Since March 21st, 1985, every dream I’ve had, except for one brief one on the night Orville died, has been a nightmare. At first, they came every few minutes and were always identical, but by the 90s they changed to dreams in which I was flying, propelling myself by dog-paddling in the air over towns while someone chased me. They became sporadic, which was too bad because when they were frequent I trained myself to take advantage of the flight time to practice and I became proficient enough to stay up in the air for a long time and develop some pretty impressive airspeeds before the inevitable crash to the ground.
Anyway, by now I only have two or three per year, at most, and they’re never flying dreams. Here’s a funny one I had a few nights ago.
A gunman with greasy long hair, black sunglasses, a scraggly beard and a tattered t-shirt, has me throttled from behind with one arm clenched around my neck. With his other hand he jams a huge semi-automatic pistol, it happens to be a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, into my neck. If he’s not preparing to shoot me outright, he’s taking me hostage, because he is dragging me backwards, tightening his chokehold and the pressure on him gets worse and jamming the pistol harder into the flesh under my jaw. I’m choking and trying to claw at his arm, but I am weak and he is strong. But I try because there is something I must tell him.
Roo is standing there, in a patch of grass, even though we’re in a demolished cityscape, looking up from her nose patrol. She doesn’t understand what’s happening and doesn’t seem to feel that there’s any threat.
I keep clawing desperately at the man’s arm trying to get the words out, but he’s compressing my neck to the point of being about to break it. My head is already bursting, my eyes bulging under the pressure, and he keeps jamming the gun up into the soft skin under my jaw, about to shoot straight upwards at any moment. I keep trying to loosen his grip so I can say whatever it is I need to say.
Finally I manage to get my fingers under the arm he has around my neck pry his arm away enough to be able to shout my plea to him:
“DON’T SHOOT!” I say. “You’ll scare the hell out of that dog! She’ll bolt!”
Then I woke up.