Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Nightmare--Now What

It's around 2 am and I have just awakened from a horrible nightmare.

Typically I don't get bad dreams or much in the way of dreams at all.  But I had one just a few minutes ago.  I am trying to remember if I ate anything peculiar during the day.  Just a chicken salad sandwich or two for dinner.  I did have a Mr. Goodbar for dessert which is probably not the best thing to consume at about 930, but it is not as if I was knocking back tequila shots.

Nothing bad is happening at work. I am not being accused incorrectly of deflating footballs. I did not give up nine runs in the 7th inning as did the hapless Red Sox last night.  I am not scheduled to box Marvelous Marvin Hagler at Madison Square Garden or anything like that.

Despite the last horrible fifteen minutes of the nightmare, there is some good news.

First the bad news:  the nightmare.

Somehow I find myself in a situation where I have murdered someone.  I know the someone, but I have no recollection of killing him. Yet in the dream I know I have.  I sit somewhere in a car hoping it is a dream. I say to myself that I will close my eyes and when I open them I will not be a murderer. But when I open my eyes,  I know I am a murderer and boy, woe is me.

Now, in real life, I am not the murdering sort. A lapsed college professor and now an associate dean. No murdering in my job description. Have gotten into few fights since high school usually taking out my aggression on the tennis or racquetball courts or by running ridiculously long distances through Delaware Park in Buffalo.  But here I am in this dream, a murderer.

And I am running away from the authorities.  I am in a New York City subway car and then we pull up, no longer in the subway car, but now in a bus, into a Syracuse New York bus station.  As far as I know I have never spent any time at the Syracuse bus station.  But there I am. And they are changing buses. I wait outside the bus and then we reboard, but now I am in a foreign country where the language is alien to me.

I know I am cooked as we wait to take off from the bus station. I imagine living the life of a murderer in my home in Long Island. Never mind that I have not lived in Long Island since 1967 and my family moved from there shortly after Daddy Bush beat Dukakis.  I figure for sure I will be a pariah and my poor folks who live in Queens will be ostracized. My parents never lived in Queens and besides they are now gone and would be spared the ignominy unless there is a method for communicating with the next world that we have yet to discover. Still, as I sit on this bus somewhere in Europe after having gotten on in Syracuse, I think about how my parents will be upset.  I send them an e-mail apologizing for so staining the clan.  I think that I will not bother them or anyone else, I'll just stay in the house and live out my life as a known bad guy.  Then I think I wont be able to do that because neighbors would prefer not living next to such a villain and have, no doubt, thrown a brick through the big front window.

It appears as if picking up the glass will not be a problem because I notice, while I am sitting in this bus in a foreign country between two others whom I do not know, that two guys who look like they are in the foreign legion are showing my mug to the guy who sold the bus tickets who strangely is a fellow I knew from graduate school or somewhere in western new york.  The ticket salesman points to the bus.

I say to the two people on either side of me that "this is it."  They don't pay any attention to me because they do not speak English or do not want to get into it with a stranger on a long bus ride from Europe to Plainview New York.  The two foreign legion guys get on the bus and are looking at everyone on the bus. They look at my picture and then the passengers. They come to my aisle.  Again I say to the guys on the bus, "This is it."  One legionnaire says to the other that one of the neighbors, not me, looks like the guy in the picture. They stare at me. I am two seconds away from incarceration in a foreign country and missing the rest of my life, not just the upcoming NFL season.

But then, miraculously, the legionnaires decide that neither myself, nor my neighbor, fit the picture even though it is my current mug that they are looking at when they stare at me.  They move down the bus and I figure I have a temporary reprieve.

Then I get the best reprieve of all.  I wake up. And t/here I am. In Waltham, Massachusetts. And I have not committed any murder.  I don't even think I ran a light today.  What a relief.

I am alive and free and I have no physical injury and will not be causing embarrassment to myself or any dead relatives. I can go downstairs and have a glass of water with impunity and tomorrow can have another chicken salad sandwich and watch the Red Sox play horribly again.

So, the bad news was that I had the dream.

The good news is that I am free.

Message to us all. Multiple choice

(a) Seize the day.
(b) Learn a foreign language before getting on a bus in Syracuse
(c) Don't follow the Red Sox.
(d) Don't take any pictures so you cannot get caught when on the run

Answer: (a)

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