Friday, September 18, 2009

Dream Another Dream for Me

So I said I’d be back to talk about my next dream, and here it is. Unfortunately, since I’ve waited for yet another night to pass, the details are very sketchy until the climactic scene, which I will now attempt to describe.

For much of the dream, I’d been driving around some city that I believe was supposed to be Philadelphia—not that I’ve been to Philadelphia, in the last decade, but that seems right. What sticks out in my mind is that after driving around for a long time, I finally came to a bridge. The bridge was extremely steep—probably about a 55˚ grade—but there was a long line of cars on it, slowly inching their way up. I decided to follow.

As I, too, inched up the bridge, I noticed that the left lane was mostly empty and took the opportunity to pass a few people—still moving fairly slowly, because of the grade, but faster than the people in the right lane. As I passed, I couldn’t help but notice that all the drivers in the right lane were pretty old, the kind of drivers whose faces provide shelter for large quantities of wrinkles. You know the ones I’m talking about: they’re always right smack in the middle of the road, bodies hunched up to wheel, trying desperately to see over the dashboard. If it hadn’t already been dusk, I’m sure they would have been wearing those Roy Orbison–style sunglasses that inexplicably wrap around the face of the wearer, presumably so stray bats can’t fly behind the glasses and nest in the aforementioned crevasses. The point is that these people were everywhere, and I couldn’t figure out why they all seemed to be congregating on the same bridge.

As I got closer to the top, the left lane ended and I was forced to merge. By now it was almost completely dark out, and the streetlights lining the bridge were joined by millions of faraway lights, shining up from the city below. Still, I inched my way up, ever aware of the countless senior citizens around me. And then, somewhere in my mind, I realized something: this wasn’t just any bridge; this was a bridge where people came to die. About this time, the car ahead of me disappeared and I was left in horror as I realized that I was within a few feet of the top of the bridge, and my lane—the only lane—was about to merge down to virtually nothing.

You know those ladders that fold in half? The top of the bridge looked very similar to the top of one of those, when folded: a circle on its side, extruded about a foot wide and carved with a beautiful sun theme. Beneath this cylinder was a modified trapezoid, connecting it to the slowly widening bridge on either side. In other words, if I could actually make it over the top,  the bridge would widen back into a lane (and presumably, eventually, into two), so that I could theoretically drive down the other side. Of course, given the 55˚ downgrade, I didn’t really want to test that theory, but I was pretty much out of options.

And then I was there, at the top of the bridge, my car perched atop the foot-wide cylinder and beginning to spin and tilt. I could see the city lights penetrating the darkness from hundreds, perhaps thousands of feet below. As the wheels hung in mid-air, I searched for any sign of the countless vehicles that must have preceded me in plummeting from this insane altitude, but to no avail. My life hung in a very literal balance, and I knew it wouldn’t be much longer before gravity—my true-blue friend since childhood—would suddenly and irrevocably become my worst enemy.

And then I woke up.


  1. First of all, this sounds more like a nightmare than a dream. Which brings up an important question that I've had not less than five times throughout the course of my life. Why is it that dream can be a noun and a verb, but nightmare cannot assume a verb form, at least not that I'm aware. I mean, you wouldn't ever say, "the other night I nightmared that..."

    Anyway, back to your [nightmare]. First of all, I hope that death does not require driving up a steep slope, because I am not well suited for that type of thing. Second of all, I wonder why you were allowed to pass others? Why Philadephia? Very interesting, and a bit scary, all the same. I daren't offer an interpretation.

  2. Well, they always say that if you dream someone dies, that means someone is going to have a baby. Taking that into consideration, perhaps it means that my (very specific) prayers will be answered, and Anna and I will be chosen before some other couples that have been waiting longer? Who knows?

    But back to your original point: I say we officially declare “nightmare” to be a verb. You heard it here first, folks! Alert Oxford and Webster’s; we’re evolving the language RIGHT HERE AND NOW!