Here is my response to this prompt at the WordPress Daily Post: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Dreams should not be taken literally — at least that is what I used to tell myself.
At one time I was big into symbolism. I used to think that images in dreams were the detritus of my mind, the bits and pieces of real-life issues that I had left unattended during my waking hours which would then float up to nag me during my sleep. These realities of my day would take on fantastical or striking forms in my dreams in order to get my attention. ALL dreams were like that. Yeah, that’s what I used to tell myself.
But then that changed.
A number of years ago I had a dream. Actually, it was an honest-to-gosh nightmare. It started out pleasant enough. I found myself in a backyard garden in Manhattan Beach. How I knew it was MB, I don’t know. I just knew. I was surrounded by people I did not know. They were obviously wealthy people dressed in fine party clothing — suits and cocktail dresses. Someone was grilling steaks and fish on a barbeque. Tables were laid with fancy appetizers and other dainties. Beer and wine freely flowed. The sun was shining and a salty breeze came off the ocean. I don’t recall any music but then sound has never been prominent in my dreams, but everyone was smiling, laughing, and having a good time.
Then I looked up and saw the sky turn color. From a bright cerulean it morphed into a puss-yellow. The party-goers looked up too. Some set down their glasses and plates, and they all stopped chatting and laughing. They, like me, were frozen in place. With our eyes fixed on the western sky, we saw them coming — at first dark specks, then growing into the silhouettes of planes. I felt my stomach tighten and my heart start to pound. I knew — we all knew — they were coming for us. If you have ever seen any movies about Pearl Harbor, you know the scene: the planes swooping in on defenseless people. You knew what was coming.
Just as the planes were nearly to us, everyone began to scream, including me. That’s when I woke up. It was the classic bolt-upright-in-bed type of nightmare response. I don’t know if I really screamed, but I was sweating and trembling in fear. I sat there for a moment and as I realized that I was at home, safe in my bedroom, and that it was only a dream, I calmed down. Then I began to analyze it.
Yes, I had been busy at work. Stress, that was probably it. Yes, I was worried about some family issues too. Yeah, that’s had to be it. Worry working itself out in the dream. Oh, maybe it was my health. That could be it too: my body telling me to take care of myself. Maybe I should make a doctor’s appointment. That’s it, that’s what I’ll do.
With it all figured out, I felt relieved and ready to go back to sleep. Just as I settled back down, I turned to look at the digital display on my nightstand:
2:15 a.m., September 11, 2001.
ljgloyd (c) 2015