What happened after I stupidly turned off my alarm this morning


It is the height of narcissism to share one's dreams. No one cares that I was in Denver only it was Des Moines only we were going to Mars. And yet I am now going to share a dream. It was not a scattering of random images, but had a definite narrative structure. And it disturbed me greatly.

I was standing at a street corner in an indefinite American city. A mother was in her SUV with her children. A large green pickup with a white sign on its door squealed around her and left a huge dent in a rear fender. I ran to the edge of the sidewalk to see the license plate as the truck continued down the street, but it had no plate.

I jumped in my car and took off after it.

I hit a red light. When the light turned, I drove through the street slowly, looking down both directions. I could not see the truck.

I continued to the next light where the street ended and I would have to turn right or left. I wagered right and, as the UPS truck ahead of me moved, I could see it parked at a Korean market just a short ways down the street. I pulled in and went to the truck. It had no license and a white sign on the door, so I knew I had it. The sign was magnetic and had a phone number in the corner so I peeled it off and started to roll it up.

An old Korean grandma who was at the market came up and started hitting me with her purse because I was stealing the sign. My Korean ain't so hot these days so it took a while just to get her to understand that I was speaking Korean. When she did, she heard my story and supported me.

Then, above us, we heard a sound. We all looked up and saw three lifeflight helicopters falling strangely above us. The disappeared behind the building, there was a sound like glass bottles tinking together, and three distinct explosions as they hit the ground about a mile from us. Followed by the sound of machine gun fire.

Then another lifeflight copter fell in the same way, along the same path. The sound of glass knocking together. An explosion. More guns.

It occurred to me that the tinkling sound might be an oil refinery, the huge steel containers banging together.

Then another helicopter, this one at least ten times the size of the other Hueys, came into view. It was on fire and twisting sickly in the sky. And falling, very



It crashed.

I woke up at this point.

My feelings were not of relief nor gladness at the thought that it could never happen in America.

I felt like I knew what it was like to be helpless, a citizen in a war zone. I knew that whatever had shot ambulances out of the sky would spread and I would not be same, the Korean grandma would not be safe, the mother and her children would not be safe.

And I also felt a sense of inevitability. A sense that there was no way to prevent this from occurring. Eventually.

And now, hours later, I still feel a dread pessimism--someday we will face death and mindless violence and mortal uncertainty and fear.


What a pleasant thing to spread around.


  1. Harumph. Well, it is certainly the height of something or other to say publicly that it is the height of narcissism to share one's dreams a week or so after one's friend has shared his dream with one. We'll see if I ever tell you about abandoned Indian newborns again.

    Excuse me while I go gaze at my reflection in a pond.

  2. .

    Oh shoot.

    That slipped my mind.

    Of course what I'm talking about is pointless dreams, where all one can say is how weird they thought it was. I mean--if the dreamer thought it was weird, what am I supposed to think???