The Platform.

I’ve always been plagued with nightmares and ultra-vivid dreams.  My mind never shuts off.  Sometimes I don’t understand the unsettling particulars of my nightly visions.  Other times they provide a clarity I cannot conjure while awake.

I was at a party with friends.  There were old friends and new, close friends and those who once were close, all attending this massive party in some far away hotel.  There were some people I’d never met before and I was intrigued by them.  The atmosphere was strange with some guests swimming and others in pajamas.  As I circulated amongst the crowd, I never felt like I belonged there.  I wanted to go home.

When it was finally time to leave, we exited the only way we could.  There was a subway beneath the venue and like a herd of cattle we all made our way toward it.  I didn’t remember how I had gotten to the party, so I was confused by the path home.  But I followed along, doing what the others did.  It started out calm, but the cars soon changed into the kind you see in a cartoon about people going into a coal mine.  And from there, the scene was of a roller coaster you’d see in a Dr. Seuss book.

The cars raced down the track as it twisted and curved, looped and dipped.  We were thrown about in our seats, screaming as the ride propelled us forward.  The car jumped spaces in the tracks, went underwater and spun around in impossible ways.  When it reached a platform where we could exit, I was relieved.  Everyone seemed to be having fun except me.  Again I felt uneasy.

I stepped out of the car onto the platform. There was a raging river before me.  Those ahead of me were boarding their rafts and excitedly beginning the next leg of the journey.  I looked around.  How could this be?  This wasn’t right.  I seemed to be the only person concerned.

Shouts to “hurry up” and “move it along” were coming from all angles.  But I didn’t want to raft home.  Surely there had to be another way.  Suddenly two arms wrapped around my leg, excitedly calling my name.  My son was there with me and I had to get him home now, too.  This was no longer just self-preservation.

The river was wild, white water rushing onto the platform making it difficult to even get on the raft.  There were no life vests and no ways to hold on.  The teenager working this platform told me I needed to get into my raft.

This was too unsafe for an adult, let alone a six year old.  I refused and more people were yelling at me. I tried to find some other way, but there was none.  No ladder to climb down, no way off the platform.  I couldn’t go back to the party, the subway only moved in one direction.  The only way was this unstable raft on a treacherous river.

I had no choice but to go forward, but I was paralyzed by fear.

I’m awake now, still standing on that platform and unable to move.

Linking up with the amazing crew over at yeah write.  Please join us, read the entries, vote for five favorites on Thursday.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

40 Responses to “The Platform.”

  1. How scary Michelle, I hate dreams like that! They seem so real at the time. You did a great job of conveying this.

    • Thanks. I think the only good thing about my ridiculous dreaming capacity is that it gives me more to write about. It’s exhausting though. I wish my brain had an off switch.

  2. Jen says:

    whoa. Carl Jung would have a field day with that one. I’ll leave it alone and hope you work everything out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Esther says:

    Well-told, Michelle! Dreams aren’t easy to share, that’s for sure. The way you told it drew me in.

  4. Ericamos says:

    Vivid dreams like that are scary! Sometimes it takes me all day to get over it and remind myself that it wasn’t reality. Thanks for sharing yours.

  5. Kristin says:

    That sounds exhausting – and terrifying. I related to the feeling that you HAD to do something, but just couldn’t. And being pulled along, not sure how or why you’d handle it. I’m impressed you remember it so well – I’m all hazy three minutes later.

    • There are some dreams from years ago that I remember as though I had them last night. Others I can only sort of remember or they’re gone by morning. I wish they weren’t so vivid, I’d probably feel more rested.

  6. Uh oh. It sounds like you must have something rather large and anxiety-producing in your near future. That sounds like a fortune cookies insert but you know what they say about dreams…

  7. Wow. It’s so impressive that you can remember your dreams with this much clarity, although, I can imagine it’s also incredibly scary to dream with this much color and detail. Well told my friend.

  8. christie says:

    With dreams like that, who needs sleep???? I do love how you can capture the mood of these dreams in your writing. It’s very inspiring to me.

    • At some point someone will probably tell me that writing about my dreams is getting old, but until then, it’s turning out to be a good way to process it. You will tell me to stop when it’s boring, right?

  9. So vivid – wow! Your talent is breathtaking, exactly like your dreams.

  10. IASoupMama says:

    Oh, I hate that stuck and paralyzed feeling. Hope that you find a resolution soon!

  11. I have so many dreams like that, that bleed into reality in painful ways. You capture this feeling so, so well. I am hoping you won’t be on the platform for long.

  12. wow! ive never been so happy that i almost never dream much anymore, and certainly don’t remember them with such vivid detail. oh man. crazy. that one would have shook me.

  13. Linda Roy says:

    Wow! So vividly told! I could picture it. I have anxiety dreams too. I’ve got a dream interpretation book I consult often. This is an interesting one Michelle.

    • I had a dream book but I’m not sure whatever happened to it. I could make an interpretation based on current events (sorry to be all cryptic), but there could be more at play.

  14. Jared Karol says:

    What a vivid dream, Michelle. I don’t think I’ve dreamed in years, let alone remember details like that. Very cool story-telling. I’m glad you’re awake, and alive, and well. Now, step off that platform, and go have a drink!

    • Yes, alive and well (and awkake!), so things are OK overall. They could be worse, could be better. I think moving forward is the best thing, but the uncertainty always holds me back. There’s no choice though, forward motion is happening whether I like it or not, so I better buck up!

  15. I was glad it was a dream…but if you’re standing on that kind of platform right now in real life (metaphorically), I’m sorry! Eek.

  16. Erin O says:

    You and my husband have a lot in common. He dreams in HD too, and he can remember so much, while I usually can’t. His mother is big on dream interpretation, too, but I can’t say I always agree with her. I think any parent would relate to the scene at the end. I know I did. Gorgeous work as always :)

    • Sometimes dream interpretation sounds silly – I have to wonder who came up with the ideas. I usually take a more direct interpretation on my own, but then again, I’m no psychiatrist!

  17. I almost never remember my dreams. I’m not sure if I do dream.
    I hope you get on some strong and steady underfooting soon!

  18. Gina says:

    Thank goodness it was a dream! You dream like me and it’s frightening. And I remember them to the last detail, like you. You actually made me quite nervous in that I kept reminding myself, “This is only a dream.”

  19. I’m with Gina and you – I dream HARD and VIVID. What a great telling of an unsettling sequence of events!

  20. I’m going to interpret this dream. You ready?

    The party is life. There are all these expectations and demands from society about what we’re supposed to like, accept, and want. You’re at a party that isn’t comfortable for you. Life has made demands of you that it should not have.

    As you go to leave, the bizarre methods of transportation represent the paths you have taken, such as education, career, relationships, etc. Things again don’t always go well or how you would expect them to, but you feel like you’re the only one who sees the way things are as unusual. Everyone else seems to think it’s all normal. (This is not true, but your perception overrides reality in your dreams.) It makes you angry that other people appear to accept as status quo things you find unacceptable or even repulsive.

    Nathan shows up. He also has to navigate this world with all its wacky situations. You don’t agree that he should have to, but you also acknowledge that it’s your responsibility as his parent to guide him through these unpleasant realities. Just like when you have had to sit him down and explain difficult things (like Steubenville), you feel like having to confront these aspects of life with your young child is wrong but necessary.

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