So, before I talk about my dream last night, I should talk to you about this girl I sorta know.
I used to have really bad nightmares. Incredibly bad. My nightmares would make Silent Hill look like Disney World. Hiding from giant bony hands reaching down through the clouds while strange people with giant skulls run through walls to get to me. Weird shit.
But one day…she showed up. I was having a particularly weird dream. The whole world was going to hell and then…it stopped. Everything froze. The only things moving were me and this girl. She wasn’t there before, which was weird. And, unlike everyone else I see in my dreams, she was completely unfamiliar, as if a stranger had just walked in on me in a private moment of fear.
She walked around the frozen landscape, broke rocks handing in the air from the large land worm like thing that had hopped out. Giggling as she ducked under a car, upside down and frozen in the air. Making comments about my dream and the visuals.
Then, we walked behind a building where there wasn’t distracting chaos everywhere and she got me to just sit with her. So I did. And we talked.
It was just a normal conversation but it was so nice and exactly what I needed and, in fairness, she did most of the talking. Oddly, about her family. She had a family, this strange girl in my dream.
Over time, when a nightmare would get particularly bad, this curious girl would show up, stop it all and then just hang out with me until I woke up. She did me a great service, I’ll tell you that much. And overtime I learned more and more things about her. One time, I even met her family.
It was a strange nightmare that took place in Mainz, Germany. The village was under siege by these strange creatures as the vines from the vineyard grew into giant walls that looked like they could come tidal waving down on the entire city at any minute. At a particularly Michael Bay-esque moment, everything stopped. But this time, instead of her showing up, a carriage pulled up. A basic, not to fancy carriage pulled by two horse. The girl was in it. Along with her mother, father and sister.
We went to their house and had dinner. I don’t remember what we ate, but I remember the dad making some weird comment about how I better not have plans to date his daughter, his mom absolutely loving me and the sister kinda being an asshole.
Why would I come up with this? Doesn’t feel like I did. It’s like that part in the UK version (the GOOD version) of Life on Mars where the main character realizes he might not be dreaming when the girl he’s talking to tells him about how on the way up to where he is, she tripped and spilled a fire bucket and got sand on her hands. The small details you can’t imagine you’d dream about.
But last night was insane. Work has been getting tougher and tougher lately, my self doubt going through the roof. In my dream last night, there were no monster. No demons. No ghouls. Just something far, far worse. Work.
I was at my cubicle. But it was modified. It was slightly larger but really dirty and the cubicle walls were made of what looked like iron. They still had all my stuff on them, but the walls were a dirty, rusty iron.
Everyone from my work was there. Day AND night shift. All at once. While some people worked, some slept on the floors. Or curled up under their desks. The conference room had rows of people laying down sleeping.
The cafeteria was open and there were long lines of people getting a single scoop of some nondescript food before shuffling off to eat.
But the biggest difference is the doors and windows were gone. There was no way out. It was just people in this building, working, forever. Never leaving. Never talking. Just eat, sleep, work.
I sat there, turned around in my cubicle, and it felt so fucking real. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as if it had had enough and just wanted out. It was really starting to hurt. I could feel my heart, I think it was really pounding in real life.
That’s when everyone shut up and froze. That girl was there. She had saved me again after not seeing her for a long time. There was a morbidly obese woman I work with, slumped over in her desk, asleep with her head down. The girl was sitting on her shoulders, legs crossed, with glasses and a clipboard. Feet places on the large woman’s lower back folds. Obviously, she was toying at a psychologist look.
“Oh Eric, this is really not good.” she said, looking at her clipboard, biting on the end of her pen. “Monsters and all that other weird stuff you cook up, I can help you with and are gone when you wake up, but now you’re just bringing real world stuff into it and I don’t think I’ve seen you this scared with the fake stuff.”
I wanted to laugh, but I was crying really hard. The fact that, later, when I woke up and found myself with a dry face, I was stunned. Again, we talked. She sat there, using the obese woman’s incredibly wide shoulders as her personal bean bag chair as she pretended to scribble down notes. Well, maybe she wrote down actual notes. But it seemed to be toying at the note taking idea.
I explained what I did for a living to her and it just seemed to appall her. The realization that many of the things from my nightmare were things in my real life seemed to really worry her. I remember her telling me, “you know I can always help you. And normally, I can make these things go away. But this? This is real. I can help you, but you have to make it go away yourself. This is out of my control, I’m sorry.”
It was so weird. For most of my life, I didn’t have some strange girl coming in to help me, but suddenly, hearing this girl say she couldn’t fix it for me, made me feel so helpless.
I really think I need to find a new line of work. Soon.
Counting electric sheep,