Strange Sleep Accompaniment - 08.03.98

Several nights ago, I had a really strange dream. It was very involved and clear, and unfortunately, also very scary. It wasn't a random event that I woke up remembering the dream (for the most part, I remember what I've dreamt about every night), but it was more memorable in the way that the emotions that I was having while dreaming spilled over into my waking moments. It was also very strange in the way that it doesn't relate to any feelings I had been having at the time. Usually, I can trace my dreams back to something that's been said, or something that I'd been thinking recently, but this one was completely random in that sense. As you'll read, it wasn't a good start to the morning.

In the first part of the dream, everything was pretty much normal. I was driving along in my car with a couple friends of mine, and we were on the way to one of our apartments. Like usual, we were all goofing around, telling jokes to one another. At one point, a song (that I'd never heard before, but we all seemed to recognize) came on the radio and we all started singing along with it as obnoxiously as we could.

After a bit more driving, the dream took a dramatic change. I was in a gray, empty room all by myself. It didn't have any windows, but the ceiling glowed faintly and provided just enough light to see. There was a door on one of the four walls, and after a few moments, a person entered the room and shut the door behind them.

I tried to look at their face, but it was in shadow whenever I turned toward them. Without saying anything, they sat down a phonebook from one hand, and a phone from the other. At this point, I thought I might be in jail, or something of that sort, with only one call to make, but before I could ask, they started speaking.

In concise statements, they told me that I had killed myself the evening before. I was dead (and now situated in an indescribable place), but it was now my task to call all of my friends and family and tell them what I had done, without telling them who I was on the phone.

I had questions (like why did I still seem to be alive) for the stranger, but as soon as I started talking again, I was rebuked and told not to question what was going on. The stanger then told me that to go through the book and call everyone that I knew, then left the room again. I heard a dead bolt click as soon as the door had shut.

I moved and propped myself up into a corner of the room with the phone and thin book on either side of me. I opened up the book and started thumbing through it. The book was an alphabetical list of everyone that I had met in my life. It seemed to be a complete list, and it contained everyone from my mom and dad to my best friend in high-school, and even other random people that I had only met once in my life.

There were a few obscure names, but as soon as I had looked at them a couple times, thoughts of the person came back to mind and I realized that the best thing to do would be to get started.

I thumbed back to the beginning of the book, but the first name was a person I had met in college that I never really was friends with. I had talked to them on occassion, but they were more of an aquaintance than anything else. I thought that although they might care to hear that I had died, it would be strange telling them. I knew that they would wonder why they had even been contacted at all, so I went ahead and skipped to the next name on the list.

It was another person that I had barely known, and hadn't even seen in about 10 years. They had been a customer on my paper-route for a couple months one time when there was a special offer, but I hadn't talked to them since. Again, I didn't really think that they would care, and sat the book down in my lap.

I then decided that I would begin by calling the people that I knew very well, starting with my relatives and best friends. I picked up the phone from the other side of me and dialed the number to my mom from memory, without even rehearsing what I was going to say to her.

The phone rang twice and she picked it up on the other end, just as she usually does. I heard her voice and knew what I had to say, but I couldn't bring myself to say a word. I just sat there with the phone to my ear, hearing her saying, "hello, hello..." over and over again.

Then I woke up.