FOREWORD: In my earlier Dreams within a Dream post I confessed my fascination with lucid dreaming. After several weeks of practice I’m proud (though my mom will blush) to share with you a small victory in this strange war against my sleeping mind.
NOTE: For easier recall I’ve since begun to record my dreams in the present tense, without regard to style, punctuation, or other poetics that make for interesting reading. The following is a simple and direct account of a lucid dream that is as accurate as my waking self could remember. I scribbled it in a notebook as quickly as possible the morning of October 18th, 2010.
I’m in a neighborhood that appears to be the inside of a train station. There is no roof, no railroad tracks, just people walking the platformed sidewalks (another reason I think it’s a train station). They are carrying suitcases and bundles, and they walk hurriedly, as if late for a leaving train. The adults are dressed in Newsie suspenders and Grandpa hats with short brims. My observation is pegged to one location; my view is that of a sexless, genderless movie, a silent film in which I’m detached from the scene in every way.
Suddenly, I begin to move through the crowds. I maneuver through them without stopping or bumping into anyone. I realize that I’m pedaling a bicycle slowly toward the street. Here I become aware of my body, my movements. Exiting this train station-like area I roll into an open space, a normal Midwestern main street with brick buildings. It’s alternatively night and evening. There are mattresses and wooden frames piled in the intersections, almost as high as streetlights, though I didn’t see any. People have arranged them into little shelters by stacking them in strange ways. I assume the men sleeping under them built them. There is a festival, everyone is in the street, though it’s not as crowded as the earlier neighborhood. It feels as though I observe for a very long time but I cannot recall details, just lots of individuals wearing 40s-style clothes. I wonder why the old-fashioned storefronts are thick with dust when the street is paved and the sidewalks are well maintained.
I park my bike and sit next to a group of people lounging on a loading dock. To my right, I recognize Darren Allf of BicycleTouringPro.com We begin to talk. His bike is upside down and he’s fixing the chain. Our conversation is vague. Mostly I’m surprised he’s there.
Another man, who is now behind me after I shifted my body to speak to Darren, interrupts the conversation. He is shirtless and dotted with thick freckles, like a redhead. The man is a redhead. The squareness of his head and his wrap-around black sunglasses seem very strange. His bike is beside him, both are resting on a mattress. He says he’s a German who biked from Venezuela to Texas. My first reaction is to ask how he crossed the Darién Gap, partly to see if he’s lying, partly because I’m curious, then I realize I’m in Texas.
I turned to Darren and ask, “Why are we in Texas?” He doesn’t answer. I become confused, then worried. I say to him that I can’t be in Texas, that I live in Brazil, that it’s impossible to be here.
Then I realize I’m dreaming.
I grab Darren and tell him I’m dreaming. I laugh. I feel relieved that I still live in Brazil. I stand up and tell him to come with me. I walk to the storefront window behind our loading dock and point to a wall clock in what appears to be an old-style cafe. Below the clock are large, shiny black cabinets against an unfinished brick wall. There is a marble-topped bar. I find the porcelain china inside the cabinets strangely beautiful. Inside there are people seated in booths but no one pays us any attention. Their conversations seem muted; I can’t tell if it’s because we’re outside or if they are actually moving their mouths without saying anything. Pointing to the clock, I say to Darren, “Look, it’s four o’clock. It can’t be four o’clock, it’s night time here.” I look away toward the street then look back at the clock. It now reads five o’clock.
Now I’m convinced it’s dream. I feel happy. I accept this and begin to walk down the street. At first I just walk but later feel that I should be doing something better—that I should create something better. I decide I want to meet a girl.
Suddenly, I’m in an old-style building with red walls and red carpet. I see a long hallway with many closed doors. The lighting is dim but agreeable. I feel comfortable. I decide it’s a hotel, though the doors have no numbers. Time elapses slowly, like being stoned or walking through water. I don’t like this. It goes away. A blond girl slowly peaks out a door, leaning out just enough to expose her bare shoulder and face and hair. I walk toward her. She makes no eye contact. She retreats into the room. At first I think she didn’t see me but then feel confident she wants me to follow. I enter the room. I pass through what seems to be a hallway of complete blackness and zero depth perception before I’m in her room. The room is red and dim-lit like the hallway. She is dressed in a satin white dress. I find her attractive. I think: there are few women I’ve found as attractive as her. We begin to kiss. I want to do more. I try to visual a bed. We begin to kiss more passionately.
I wake up.