Note: this is not an entry for the Lost Blogs/GBBMC promotion. This is a real post. Well, as "real" as it gets for me.
I woke up really early this morning. According to the clock, it was a little after two in the morning. And I didn't sleep that well from that point on through the rest of the night. Very fitful when I did sleep. And why? Because my messed-up dreams are back. And I don't think my mind could handle going through more than one of these in a single night.
Last night, time rewound itself a bit. Back to September 11, 2001. And, instead of being on my way to work in the relative comfort of Aurora, IL, like I was back on the actual date, I was in NYC. And I'm not happy about it either.
For some reason, I had been working throughout the night of September 10 on into the morning of September 11. At some point, very early in the morning, my workmate and I (I'm guessing this was some kind of business trip) went to a bar to get some drinks. I had a messenger bag and a stuffed teddy bear with me.
We looked up at the TV to see a news flash that a jet had hit one of the Twin Towers, so we rushed outside to see. There were many other people pouring out of buildings to see what had happened in addition to us. The Towers were a couple miles from our bar.
I don't know that I would call this "instinctive," but some personal force drove me to slowly walk towards the mayhem. Not that I was covering any sort of ground in a timely fashion, but I was moving forward toward the Towers. This was when we saw the second plane hit.
I turned to a friend who was standing by the door to the bar and yelled at him to grab my bag and the bear. He did and he brought them to me.
I looped the bag over my head and arm and tucked the bear under my arm and continued my trek toward the Towers. Slowly. Tentatively. Just watching the smoke pour out of the buildings.
I found myself walking across a long expanse of grass that was the yard of a church. The church itself was several hundred feet ahead of me still. And there were all kinds of buildings beyond it. The church was in color while the rest of the buildings were all greyed out. It reminded me a bit of Tim Burton's vision of Gotham City in the original Batman or the city from The Crow -- all dark and murky with only the church standing out against the grime serving as some sort of beacon.
It was then, as I walked on the grass, that the towers fell.
The great billows of grey smoke blew between all the buildings and I could see it coming towards me.
I ran like I've never run before.
I looked back over my shoulder and saw the smoke and dust engulf the church.
I kept running.
And I also kept a tight hold of that teddy bear. It was meant as a gift for Katie and I think clinging to it was like grasping at my last chance to survive. So long as I held the bear, there was hope.
I woke up.
I was nowhere near NYC when 9/11 happened. I don't personally know anyone who was killed in the attack, but I know a few people who were in the city when it was struck. Nothing happened to them, though.
So why did I have this dream? It was the first truly vivid and memorable dream I've had in months.
Oh, and as a note, this is not the first time I've dreamt of NYC and it's had that Burtonesque feel to it. Every time I've dreamed of NYC, it's appeared this way to me. I have visited NYC in the past (the last time being a year before 9/11) so I know what it really looks like. Yet it always has that grey visage in my dreams.
But this was the first time I ever saw the church in it.
I don't get it.