Maybe other than big ocean waves, my most common dream is being trapped in a dystopia.
I have dreamed this so many times. Trapped on a train where we are being killed one-by-one if we object, with weird wires. Living in a concrete parking structure, post-apocalyptic, trying to find food and hide from the people who were trying to kill us. In a cult in a strip mall being forced by the leader to watch a hypnotizing brainwashing movie. Don’t look! Herded into a stadium where they are going to gas us. What was that one, with all the naked people and someone playing piano.
Well, last night it was like this. Way too many people in way too small a space. Trying on bathingsuits, maybe going swimming, men and women separate. The guards were lax, and I was in a crowded room yelling to a bunch of white people, “There are more of us that there are of them! We can kill them and be free!” Their blank looks like, what are you talking about? Like they didn’t notice what was happening.
But this time a few of us escaped. We had these old-fashioned cars with slick, dark green seats. We had way too much stuff–clothes wrapped in sheets, other strange bundles. The cars were full of stuff, but then we needed the people to fit.
At first they weren’t going to bring me. I pushed my way. We found this other car, empty, that had been ours before, at a gas station…?
But it wasn’t clear that we were really escaping. Maybe the whole world was broken, nowhere to go.
“Why do I dream like this?” I asked Ming as we lay in bed this morning, trying to wake up. He’d had a bad dream too, about a fire.
He said something about my past lives. It’s really uncanny. I read 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World in school, and I watched some Twilight Zone marathons as a kid, but as an adult I totally avoid that stuff.