Last night, I had some very vivid dreams. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t remember my dreams when I wake up, but I remember almost everything about these. What follows is my recollection of these dreams as far as I can remember.
I’m in a hospital getting diagnosed for a knee problem. I don’t know how I injured my knee. It doesn’t particularly hurt, but when I walk, I walk with a limp, as if my knee just won’t work properly for some reason. The doctor sits me down and examines my knee, and that’s when I notice that there are two white strands sticking out of the skin in my knee. There’s no blood or cuts or anything, just these two strands that have the texture of twist ties. The doctor says I’ll have to come back tomorrow at four in the afternoon for surgery so he can open me up and tie the two ligaments back together.
I leave the hospital through the parking garage and get into my red Lamborghini. I don’t remember actually driving it anywhere, but suddenly I’m in a different garage. I get out of my car, and I hand my valet the keys. “Sir?” He asks. “Aren’t you going to lock it?” I don’t know why, but in this dream, it made perfect sense to lock the car. The way I locked the car, though, left it so that the valet could still park it, but no one could steal it. He handed me this ornate brown jewelry box along with the keys I had handed him earlier. I notice a small keyhole in the box. I flip to the Lamborghini key, and pressed it to the handle of the car key is an even smaller key. I pull the smaller key out of the inset in the larger key, insert it into the beautifully carved box, and turn. Nothing appears to happen, but I just know that the car is now “locked” and cannot be stolen. I hand the box and the keys back to the valet.
I’m now walking through a series of tunnels. Then I realize they aren’t tunnels. They are bleachers. I continue walking under them until I find an opening. It leads out onto a football field where a game is taking place. “Is that Lane Stadium?” I ask myself out loud, already knowing the answer is yes. “This isn’t right. I’m not supposed to be here,” I mumble. I don’t mean that I will get in trouble for being at Lane Stadium; I mean that I know I need to have knee surgery soon, so I should head back to the hospital. I turn around to leave and I make my way through a bunch of other bleachers situated underneath the main bleachers. These bleachers face perpendicular to the ones above them, yet somehow manage to look onto the exact same field. I can turn around 180 degrees and see the exact same game playing in both places.
I make my way through the bleachers to leave, and I notice that the stands are populated by people from previous dreams. Whether these people are from actual previous dreams or previous dreams from inside this dream, I have no idea. I know without looking that if I turn this direction or that direction that I will see this specific person sitting there. Right at the exit, I see an old man sitting on the front corner of the last set of bleachers. He looks well for his age, and I stop to tell him, “Oh, I see you got better!” I knew from a previous dream that he had been very sick and close to dying. I was very happy that he was still alive and able to enjoy the game.
I leave the stadium, and am now suddenly on a cliff-side. I’m on a dirt and rock path maybe fifteen feet wide. The cliff wall shoots up hundreds of feet to my left, and a chasm drops off into blackness on my right. I know that this is the way back to the hospital so I continue on the path. In the distance I see two young women in sundresses running toward me. Both of them have red hair. I know that one of them is my current girlfriend who I’m not very happy with, and one of them is someone that I love but never told.
The first girl to reach me jumps into my arms, and I grab her in a big hug. At first I think it’s my girlfriend, but when I set her down I know that this is the girl I love in secret, and she looks like Christina Hendricks. Not Mad Men Christina Hendricks, but Firefly Christina Hendricks. The conversation we have is blurry, and I don’t remember any of the words. But over the course of it, I tell her that I will break up with my girlfriend to be with her. My girlfriend has reached us by this point. She overheard the entire conversation and walks away from us sad, but not crying.
I’m now immediately back in the parking garage by myself and walk up to the valet and ask for my car. They bring it around, and I look into my wallet, but I don’t have any cash for a tip. I tell them I’m sorry, that I don’t generally carry cash, and they give me a look like, “Sure, guy, whatever.” I feel really bad getting into my car, and as I’m getting ready to leave one of the valets leans in the passenger window and stuffs a $20 bill between the sun visor and the ceiling. He says something along the lines of “Have a nice day, sir” in an incredibly sarcastic tone. Now I really feel like an asshole. I have a Lamborghini that these guys took care of for me; I should have money for a tip! I get out of the car and try to explain to them that I don’t actually have any money with me, but I will bring some later. They seem to understand. They mention that they are very thirsty, since it’s hot in the garage, and that I should take the $20 and get them some bottled water. I immediately agree and say I will do it before I go for my surgery.
I’m unsure what happens next. I remember moving in places, an empty hallway up in an attic for sure, but everything else is a blur. I know that I am lost trying to find some bottled water, and I know that I’ll never find it. I know that the valets are going to be extremely mad with me because now they will think I stole their $20. I can never go back to the garage, and I never make it to my knee surgery.
I now switch dreams completely. I am inside a fantasy massively multiplayer roleplaying game, not unlike World of Warcraft. It’s not WoW, but the art style is very similar, with lower polygon counts and sharper angles but still very beautiful. I’m some kind of hunter character, with a sword in one hand and a rifle in the other. I’m with a group of other players who I know are my guildmates, and we’re in some sort of coastal pirate village. If you have played WoW, think Booty Bay but much larger.
We are on a variety of quests, and leave the town to head into a swamp-like area where the water is chest deep. We have to wade through this for a long time. I don’t remember completing any quests here. All I know if that it is the job of one of our guild members to transcribe our adventures for later publication. Suddenly we’re back on the docks at the pirate town and turning in our quests. As my guild mates turn in their quests, little runes carved into the wooden planks glow brightly. Before each guild member turns in their quests, all the runes return to their darkened state. The first few members of my team are able to light up maybe two or three of the nine that are set in a semicircle.
When my turn comes, I light up all nine runes, each one blazing a different color. “Who is this?!” a deep voice yells. A tall figure, whose face I cannot see, is pointing to the lit runes on the planks. I raise my hand, as do two of my other guildmates. We realize that all three of us had completed all nine objectives, but we’re not sure whose were being counted at the time. At the start, I was certain it was me, but now I’m not so sure. All I know for certain is that I did complete all nine objectives.
“Cheaters!” the tall figure bellows. He thinks we combined our efforts to light up all nine runes instead of doing it individually. I know that it is very rare for one person to light up all nine, let alone three, but I know that we were all completely honest. I am suddenly knocked on my back along with my guildmates. We are pinned there by some invisible force. We try to use our hands and feet to push back on it, but we can’t move it. I am aware of a growing crowd gathering around us, each person voting on whether or not they think we cheated. The more people who think we cheated, the more powerful the crushing force gets. We all have votes too, and we vote that we are honest. But more people gather around and vote that we cheated, and the pressure grows. Some people vote that we’re honest, and give us moments of reprieve, but the pressure always comes back.
I look up at the tall figure and notice that it is Conan O’Brien. He leans down toward me and laughs in my face. “Why are you doing this?” I ask. “You’re not evil, you’re good!” Despite the banality of these statements, I know that they are actually clever, as if it’s a code phrase to shut him down. A sudden realization seems to come to him that, indeed, he is good, and the whole trial immediately ends. My guildmates and I get up, and most of them immediately leave the game. I’m left with a single friend, and we both check our quest log to see that we only have a couple of mining quests left and decide to just go ahead and do them.
While walking along the docks to leave town, I notice a rock that doesn’t appear to belong. It sits by itself on a wooden terrace. It’s not labeled as interactive, but it looks like I should be able to do something with it, so I hit it with my mining pickaxe. The rock immediately cracks open to reveal a huge vein of gold. I begin mining as fast as I can because I know others will try to steal it. Sure enough, some guy immediately tries to steal from my ore vein, but I brandish my sword and frighten him off.
Once I have all the ore, my friend and I make our way around the docks to the blacksmith, so we can refine it and get the gold out. We’re both extremely excited at how rich we’ll be. This has been the biggest ore vein ever found in the game! But as I start to melt down the ore, I know something is wrong. It is not gold in the ore at all, but some yellow plastic substance. It’s fake. My heart sinks, but suddenly my friend grabs my shoulder. I turn to see the plastic substance reforming itself into a map! I know instinctively that this map will lead us to the greatest treasure in the game.
We grab it immediately after it cools and take a look at it. It contains pictures of areas in town aligned in a specific manner, so we know we have to stand someplace specific in town to see where the map is pointing to. We run around town frantically, trying to find the place with the correct view. We eventually find it and notice that the map points out into the ocean along the coast. We run down the docks, dive into the water, and immediately begin to swim toward where the treasure is hidden.
We are now joined by one of our guildmates, the one whose jobs it is to chronicle our adventures. As we swim along we run into a large group of people from another guild waiting for us in the water. They are very unhappy. Apparently our journalist member has severely misrepresented their guild in something he has written and published, and they want us dead. My other guildmate and I point out the transcriber as the guilty party and tell them they are welcome to him if they let us go. They agree.
We begin swimming off toward the treasure, and I hear the journalist guild member yelling from behind me as the other guild attacks him: “Wait! You don’t want me! I’m not a very good writer! Take him! He writes much better than I do!”
I wake up.