“Oh, my life is changing every day, in every possible way. And oh, my dreams. It’s never quite as it seems. Never quite as it seems.” -The Cranberries
I had this dream last night, and in it some people had broken into my car. I don’t remember where it was parked, but something tells me it was at the mall, in one of the outside slots, where the eighteen-wheelers like to park across several spots at the same time. I’m not sure why it had to be there, but of course that made it more appealing for thieves. And I couldn’t recall if I had locked the car or not, if it was a passive break-in or an active one, but I sensed that somehow I had locked it and they had smashed in the back window with a crowbar or some other such implement.
I’m not even sure where I was when this was happening, but I showed up moments after the thieves left. I could even see their own car pulling away, but I didn’t have my keys so I couldn’t follow them. They were driving away but looking back, taunting me because I didn’t have my keys. Then one of them, a sandy-haired youth, tossed the ring of keys out of a back window, and then they were gone. Just disappeared, car and all. I went to grab the keys but they weren’t mine. In fact, they were a set that kids play with, the large plastic multi-colored keys. And I remember feeling stupid that I hadn’t realized I had brought them instead of my actual car keys. Of course they belonged to the baby, but if you had asked me what baby I wouldn’t have been able to tell you.
Then I went back to check out the car, to see what other damage they had done besides bashing the back window in. The passenger side doors were wide open, open even wider than they can actually go, and the car looked pretty immaculate inside. Nothing seemed out of place at first glance. They had even brushed the glass off of the back seat and I could see the shards glittering against the pavement. Then I noticed that my iPod was missing, and I broke down in huge, gasping sobs, knowing that my world was over. All of my music that I had amassed over 30 years was gone, just like that (apparently there were no backups, no iTunes, just my iPod that held all of my music ever on it).
And suddenly there was a mall cop there (another reason I think it was the mall parking lot), and he looked exactly like Paul Blart, and he was asking me for my ID, but it was gone. I think the thieves took it, I told him, but he looked skeptical. Then I asked him why it even mattered, and if he could get me a real cop because this was a serious matter. I mean, my iPod was stolen!
But he just laughed, like it was a trivial matter, and I told him only people who failed real cop school became mall cops, so he left, but he kept laughing. I vowed to get even with him while I stood there shaking next to my car. The doors were closed again on the passenger side, but I hadn’t even touched them and I wondered for a second how it had happened. Then I started crying again.
And I woke up still crying. They were dry tears, but the emotion was as real as if I had lost my best friend to a freak gasoline fight accident. I tried to keep it under control so as not to wake my wife, but it’s dreams like those that feel more like premonitions than mere dreams. I’ve had so many of them over the course of my life, and each time it seems like they really did mean something important. Usually they came to me right after I made a big decision, or right before I was about to make a big decision. When something major was going on in my life.
But sometimes they showed up out of the blue, on a random Tuesday that turned out after the fact not to be so random after all. Sometimes I’m not able to stop myself from crying huge, gasping sobs, and my wife wonders what’s wrong, but I can’t bring myself to talk about the dream. Like it’s still going on, or like if I talk about it that makes it more real. I keep hoping I’m not the only one in the world that this happens to, that maybe there’s a community out there that I could join and feel somewhat normal by doing so. Regardless, though, I take each and every one of them seriously, whether or not it’s a premonition having to do with the direct dream, or with some abstract represented by the dream.
So I analyze every little detail of each one of these dreams. I turn it around and upside down in my head until I have several possibilities and ways to deal with each of those possibilities. It makes me feel more in control and stops the shaking. But the whole process makes me so weak, because I feel like I should be able to handle a little dream, and yet I know at the same time that it’s not just a little dream. So I live on that line between dream and premonition, trying to fight whatever is going to happen, and the fight is not a blind one because of the dream. For that I am grateful.
But that doesn’t stop me from hoping these kinds of premonitions come to an end. They just take too much out of me. Every single time.