I’ve had extremely vivid, plot-driven dreams for as long as I can remember. This means I get to experience wonderful fantasies, but also terrible ones.
The past few nights, I’ve had nightmares.
In one, I am standing in an underground room with no windows, fluorescent lighting, and dark blue carpeting on the walls. There is a conference table in the middle of the room, and people are standing around it. A meeting of some sort has just ended. I am standing in a corner, by myself, arms wrapped around my chest. Through a speaker, I can hear the sounds of the outside. Birds, people talking, kids shouting, cars, music.
Suddenly, there’s a soft whoosh. Then silence. The kind of silence that does not exist in the real world, except for the profoundly deaf.
Everyone in the room looks up, as if the ceiling knows something, and then at each other.
A feeling of resigned dread rises up from inside me. So, it’s here, I think.
Now, I’m on a plane. Fading light pours in through the windows, and I gaze out into the same sherbet sunset that wall-papered my remote childhood.
The plane tilts and the view changes. There it is, hanging in the horizon, the ultimate symbol of irreversible mistakes: the mushroom cloud.