The Dimension of Sight and Sound called Dream World.


Waiting for the kiddie train of life to pass us by, circa 1981
There are some trains you don’t want to wait for.

Ever wake up after having exactly the same dream of massive destruction–twice in a row–feeling like you’ve run a marathon?

This morning between 5 and 9 that particular form of double jeopardy was what I call an “another life” dream. The buildings, dress, time lines and the face looking back at me in the mirror–so familiar yet so foreign–came complete with a multi generational family and clueless neighbors.

In the first dream, I was still alive in the aftermath trying to help the survivors, my ultra black hair in waves to my shoulders, black eyes contrasting against skin so light it was almost white. The very last image in the repeat performance was me, as a tall, slender girl of 16 or 17, twirling around in a fire red dress to see what was behind me as I ran for my life. I looked like one of those music box dancers with their skirts in mid spin–sans the ultra starched petticoat underneath it. Instead, it had a white shorts-like slip underneath. Why on Earth would anyone wear black shoes with an outfit like that?

They had the most bizarre bathrooms imaginable. It was like someone took a giant outhouse and made it into a water closet holding 3 toilets facing each other with the 1910 high flusher, 1940’s white bowl and black seats. And you’d think they could clean the floors!  It’s no wonder they wore black shoes.

More important, I’m running for my life–so why the hell would I stop to relieve myself? Would anyone care if my dress was a little wet when the whole town was about to become toothpicks?

The catalyst for this particular episode of mini-destruction was a runaway train. You could hear it coming like an F-5 tornado passing by your window. The ground roared, the engines were on maximum overdrive, and impact was minutes away.

Besides impending doom, there were irritants like the people who tried to keep me from running, telling me there wasn’t a problem. There were the people who refused to believe there was a problem, saying things like, “Just ignore that awful sound. It will go away.” Why, in the middle of all this chaos, am I faced with learning how to use a toilet I don’t understand?

I suppose some mysteries in life will never be revealed.