April 28th, 2006

bunnies

Jolted Dream

I was running. And I found myself wondering why, because I hate running. It was especially peculiar since I was running without shoes on, and without a bra. I don't think I was being chased, and I don't think I was in a hurry to get somewhere, but I ran determinedly. That same part of me that was wondering why felt a bit glad to be running, because it's allegedly healthy -- but a bit surprised in my choice of clothing. A bit worried that I wouldn't be able to last long in bare feet. Not to mention the discomfort of being bra-less.

I think I was on the side of a road, running through dew-covered grass and weeds. It was early morning and foggy. I felt the moisture on my feet, but I wasn't cold. I padded on through the lonely mist, the only person anywhere.

Something distracted me, and I looked to the left, or maybe over my shoulder. Or perhaps I dodged to the side to avoid something, but wasn't watching my feet.

My right foot missed the ground. I'm not sure why: perhaps it was a curb, or a deep animal hole, or perhaps the dewy ground had simply vanished. All I remember is that sudden blind panic, the feeling of throwing your whole weight onto something you thought was solid, and feeling nothing but emptiness instead.

My whole body reacted, every muscle flailed out to catch myself, re-find my balance -- I jerked so violently that I woke up.

My veins were coursing with adrenaline from that sudden panic. I rolled over onto my back and breathed deeply, trying to catch my breath. My companion mumbled, "Are you okay?"

"Yes, just a..."

...what was that anyway? It wasn't really a nightmare or even a bad dream. It was just a single moment of terror that had started me out of sleep. "Just something jolted me awake. I don't even remember what. An adrenaline rush, that's all. I'm okay."

He said something reassuring then went back to sleep. I eventually did the same. It was true: I didn't remember the dream. I only remembered that moment of feeling my foot landing on nothing, that sudden groundlessness and instability. When I woke up, I didn't remember any of it. Only now, 12 hours later, it came back to me -- the strange running, barefoot on an empty road.

So I wrote it down. Is this what people mean, when they talk about dreaming of falling? I always thought it was more like tumbling off buildings or out of windows or something.