I had a dream … and now I want it to go away

I had a pretty weird and disturbing dream last night. Well, my dreams are usually weird – my wife is scared to hear them anymore – but this one was one of those that you have, and then you can’t shake when you wake up. This one started as one of my normal bizarre dreams (family, strange house, dogs, concrete construction and Santa Claus mugs – you know, normal). But then it drifted into frightening, a terror dream that I won’t soon forget, as much as I’d like to.

I was sitting in a car with my mother and sister, looking at a bird and trying to get my camera out when a plane come hurtling over us, and crashes into the ground, wrecking part of the house we’d just left. Only a few seconds later, another comes crashing to the ground in front of us, exploding into a huge fiery ball that we have to run for our lives from. I instantly knew it was another attack, and was scared to death.

Obviously, this house was near an airport, but not the Philly Airport I knew well. In fact, it looked more like the old Air National Guard station near where my grandfather used to live in New Castle, DE. As I scambled out from near the wreckage, I started seeing anti-aircraft fire lighting up the sky from nearby, and I knew that they were trying to shoot down more jets that had been hijacked. I watched in terror as burst after burst sizzled up into the atmosphere, sometimes connecting but mostly not. Then I started seeing something different – streaks of fire crossing the sky, missiles from fighter jets intent on the same mission. It looked like World War III.

I ran into the somehow now-not-wrecked house and my father was watching the news.

“3 of 5 planes in Cleveland have been recovered … 4 of 7 planes in New York … all five planes in Washington are down.”

It was mayhem, horror and outrage and disgust and fear like 9/11 all over again but ten-fold. Anger that despite everything this administration has done, it didn’t prevent this; hatred toward the people who did it; fear that more planes would come crashing down.

Outside, I heard something and looked out the window to see a missile crash into the ground, unexploded. My wife was beside me now, as I looked around at the devastation which suddenly wasn’t as bad as it should have been. But the implications were – probably worse. I thought to myself that it could have been us up there – we were getting ready to take a trip after all. And I also remember that it wasn’t our upcoming trip to Texas, but the dates were all wrong – although the date that stuck out as vividly as the fire, the jets and the sounds, and which I remember because it seemed odd that they had been so close to 9/11 without being on that date.

As I walked outside the porch, I looked up again to see the melee in the air. I couldn’t tell how many targets were up there but there were a lot. Back and forth, like a dogfight but only between a dragon and a bunch of bees. Then I saw more lights, more explosions. And then I watched as another jet started down, breaking up and exploding as it plunged into the ground…

And then I woke up. I knew it was a dream. I knew that it wasn’t real. But it really got into my soul, almost physically giving me the shakes. It was so real, so visceral in the way things happened, even as they were so completely unreal and dream-like. I remember the heat of the fire, the tears as I watched hundreds (thousands?) of people being shot down by our own forces in an effort to save many more on the ground. It stayed with me for hours, all the way into work and through much of the morning. I just couldn’t shake it – it still makes me shudder a bit.

I know it’s not real, and I’m not a psychic. But I’m sure as hell not going to get on any planes on the date it happened – September 30, 2007.


3 Responses to “I had a dream … and now I want it to go away

  • O my! That was some dream! I hope those images go away also!

  • Realistic dreams mess with me too. At least though you weren’t in your underwear or the missles didn’t have your underwear on…or the missles didn’t destroy your underwear. In dreams underwear is amazingly important.

  • That is one seriously screwed up dream. You describe it very vividly, and I can imagine being shaken by that. Sometimes, I’ll have screwed up dreams that will stick with me for a while, but usually, I wake up unable to remember what I was dreaming about. I usually have a sense of whether it was good or bad or if I was scared or happy or angry or what, but I don’t often remember what actually happened.

    So it’s crazy to me that you can remember all of that, and that makes it even more frightening.

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