I wish that I could find what I am looking for. Nightly, my dreams are filled with wandering. Wandering through familiar imaginary landscapes of urban chaos. Hotels. College. Shopping Malls. Airports. Parking Garages. I am always looking for something. I never find it. I wish I knew what it even was. But nine times out of ten it seems aimless. Except when I’m trying to find that elusive car that I know I parked in the back row yet simply can’t be found.
Occasionally I am told a story. It isn’t about me, and deep down I know that, even then. I simply watch, observe. Even rewrite when the story hits a dead end. In these, there is more adventure. Often a Scifi element, a side affect of the types of shows I enjoy to watch, I’m sure. Recently there was a hallway filled with doors to different times, each days apart in some apartment or hotel. There was a child and someone older… the older one understood how the doors worked. This hallway had just them. Except the door on the end, which lead outside to where one might try to escape. I knew it was fruitless to go the way someone wanted to… the hills that way were too steep. It was probably around then that I realized it was a dream and began to reset, going back the hallway and on to somewhere else.
I can’t properly control it when I realize. It’s often only for a moment, a scene. Something familiar will happen and like a light bulb I realize I’m in one of my dreams again. There are specific triggers, symbols that have haunted my dreams for years that often make me realize what is going on.
Elevators, for instance. Awkward, useless elevators that don’t work properly. Not in the way that they’ll fall down while I scream into impending doom. No, where the buttons don’t work or bring me to the wrong place or even, once, where it went outside and high above the glass building where I then float away, eyes where I just came from. Elevators. I have no idea why. But when I see them in my dreams, I am more often realizing where I am.
I’ll also get broken escalators, where they turn to slides when I walk on them. Or stairs that go to nowhere. So many flights of stairs, up or down. Hallways of doors. Sometimes for classrooms, hotels, apartments. Massive Malls, filled with endless, dark stores. Libraries. It never ends. I can’t find what I need or how to get out and I get frustrated then realize- oh.
Oh this isn’t real.
No matter what I do, I’m not going to find it, and that’s okay. So I may as well go this way, and enjoy the ride.
And for that brief moment, everything is okay. It doesn’t matter that I feel lost and confused. It doesn’t matter that things aren’t working out the way I wanted them to. None of it matters.
Sometimes, I wish life was more like my dreams.