When Reality Isn't

see me, touch me, feel me

Don't you know, you're life itself!

Wild is the Wind, David Bowie

In most dreams I'm still aware of being at home, in bed, at night, only there's some sort of action going on in my head which is called a "dream". It's similar to closing your eyes while watching TV and still being able to follow whatever is happening by the sound of the characters' voices. Every so often, though, there is a dream where the "action" is seen and felt as being reality, and there's no memory of home or bed. This dream was one of those.

I was walking through a freightyard, but I had no gear, and for some reason I was barefooted. This didn't surprise me as much as the fact that I couldn't find my gloves or flashlight. It was dark, and I couldn't figure out why I was trying to catch a train being so ill-prepared. There were no tracks or freightcars visible, but somehow I knew I was in some yard waiting for a train. I continued to wander around the "yard" when I noticed a large building with no windows. It seemed to be made of concrete and there was no door that I could see, so I walked around to the other side to look for a way in. After searching all sides of the building for an entrance, I saw a ladder reaching up the outside of the building extending to the roof, so I began to climb up to see what was there.

Reaching the top I could see that the entire building was filled with water, like a large reservoir, but under the surface I could see several people walking around in what resembled a large office. The obvious question of how could they breathe under water never came up, and I slowly lowered my foot into the "water" to judge how deep it was. There was a surprising amount of resistance, as if some force was preventing me from sliding down any further under the surface. I wasn't sure how, or even if, I'd be able to continue breathing, but I brought my other leg over the top of the wall and slid very slowly into the room below.

Shortly, after discovering to my great surprise that I could indeed breathe normally, the feeling of being submerged had left and I was able to "walk" around like the other people. When I approached someone, they didn't make eye contact or change their expression in any way they just continued about their business. If I made an effort to "talk" to anyone, they would move aside to let me pass, as if they were aware of my presence, but they never engaged in conversation. In fact, there was no noise at all that I could discern. Gradually I seemed to become more "noticed", and I continued to attempt to communicate with anyone that I could.

There was a woman who seemed to follow my movements as I looked around, and I remember seeing her (or someone who looked exactly like her) in many places around the building. At one point I walked up to her and asked what everyone "did" here, and she replied that they were waiting for someone or something, but in the meantime there was a lot of work to do. She asked me what I was doing there, and I told her about trying to catch a train. Looking surprised, she asked where I was going to find this "train", and I told her in the freightyard outside. Her expression now changed to fear, and she told me to follow her over to a window to see this "freightyard" I told her about. Knowing that there were no windows in the entire building from my earlier explorations, I timidly followed her to a large "window", where she asked me to show her the freightyard I claimed was "outside". Looking out, I could see nothing but stars... nothing but stars... nothing but stars!