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A Pocket Archive (12)


I had a dream with a sandpaper sword in it.

Most of the dream itself was strange, but unremarkable. I had been trying to walk through my hometown but a monster with a nondescript old sedan (I honestly don't even remember what it looked like) kept driving on the sidewalk and following me everywhere, trying to run me over. It never could, because people were watching. It'd creep up on me and zoom forward, only to step on the breaks and casually look away the second another car or pedestrian appeared. The monster's intentions made me a bit nervous, but I was also highly amused by its timid audacity, evident even moreso by the weak disguise it had donned. It was dressed in a tan overcoat, with a bucket hat and dark glasses on, like the disguises from old Hollywood comedies. Even stranger, every seat in the car was filled with "friends" in similar attire, all of whom were female. It felt like something one may have seen on A Series of Unfortunate Events, like if Count Olaf and his troupe were on the prowl; creepy and murdererous, but impossible to take seriously because of how silly they were. I wondered if the other passengers were aware of what the driver was and willingly adopted its identity as their own, or if they truly were fooled by the disguise.

At some point I got tired of the driver's antics, so I stopped walking, spun around on my heel, and flipped the monster off, first with one hand, then the other. As soon as I did, the car rippled like a mirage and disappeared, creepy passengers and all; just another powerless nightmare, beaten and running away with its tail between its legs before disappearing into a puff of smoke. A bit like a boggart from the Harry Potter 'verse, though the monster in my dream reminded me much more of a Scooby-Doo villian: definitely dangerous and unhinged, but ultimately just a goofy, pathetic coward running around in different constumes, switching them however the situation demanded. The only power it had rested in its vast collection of masks and ability to control people's perceptions. Once you saw through the disguise, it would skitter back to the shadows so quickly it was almost comical, while simultaneously being absurd and utterly baffling. It must be an uncomfortable existence.

I kept walking until eventually I came to a place that reminded me of the grassy walkways between the apartment buildings near the rinoks, but cleaner, without the smoggy air and trash. There is no such area in my city, but dreams are strange and I knew it was supposed to be a road just a few blocks down from my town's main business street. In the center of the road was a sort of sculpture or public art display in a low gated area with a long, sheathed sword and a large stump. The stump had traces of bark in some areas, but was primarily pale and smooth, even gleaming in spots. It was meant to be interactive, so you could unsheathe the sword and use it to strike the polished wood.

The weapon was comically oversized, like a broadsword from Final Fantasy, and the blade moved almost hypnotcally, like one of those ribbons for dancing.  It wasnlight for its size, but had a nice weight in the hilt which felt good when you held it, and the blade made a satisfying metallic rippling sound when it moved. I slashed at the stump with it, enjoying how the blade wobbled from the impact, quivering rythymically as it sent up tiny pieces of glimmering sawdust. It reminded me of a russian proverb that I like: капля камень точит. The rest of the dream is fuzzy and in pieces, so I don't know what happened next, but it clearly wasn't interesting enough to remember.

I don't believe that dreams have any real significance or meaning beyond being a filing system where we process ideas or things we encounter in the waking world, but some dreams do stick with me more than others. If I hadn't just submitted a story and some pictures my favorite podcast, I'd probably send it to one of the hosts to interpret on a listener episode without any context, just to see what he'd come up with and if we had similar conclusions (I will be keeping mine to myself). Dreams are very strange things, but it's fun hearing them interpreted by different people, especially strangers who have no personal bias or context of any kind. Unless of course it's by some Egyptian guy named Joseph- in that case, forget it.


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