought me. “Sorry,” he said. “This wasn’t supposed to go to you.”

He left, and the dream ended.

A Short and Startling Dream

I rocked up from sleep to look around.

The house was quiet. Everyone, even the cats that I saw, were asleep. Everyone except me.

3:25, according to my Fitbit.

The dream remained a fresh flow in my thoughts. I’d been at some ill-defined place. I remembered green grass as well as glass and cement. Awake, I thought, school, office, cemetery, mausoleum, hospital? None quite fit.

Wherever and whatever it was, I was there, along with other people. Everyone else was on their backs with their arms at their sides. I thought they were asleep. I didn’t know any of them. I thought there were eight people.

(And there was eight in my dreams again, I noted in a sidebar. Eight frequently comes up in my dreams.)

I thought everyone was sleeping but as I didn’t hear snoring, I began suspecting that they were dead. None of them moved.

It was cool. I was fully dressed in jeans and a polo shirt and shoes. Everyone I saw was dressed, too, and had shoes on. As I walked, I realized that I was in a small section of this place. Turning a corner, I saw thousands more people like that, all on their backs, not on beds, but on what seemed like stretches, like the EMT uses. There were orderly rows and rows of them.

I was shocked and concerned. Nobody was moving. Trying to puzzle out what was going on, I looked for documentation or equipment that would provide clues, but there were only massive rooms with white walls, shiny tiled floors, fluorescent lights, ceilings with acoustic tiles, and windows that revealed manicured grass lawns and a bright blue sky outside.

I started checking. Are these people dead, or…

It seemed like they were breathing, but everyone’s eyes were closed. Nobody snored. I touched a woman and a man and found them warm. Nobody seemed injured. I didn’t recognize anyone. Most were white and middle-aged. There were men and women. I didn’t see any children, and it was absolutely quiet. The only noise I heard the entire time was the sound of my steps when I walked.

Panicking, I thought, maybe this is a ward for a disease. Maybe these people were being quarantined. As I thought these things, I looked around and concluded that it wasn’t a hospital, but I didn’t know what it was. That didn’t mean that these people weren’t in quarantine, because they could be using a school or office for it because something big had happened.

Struggling to understand it, I tried recalling how I arrived there, and failed. I retraced my steps to see if there was a space where I’d slept. Unsure where I’d been, I kept walking and searching for where I’d started. I didn’t see any empty beds. Nor did I see any doors.

Realizing that, I thought, there’s no way out, and then thought, how did I get in here, then?

Then I awoke, sweating and alarmed. It all seemed so ill-defined that it bothered me.

It took some time before I went back to sleep.

The TV Dream

Last night’s vivid dream placed me as a minor actor on a science-fiction television series. The show runner came in and made big announcements that we needed to create a special, kick-ass show. He was running around with hyperbolic enthusiasm that spread like kudzu.

I decided I would be part of that. Seeing him crossing a broad, carpeted room, I intercepted him and regaled him about my desire to be a part of creating this special show. He said with broad puzzlement, “Who are you?” I explained I was a minor character actor on the show but that I had ideas for it and wanted to write. Then I told him some of my ideas.

It was enough that he didn’t shrug me off or chase me out. Nor did he endorse me. But I accepted that I was now part of the writing and production team. They were having an off-site. Finding out where it was, I crashed the site.

The place was chaos. Groups were entrenched around tables. Food was being served on a buffet table. The head writer and creator was walking around talking to people, but he wasn’t talking about the show. None of them were, as far as I could tell. I circled around the tables, looking for an opening to join. A few people knew me and chatted with me. A couple even introduced me to others.

Sometimes the groups would get up and move around. Each time this happened, I thought, here we go, now maybe we’ll start. But, no. They just resettled and continued chatting. Then, weirdly to me, it looked like they were breaking for lunch. They hadn’t done anything, in my opinion. By then I felt like an outcast and was dejected by their lack of direction and energy. I decided to leave.

Some who knew me saw me leaving and started talking to me, trying to convince me not to go, but I’d made up my mind. This was clearly not my scene. I’d go elsewhere.

Leaving required me to walk up a steep hill to a pedestrian bridge. The pedestrian bridge spanned eight lanes of traffic. Businesses like restaurants, stores, and gas station  bordered both sides of the road. I could see a long way from here.

Some of the people from the show caught up.  Several tried to engage me. I didn’t put them off, but I wasn’t interested in their entreaties. From the top of the hill by the pedestrian bridge, I looked for where I needed to go. It seemed like miles way. I would need to walk. The sun was hot, and the traffic rushing below increased the heat. Finding my destination, I resigned myself to a long way, and began making my way.

 

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