Last night I had a dream. I am at my house and I look out the front window and notice people gathering. I step outside my front door to and see my neighbor Evelyn standing amongst a group of people. She is giving them the news that she is moving out of the neighborhood after having lived in her house for over 30 years. It is the end of an era.
Upon hearing the news, I begin to cry. I reach over to embrace my neighbor. I am heartbroken. She lovingly hugs me and tells me that everything is going to be ok. She then draws my attention into the distance. In front of my house there lies a river at the bottom of a hillside. Along the bank of the river, I can see my nephew standing with an inflatable raft.
There is something not quite right with the raft and this image. I struggle to get a good look at the raft to figure out what is so unusual about it. I notice that the raft does not have a place in which to sit. It looks more like an inflatable mattress than a survival raft. My nephew is fanning the ground with it causing dust to rise into the air like smoke signals. I’m told he is waiting for his friends to arrive to go into the river with the raft.
My nephew’s behavior strikes me as curious. I stand there puzzled trying to figure this out. I have a vague awareness that I might be dreaming. Nothing makes sense here. As I’m standing there a strange man walks by. I get the feeling the stranger does not belong in my dream. He disappears out of sight.
I then get in my car and drive around the neighborhood trying to be very observant. I drive by old neighborhoods where I used to live. All the housing in this area has been taken over by slumlords. I attempt to read the writing along the streets paying close attention to the words. The words don’t make any sense to me. They are words I do not recognize or much less pronounce. I assume I must be dreaming. At this moment I see the strange man again from before walk by. He quickly gets lost in the heightened confusion but I am determined to make sense of this world.
I continue driving focusing hard on trying to take in all the information from this place. I then notice that my car’s performance is not what it should be. The car is stuck in second gear and it feels like it wants to stall. I want to try to get to a place where I can pull over but I am currently driving through an underpass. I need to make it to the other side. I am looking over all the instrumentation gages in the car to see what might be wrong with it. A small white navigational screen appears in the center console of the car. It is displaying a single word. Initially I do not recognize the word. I can read the letters but not the word.
Aggravated I turn to open the door and get out of the car. The strange man is standing immediately outside my car. Without thinking I reach over and grab him through the window of the car by his neck. I take a firm grip of him and immediately wake up from the dream.
I had literally sat up in bed when I grabbed for the stranger’s neck. As I opened my eyes, I found the man clutched in my fist. I could still see his face in my mind’s eye and before me with my naked physical eyes. It was as if I had two copies of the same man in my head….one in the back of my mind and one out in the physical world in which I live. His ethereal presence faded as I vehemently shook him in my physical world. His expression was one of complete surprise. He was not expecting me to do that.
Because I jerked myself awake when I reached over and grabbed him by the neck I inadvertently hurt my own neck as my sleeping head did not respond as gracefully to the request my body made to attack the man before me. As I sat there in bed it occured to me that I did understand the meaning of the word displayed upon the navigational screen. It’s meaning resonated deep within me with profound truth of which I cannot explain.
3 days later my neck is still hurting from the incident.