I dream of…Something

So, some people have lucid dreams – meaning they’re aware that they are dreaming. I experience nothing of the sort. My dreams are incredibly vivid and believable, no matter how irrational or implausible the events are. After this dream woke me up today, I went around the house locking doors and making sure the window blinds were all pulled down, my heart pounding the whole time. Here it is:

I was watching out the front window of my parents’ house for a friend who would be riding by on a bike. At some point while I watched, I was no longer in the house but in a minivan across the street. I sat in the front passenger seat; three or four kids were in the back (my kids, or nieces and nephews). My dad was standing outside the van. A lot of people were passing by, but I didn’t really pay attention to them until several scruffy men with sunglasses approached. I knew immediately (it’s a dream, I don’t know how) that they had some advanced weaponry, mostly guns, and that I needed to hide. I figured that I’d be killed or harmed if they saw me. So I ducked down and tried my best to fit in the little space under the dashboard.

Of course, I was too big. The leader of the group came right over to my window and peered in, and there was no way to get out of his view. Instead I tried desperately to push the “Lock Doors” button – but, unfortunately, the sliding door between the kids and my dad was open. My panic and fear were intense. We were all going to die, I was sure.

Instead of killing us, though, the bad guys did an elaborate switcheroo, in that they created a house exactly like my parents’ house – down to every last piece of clothing and crack in the wall – that they would put all of us in, to guard us. We’d be locked in the house, but not ever realize it wasn’t really our house. I did realize it, however; I may have listened to them talking or seen them make the house myself, but I somehow knew this was a fake house. And suddenly I was inside it, alone, and everyone else was playing in the front yard. Being watched.

There was no way to escape, and nowhere to hide. I looked outside as I had in the beginning, and saw Krista. She managed to come inside – probably through the front door, since the captors wanted me to think everything was normal. Krista cheerily remarked that the house looked rather nice today; my eyes welled up with tears. I had to get out somehow. In the lowest whisper possible, I explained that the men were keeping me here, and I needed to find a way of getting help. She replied that it would be best if we got well away from the house before calling 911, so that if the men didn’t notice I was gone, they also wouldn’t hear me talking on the phone to the police.

While we were talking, the dream changed a little so that Krista was now also stuck in the house, but she was luckily confident and level-headed (as opposed to my utter fear and panic). She reminded me again of the two hiding spots in the house where you could be unseen from any window, and then said she had a plan. She knew what kind of guns the men had, and in fact had made a report to the police board about the guns recently. (How this pertained to the story, I’m not sure. But it happened.) Our best solution was to be helicoptered out of there through the window in my dad’s room. Make sense? No, of course not. I thought we were sneaking out.

And wait until you hear just how we were going to be rescued. Out of nowhere, Krista pulled two forks; she explained that she’d been in contact with the police before and they knew her secret sign for “Get me out of here ASAP.” She ran the prongs of one fork down the wall right next to the window, making ruts in the paint. I did the same on my side of the window. Almost immediately, two forks appeared poking through the corners of the window blinds, as if someone were holding them from outside. “There they are!” Krista said. “Now we just grab onto these forks and they’ll helicopter us out of here.”

This was not the happy ending I had hoped for. Despite the fact that Krista had gone over this with the police, there was no way of knowing if the people holding the forks were in fact rescuers or the captors. Lifting or peeking through the blinds probably would have done it, but I was paralyzed by fear. Krista grabbed onto the fork on her side…

…and I woke up.

Some things I’d like to point out:

(1) my dreams switch situations or settings frequently, without any continuity errors. House to minivan and back to house did not bother me.
(2) You wouldn’t believe how many of my dreams and nightmares center on trying to escape from a bad guy by shutting or locking a door, closing a window, etc., and for whatever reason, I can’t get it done. Usually the reason is that I don’t have enough time before the bad guy is able to stick his hand or foot in the opening, preventing me from reaching safety. And I usually wake up after that.
(3) I did actually find – in real life – the two places in my parents’ house where you could hide and not be seen, even if all the curtains were up. I have no idea how Krista knew them in this dream.
(4) As I’m sure is common, paralyzing fear becomes my downfall in many a dream. It is so real that even after I wake up and realize none of it was real, I have trouble talking coherently (more so than when I just wake up groggy).
(5) Alright, this may not sound scary to you at all, but honestly – it was terrifying. When I tell the Romgi my bad dreams, he keeps waiting for the frightening part. I think most of the terror comes from the feeling more than any actual events in the dream. Seriously, though – scary. Way scary.

Readers, what do you think? Is there some hidden meaning in the dream? Or was it just a dream?

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6 thoughts on “I dream of…Something

  1. KHL says:

    My take is always, “Just a dream.” With only a couple of exceptions, I’ve never had dreams that seemed in any way connected to the real sphere. And they’re often very vivid and memorable.

    But the fear is definitely real. I know I’ve experienced fear and other emotions in dreams at a far greater intensity level than in most waking moments. I used to wonder why. Or why was I able to get so absorbed in a book of fiction that I experienced greater emotion than in real life? After years of considering, and reading about the small amout of brain power we actually tap in to, I’m convinced that we are capable of experiencing emotions to a far greater degree than everyday life affords us. Maybe dreams just give us a chance to exercise them.

    Your ‘hiding places’ inventory interested me. In the house where I grew up, there was a double-doored linen closet that went back serveal feet. I always figured that if I needed to (because of bad guys), I could climb up into the top shelf of the upper half and hide in the back part with linens stacked in front of me. But I never had to give it a try.

    Of course, now I’m curious about your hiding places!

  2. roni says:

    The hallway leading to the kitchen is one – when I was younger, at least, I could stand in the middle and not be seen through the bedroom window or the front room window. Especially helpful when I knew the mailman was coming, but i didn’t want him to see me when he dropped the mail off or walked away.

    The second I am unfortunately a little hazy on the details. It’s either inside or just outside the coat/vacuum closet. Again, I’m assuming you need to be younger and more flexible to hide there for long.

  3. Kendy says:

    The number 2 note interested me, because that exact same thing happens in my bad dreams a lot. I’ll lock the door and it will open anyway. The other major anxiety symbol in my dreams is water faucets that won’t turn off. Besides a few anxiety symbols, though, my dreams that have meaning are pretty obvious. But mostly my dreams are just random. I, however, have had many experiences with lucid dreaming, and it is truly strange. Especially when occasionally I’ll get dream-within-dream lucidity. Brains are bizarre, aren’t they?

  4. aubrey says:

    I’m writing you an email about this!

  5. Recurring Dreamer says:

    When I was young I had this recurring dream where I would be walking in Spanish Fork with several friends—different friends each time—and we would somehow find our way to an abandoned multi-story brick building with boarded up doors and windows. The numbers on the front of the building were 1908, and I never knew if that was the address or the year it was built. Inevitably, one of the friends would find a way into the building through a loose board over a window, or through a loose board over the front door, or (a couple of times) the front door would be open and unlocked as though someone had “forgotten” to board it up with the rest of the building.

    As our group made our way inside, each floor of the building had progressively more and more interesting old stuff on each floor, and we made our way higher and higher into the building. Very weird part: I don’t ever remember stairs or elevators, just an understanding that we were now up one floor higher. At any rate, we eventually made it to the top floor of the building, usually about the fourth or fifth floor (it was an old brick building, after all, not a skyscraper), and the top floor was completely empty. Just dusty hardwood floors. As we stood there looking at each other, the building would start to rumble, then collapse. I would feel the whole building tip to the side, everyone would scream, and then I would wake up an instant before impact.

    I don’t know how many times I had this dream, but it was a lot. One night, I had the same dream again, everything was as before until the part where the building started to rumble. When everyone started to scream I told them, “Don’t worry! I’ve had this dream before. I always wake up before we hit the ground.” Then I waited confidently as the building tipped… and smashed into the ground. I pulled myself out of the rubble, and looked around to see all my friends climbing out of the piles of brick. None of us were hurt or even dirty—but my friends sure were angry! They all descended on me to beat me up for lying about always waking up before impact.

    Right then, I finally woke up, and I have never had the dream again. It’s been about 20 years, but I had it so many times, I still remember it!

  6. Recurring Dreamer says:

    Oh, and also, “It’s just a dream.”

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