Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dream Log: Lost

I dreamed I was traveling from Berlin to Paris. I had taken advice from a man I shouldn't have listened to because he was foolish, and as a result, I found myself by the side of the road in the middle of an extraordinarily complex highway interchange, with a cardboard box in my arms, filled with some of my favorite books. For a moment I thought I could see the television tower in the Alexanderplatz in Berlin behind me, and the Eiffel Tower off in the distance ahead, so that I knew at least that I was pointed in the right direction. Then I realized that Berlin and Paris are much too far away from each other for me to see them both at the same time, and that those things I was looking at in the distance couldn't both be what they seemed.

Traffic was very heavy and going very fast. Running from one side of a one-lane offramp to the other without being run over was not easy, even without carrying the heavy box. It was quite annoying to have to simply abandon those books by the side of the road. I was angry at the person who had given me poor advice, and angry at myself for having listened to him. But I told myself that, although some of the volumes might be hard to replace, it would be even harder to replace my life, and decided that I had to leave them there.

A middle-aged woman wearing a conservative dress and high heels walked past me. She began to cross the road in a leisurely manner, but right away beeping, speeding traffic chased her back to the side of the road, and seemed to let her know that she was in a very precarious situation.

I helped her get off of the highway. I held one of her hands and encouraged her to run as fast as she could. She held her shoes under her other arm.

After a long and frightening struggle, we found ourselves on a sidewalk. She put her shoes back on and thanked me for my help, assuring me that now she was alright. I was far from convinced about that, but she insisted she'd be fine.

It didn't seem at all certain that I would be fine. I was in a French-speaking town, but I didn't know which town. There seemed to be a pronounced lack of street signs saying that such-and-such a town was this way or that way. But, I told myself, maybe those signs were there, and the problem was just that I didn't know where to look for them.

Eventually I found a train station.

A man of indeterminate age with very long curly greying hair was standing behind a counter inside the station. I approached him and asked, "Parle-on anglais?" The man smiled heartily and said Yes, he spoke English. I asked how to get onto a train bound for Paris. He chattered away in broken English, but it was very hard for me to understand anything he was saying. I couldn't tell whether he had even understand my question.

On top of having lost a boxload of books and being tired, hungry and thirsty, having difficulty communicating and not knowing exactly where I was, I was not sure whether there was a sufficient combination of cash and plastic in my pockets even to pay for a train ticket to Paris, let alone to secure lodging and sustenance once I was in Paris.

I thought to myself that, if I eventually began to starve, knocking on the door of a church might at least get me a meal, depending on which church I knocked at.

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