I was once on a flight from Tokyo to Seattle that left at 7am and got in at 6am THE SAME DAY (gotta love the International Dateline, that mayhem-causing minx) and spent the entire duration in pre-sunrise dawn. It seemed like everyone else on the plane – some 300-odd people – was asleep. But not me.
Oh freaking no.
I sat there with a drunken chain-drinking-six-Coors Lights stranger asleep on my right shoulder and my now-ex crashed out on my left, while I was engrossed in a series of heart-wrenching and emotionally overwhelming flicks appearing on the giant screen before me: What Dreams May Come, One True Thing, and Stepmom.
In short, I bawled my goddamned eyes out for ten hours while simultaneously flipping out over the surreal reality that I was in a small metallic vehicle with 300-odd people who were all asleep while suspended in the air and what kind of magic makes this tin can fly anyway????
I’m kind of like the non-native primitive cast member in The Gods Must Be Crazy. I’m easily mystified. And seriously though, the gods must be crazy.
So anyway, I guess that was a feeble attempt at explaining the title – or more likely, just some free association about the title – but either way you’re going to have to hear about one of my dreams again: last night I dreamt that I was living in a simple wooden house with several other people. We shared a large bedroom, but my stuff – some clothes and my laptop – occupied one corner. One morning I was sitting downstairs in the kitchen and found myself musing about how nice the fire felt…until I realized the fire was under the house and had burned up through a giant hole now in the floor. Before we could really react, the fire had spread and melted the roof trusses, which caused the house to fold in on itself. It was distressing, but it seemed that we could still live there while repairs were done.
In the dream, the house was in Bermuda, but from all appearances it was actually in Scandinavia or the North Pole – all shades of blue and snow-capped peaks and shooting stars. I was walking one night and turned back and the landscape – and mountains in the distance – were all different shades of cobalt and midnight and sapphire and azure, and above us were hundreds of shooting stars, almost like rain, pouring down into the huge lake to my left. It was so spectacular that I was speechless, and tried to take photos to capture the incredible magic of the moment.
Back at the house, things had gone from bad to worse. It had split into three sections and the outer two were in the process of falling off. While in the upstairs bedroom, I could see that my laptop was running…and sitting on a desk in a portion of the cabin that was going to collapse soon. I knew I needed to rescue it and salvage any writing on it. I crept onto the fragile surface of the collapsing portion, and grabbed the computer just in time for the entire structure to cave in. Miraculously – probably because it was a dream – the computer and I were just fine.
Renovation plans were still in order for the house, and I was looking forward to things returning to normal. However, I was dismayed when a few minutes later I was watching a man tell police how much he had loved his wife and how saddened he had been at her death…by fire. And then I realized he was talking about me.
I suppose the awareness that you’re no longer part of the dream because you’re dead is enough to wake a person up, and so I did.