since ive returned i got this knot in my back. a twist of pain in the muscle below my right shoulder blade. the result of sleeping on floors while in san francisco and an accumulated build up of emotional stress. it hurts to take deep breaths sometimes, and when i make the wrong turn the pain's so much i almost collapse. im getting better though. this morning it aint so bad.
i was woken up from a dream. it was one i'd never had before. usually when i remember my dreams they are somewhat familiar. they are filled with friends or enemies or old acquaintances ive either forgotten or am trying to forget. often an icon of pop culture will make an appearance, even those whose name i dont know or remember [i once had a dream which starred the white rap group House of Pain, the black cop from the first Die Hard movie, and one of the ancillary characters from the Bob Newhart show]. but this dream was different.
i was in an apartment. im not sure how many bedrooms where in it or how big it was, but i do know that it had wall to wall carpeting and there was hardly any furniture in it if there was one piece at all. the carpet was a light brown, probably stain resistant, and brand new looking. the layout was modern.
now i didnt see anyone else in my dream, but i know i was with maybe three other people, and that these people were my friends, but not my best friends. they were people i was hanging out with, wasting time with, and aside from some quick company, i dont think they meant much to me at all. i liked them enough though, and wasnt bothered by their companionship.
you are aware of the strange omnipotence of a dream, i assume. like, when you are in a place you have never seen physically, but it is your home and you know it like the back of your hand. sometimes you will be at yankee stadium, but in your dream that is the backyard of a friend you knew in grade school. or you will be shackled on a pirate ship, but in your dream it is the bus you take to work everyday. the physicality of the setting conflicts with what it really is in reality, but you understand it. well, thats how it was in this dream. i never left the confines of the empty bedroom i stood in, but i knew the exact layout of the entire apartment.
the doorbell was one of those video ones that you see in penthouses and expensive co-op's on the upper west side, where you can see who the person is thats ringing the bell before you buzz them in. i didnt see this doorbell, but i knew the apartment had one, and i heard it ring. a loud, warm chirp. an aggresive, but unoffensive alert. i also heard one of my faceless friends buzz whoever rang it in, and i knew they hadnt checked the video to see who it was.
why the detail of having a video doorbell stands out so prominently, when it obviously wasnt going to be taken advantage of, is lost on me. dreams are wacky that way.
standing in the empty room, slightly unnerved that there was a stranger climbing the stairs to our apartment, i looked out the window. it had no blinds or curtains, and opened by sliding to the side. the view was of rooftops, we were on the 5th or 6th floor. the sun was setting but the sky was still a bright blue. there was about a 15 foot gap between us and the next building, which was about a story shorter than us and had wooden shingles on the roof.
then i heard the door burst open and in a voice that sounded slightly amused and alarmingly calm there was one word spoken.
and then there were screams. even though i wasnt in the living room, where the empty marble fireplace and sliding glass doors to a patio and the front door was, i knew that three guys had bust in and held shotguns and wanted blood. it was an ambush, a bumrush. i dont know why we were being bumrushed, but for some reason i wasnt entirely surprised. i heard clunks on the floor and thumps against the wall. a wailing, high pitch scream tore through the apartment and then i think, laughter. there was running and crying, from where i stood i saw someone dart past my door. then a spark of gunfire. then a gurgle. then more laughter.
knowing there would be no other way out, i turned back toward the window and slid it open. there was a screen that i then pushed out, and i sat on the sill and looked down below. the ground was far away, a terminal distance, if you will. but there was a tree. tall and thin and branches the jutted out from all sides. it wasnt a bushy tree, but it was sturdy, and it was there, and i knew if i jumped i would hit at least three of its branches [maybe even holding on to one] before i hit the ground.
behind me was mayhem and death and fear. i couldnt see it, but i knew. i leaned out the window, ready to drag my legs over the sill and fall toward the tree. i was completely unafraid. of the attackers of the fall of anything. there was something in me that was sure i would be ok. something content. all i have to do is let myself fall, i thought. and i took one last look at the door and i wondered if they were all dead. i didnt feel any loss. i dont think i cared much. and i looked back down out the window and i was about to let myself drop -
when i was woken by my landlady banging on the door. well, she wasnt banging, thats an exaggeration, but she was outside of it. calling my name and knocking softly. im not sure why it woke me up, i didnt get to sleep until 5am last night and it was still early in the morning, 9 oclock or so, but it did. i cursed her and threw on some pants and a tshirt. it was too early for anything, especially landlady crap.
i opened the door and let her in, she was with some big black guy that was holding a camera. i think shes getting the building appraised. i dont know if that means we have to leave soon or not. maybe shes selling it, maybe she isnt. i wasnt awake enough to formulate any questions, so didnt ask.
i was pissed though, that i didnt get to end my dream, or at least see how it turned out. maybe its best i woke. maybe i wouldnt have made it. oh well. strange, dreams.