Sunday, September 27, 2009

I wonder if dreams mean anything?

Last night I dreamed I went on road trip with three of my friends and also a girl who my sleeping brain made up. In my dream, she was a friend of one of my friends and I was just getting to know her. That's good, I suppose, because it would be really weird if I had a dream about a person I called a friend but didn't actually know.

Anyway. . .

So part of the road trip involved three of us going spelunking into a cave made entirely of little rocks pressed tightly together. They were so beautiful, all made of different colors and textures. Pretty and clean and smooth. I don't remember walking into the cave, I just remember walking over to this door in the wall that led out into just a massive nothing. From the door, the chamber led up, up, up and eventually closed somewhere so that the top faded into darkness. And the opposite side was shadowed too. The bottom could not be guessed at. It was just a doorway to a giant nothing. And before the doorway was a "rope" made up of linked paper clips. And I started climbing down.

My waking self knows that I could not climb even a regular rope. My arms aren't strong enough for that. But my sleeping self didn't know this. And the slick metal of the paper clips only bothered me as I got closer to the end of the rope. The sharp points of the ends started digging into my skin. The mystery girl joined me on the paper clip rope and our mutual friend came after her. I began to worry that these tiny pieces of metal could not possibly support us. And wherever the rope was anchored, it was probably only wedged between some of the small rocks that together made the cave. Surely the twists and bends would start to untwist and unbend. Or my sweaty hands would falter on my fragile lifeline.

And he urged us on. Pushed and climbed and demanded until I was at the last link. Hanging by one paper clip alone. My feet had no rope to grasp as I hung over the abyss. And I didn't worry about my arms being strong enough to hold me there. I didn't worry about my ability to pull myself back up again. I just wondered at the strength of the rope. And could my climbing partners now climb back up. Well I knew he could, but what about this mystery girl? If she could not make it, I could not climb over her. She had to do it. She did.

He was the first to reach the doorway again and shouted in triumph at what we had done. And she too started celebrating before she even reached the safety of the exit. But I noticed the rocks trembling with their voices. Tiny pieces falling off, rolling down the walls. And now where those pieces were missing, the surrounding rocks were free to move a bit more. And the falling pieces were larger still.

Now my rope is swinging and she is just over the edge. They both know now. They can see. Finally, I grasp onto the edge of the doorway that is now gravel in my hands. The place is collapsing and I will not go down with it. I scramble. I reach. I am finally out of the blackness. They are running and I try to slam the door but it will not close.The whole thing has lost its shape. I hear the sound now like a waterfall of rocks. In my mind the chamber will fill and pour out of the collapsing doorway. A wave of pebbles and rocks will chase us through the cave system.

We climb up stairs slickened with cave water. We run around corners and cling to jagged walls. The sound grows behind us until it is almost certain that we will never make it. But the next corner promises sunshine and we emerge from the darkness, still running. The wave cannot reach us here but we run now from the fear of it.

All those little pieces. Not one of them big enough to do us any harm. But then they all came crashing down together.

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