Okay, explain this dream…
February 28, 2013, 10:33 PM
Okay, this is a weird one. Now you know I’ve discussed some odd dreams in this space in the past, like the surgery dream, the derailment dream, the Power Rangers dream, the countless Walmart dreams, CFW dreams, fire alarm dreams, etc. But this one from a few weeks ago is hard to explain. But here goes.
In this dream, I was at the building where I work in DC, and I was in the office doing work. And outside, at least according to the dream, there was a volcano erupting. Yes, a volcano. In the DC area. I know. That said, this volcano was one of those explosive types of volcanoes, putting out tons of volcanic ash, but no lava, much like the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried Pompeii. In fact, in the dream, I even recalled that this was just like Pompeii. Volcanic ash was falling all over, and the entire city was going to be buried, just like in Pompeii. And we were all apparently doomed due to falling ash and poisonous volcanic gases. It didn’t matter in the dream that Pompeii was only buried under nine feet of ash and my office is on the third floor, at least twenty-some feet above street level. We were all doomed, and our building was going to get buried. Completely.
With me so far? Basically: big volcano erupts in DC area, ash falling all over the place, we’re all going to die.
The thing that got me in this dream was actually my own reaction. Of course, I’ve noticed that in dreams, I seem to often “have a copy of the script” and know many details that are taken as indisputable fact within the dream’s fictional universe as things play out. Thus how I knew volcano, ash, and pending death. The only thing I saw in the dream was the inside of my office building. Which had orange-red walls in my dream. (Go figure. The real office has mostly eggshell walls.) But as my coworkers were panicking due to our impending burial by volcano, my reaction was indifference to our fate, because I had stuff that I had to take care of. Yes, I was doing work as we were about to be buried under ash, decay completely, and then become plaster casts when we were rediscovered a thousand and some years later. And yes, the idea of plaster casts of our final positions like happened in Pompeii came up in the dream. I know.
Have you also ever noticed that sometimes in a dream, you’re also something of an outside observer as well as a participant? This was the case here. Apparently my subconscious cast me in my dream, playing myself. But then at the same time, I’m also watching it all play out, almost as if it’s a play or a TV show. And I was puzzled by my own reaction to our impending doom in the dream as the dream was happening. Why was I completing tasks for work when we would all be dead soon, including me, and I knew it? I remember thinking that it was odd as I was really not reacting to it like I would expect someone to react to knowing that they are about to die at the hands of nature and that there is nothing that they can do about it. I would think that I would recognize that doing work around the office is pointless if I knew that a fiery death would be coming in the very near future.
You would think that it I would be experiencing something like the five stages of grief in some form or another. But no, I was ignoring it because I had work that had to be done, impending doom or not.
Now what’s strange is that I actually experienced something like the five stages of grief for fire drills in high school. Specifically, it happened in situations where the fire drill was either preannounced in the morning, or I somehow got wind of what would otherwise be a surprise fire drill ahead of time, and it was scheduled for the beginning of fourth block, which in my high school was the last period of the day. So for all intents and purposes, I got to fidget all day waiting for a sudden, loud noise (we had Simplex 4040 horns in my school) that was coming near the end of the day. And I couldn’t predict exactly when the sudden, loud noise would be coming. I had my watch synchronized to the regular bells, so I knew when those were going to ring, right down to the second. But the fire alarm was a manual activation. Couldn’t do that. But on days with that situation (and I can think of three times where it happened), I found myself kind of in denial of it, that they really wouldn’t be having the fire drill, later on, as third block came around, I found myself kind of negotiating with myself, figuring out if I could get away with sneaking outside ahead of time and waiting somewhere, out of sight, outside until the fire drill was over (I never convinced myself on that), and then when it was time to go to fourth block, resigning myself to the fact that a sudden, loud noise was coming very soon and accepting this fate. But then once the alarm was going off and everything was underway, I was fine again. But yeah, on those particular days (January 30, 1997, September 9, 1997, and September 8, 1998, but who’s counting?), learning pretty much went out the window as I was more or less consumed by the impending fire drill. The fire drill is about the only thing that I remember from any of those days (that and smashing up the Previa later on in same day as the September 1997 drill).
And so in real life, for something that death would probably be preferable to (I really hated the “surprise” part of “surprise fire drill”), I went through some stages over the course of a day. But then, in a dream, everyone is going to die, including me, I’m going around doing work? I don’t get it.
If you think you know or otherwise want to offer your own views, feel free to comment. I feel somewhat at a loss on how to interpret this one.