Last night was largely occupied with an epic nightmare which took place in two discrete parts. I awakened at 4:00 am, miserable from the experiences in my head, before fearfully drifting into another sleep which contained a direct continuation of the original dream.
It being several hours later, I only retain fragments of the dreams. Here is what I recall.
With a coworker, I am looking out the window of a nineteenth-century building at a curving section of lowland riverbed. on a bank above the river, closest to our perch, an old, narrow highway runs directly beneath the front of this brick building. The building is warped with age and gives one the sensation of drunkenness as one navigates its’ tilted floors.
On the highway below is an inching mass of cars, all heading upriver but not making any progress. Vendors hawk wares to the miserable inhabitants. Curiously, all the cars are from the mid-seventies or earlier, great land-yachts in which families anxiously bounce like racquetballs in an empty court.
The riverbed is a mass of glistening mud, with no running water to be seen. As we watch, a flake-green Grand Torino comes roaring around the bend upriver, roostertailing mud at seventy, madly slewing in the semiliquid gumbo of the vacated river’s home. It’s clear the driver is about to lose control of the car, and I turn to my companion and note this, saying “Watch, he’s gonna lose it at the bend.”
Sure enough, in slow motion,the car slews up the banked side of the river, spins madly, and rolls goopily several times before coming to rest in a cloud of steam, upside down, just at the edge of our sight lines upriver. The population of the traffic jam appears not to have noticed.
Then, in quick sequence, the river is suddenly host to a parade of huge American cars, barrelling upriver in a manner similar to the unfortunate Grand Torino. They bounce off one another but most avoid losing control as spectacularly as the first car. Lincoln Continentals and 1948 Dodge hearses and long, low Cadillacs jostle through the mud at seventy miles an hour. Suddenly, before the turn, a Coupe De Ville goes into a long, lazy slide that slams the vehicle against the rootball of an overhanging tree, catapulting the car, in pieces, into the stream of cars. Chaos ensues.
Cars spin into each other and roll over one another, somersaulting as they shed axles, wheels, windshields, body parts. A sequence of three crushed cars spins lazily downriver under our window, maple leaves in a summer eddy. As we gaze down into them, we can see trapped families struggling to claw their way through the dismembered remains of their beloved, pounding on rear windows and windshields in desperation.
We recoil in horror, and when we turn back to the the window it is in response to an horrific sound, a grinding and pounding much louder than the current of autos had provided moments before. We rush to the window to observe that the water of the river has returned with great speed and force, wiping away the mass of cars in an irresistible onrush. The cars in the riverbed were escapees from the downstream traffic jam who had gambled on beating the incoming wall of water. As we look out, the water rises rapidly until it laps the sill of our second-story window, and we turn to flee, slamming rickety wooden doors behind us in a futile attempt to stem the tide.
As we flee into the interior of the warren-like building, retreating from windows and doors, it grows dark, and we appear to have entered sections of the building long forgotten. We stumble over the detritus of the past one-hundred-and-fifty years of American life, from cowboy-themed table lamps and defunct, dusty console televisions to rotted, weatherbeaten wagon wheels and rusted muskets.
Behind us, a door slams open and a young man of the most peculiar appearance comes uncertainly into the junk-cluttered hall. He carries a skateboard and wears a green hoodie, unzipped. At first glance he appears to have a skinny frame topped by long unkempt hair, but as he half-hops forward, it becomes apparent that he is some sort of human-rabbit hybrid, his lop-ears and long fur fooling the eyes into seeing the mane of a seventeen-year-old pot-smoking skateboard dude.
The water bursts through the door behind him, and I awaken.
(I hope to detail part two in a separate entry.)