So my dreams have been excruciatingly odd lately. The last few months, anyway.
But really in the last handful of weeks. Full of violence and that strange all-encompassing melancholy you find in dreams (which always manifests, for me, with the knowledge that I’m dreaming and that it’s bad but with an inability to get myself out of it).
Two nights ago, I’m back in Denver, at Montview Avenue and Monaco Parkway. Monaco is a street with a giant, almost park-like median in between the two roadways. Lush with trees and modest homes set back off the road. Take it north and you hit Interestate 70 after a few blocks. South and you’ll get to the longest commercial road in America: Colfax.
(I prefer to think of Colfax as the Avenue of Strumpets. Quite the portable-sex asphalt jungle is it.)
Anyway, I’m in uniform but I’m a good quarter mile from my squad car. Something happens – one of those vague things in dreams that gives you a feeling, but not an incident. This feeling was adrenaline. Pure “balls-to-the-wall-man” (ah…I love when I can get in an 80’s German-metal band reference) adrenaline.
Because I hear gunfire. Then the car speeds away, hammering down Colfax Avenue.
I run to my squad, jump in, and fire that bastard up. I’m flying after them but it’s not like the car chase in ‘Bullitt.’ This is fuzzy. It’s amorphic. In fact, I don’t even see the chase.
It’s one of those dream sequences where I just know what’s happening. I know I’m catching him, though I see nothing. I know we’re shooting at each other, that bullets are tearing our cars apart, though I see nothing.
Most importantly: I know I’m going to catch him. There is zero chance he’ll get away from me. Sadly, before I can actually put the habeas grabbus on him, I wake up.
There is no trick ending here. I actually am going to catch him and that makes it a great dream. He’s the bad guy, after all.
However, last night….
I’m a mid-level lackey in a mob-style family and I am getting absolutely yelled at by the don. Straight up vicious, man. Not only is everything I’ve done for him wrong, it’s monstrously wrong. So this fucker is yelling and yelling and every time I try to defend or explain myself, he slaps me.
I do not hit back. I do not step out of the way. I do not dodge the blows.
Instead, I learn the lesson. Don’t talk back and you won’t get hit. Everything becomes ‘yes, sir,’ and ‘no, sir.’
It doesn’t work.
Instead, it drives the don completely insane. He immediately begins punching me.
Then knifing me.
And finally he shoots me.
Bad, right? Sure. Getting shot in the head can be a problem.
The larger problem is that the dream never ended.
After getting shot, I woke up. A little freaked out, but thinking: wow, at least it’s over. Now I can sleep.
Yet as soon as I slipped away again, it started again: same sequence, same punishment, same inability to figure out how to defend myself.
Ultimately, I woke up four or five times, each time after the head shot. After four hours, I gave up. It was pointless to sleep. With that crap slipping around every corner, there was no where to go.
I climbed out of bed angry. Seriously angry. Not at losing sleep, it was Saturday and I had no agenda for the day so who cares, but because what I took from the dream was that there was no way to stand up for myself; that everything led to some kind of violence against me (not in a martyr-complex sort of way, but in a ‘What the hell kind of situation is this?’ sort of way).
Yes, I was angry that this asshole wouldn’t shut up long enough for me to explain, or didn’t make sense enough for me to follow his perverse and twisted logic. But mostly I was I was angry that I couldn’t figure out how to defend myself. I should have been smarter than this man who couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of him.
Big deal, right? Just a dream, right?
Hardly. It colored most of my Saturday. I couldn’t quite find a good groove, couldn’t get my head up to speed. I damn sure couldn’t let go of the overwhelming sadness the dream shot through me.
So, later, exhausted from dying all night, I napped.
I was at a skanky old blues club. Dirty and dingy and filled with questionable folk. Exactly the kind of place I love. Great food, cheap beer and cheaper whiskey, great music sung by dented and broken people.
This random guy accosts me, spews attitude, gases me with profane verbiage.
So, cop that I am, I shot him.
And no one in the joint had problem one with it. In fact, no one seemed to notice.
Then I left and headed for some kind of pick up point. Not sure, now that I’m awake, exactly what it was, but I had that magical dream knowledge that that was where I needed to be next.
So I’m walking to that place, suddenly carrying my uniform because it’s soaking wet and covered in sand…which makes it incredibly heavy. I’ve got my duty belt draped across my other arm, along with pistols and shotguns…and…chains.
Yeah, seriously. Have no clue where the chains came from…but it sure as shit seems like they should mean something, huh?
So I walk and walk. Then walk some more. And when I’m done with that, I walk even more. Carrying all this shit. Getting heavier and heavier.
And still I walk.
And I never get there.
So even though I’ve done a good thing, and taken care of the bad guy (which I think is related to a current case I can’t tell you about yet…and no, I didn’t actually shoot anyone), I can’t get to where to go.
Sort of a copped-up version of running endlessly for that door, I guess.
So that’s it…for now. I’m not sure why my dreams have gotten so bizarre lately, though I have an idea or two. I’m not sure what, if anything I can do about them (without winning the lottery and changing everything) but they’ve been interesting to watch.
At the same time, though? Enough.