I started writing down my dreams after looking up a dream that I had in a book that would tell you the meanings behind your dreams. I remember that met an old lady, who would come up to me, open up her coin purse, and give a dollar. Sometimes it would be in quarters, sometimes it would be a dollar bill, but I remembered counting it and it was always exactly one dollar.
It happened so often that I started looking up the meaning of the coins, the meaning of money, and the meaning of old people in my dreams. They mentioned positivity and wisdom, but it surely didn’t feel like that. The old lady had no eyes and no teeth, and her purple hand and black veins would be cold as ice when she would place the money in my hand and close it for me into a fist. That feeling still gives me the creeps.
When I told my friend about it, she said that I should start writing these down. To which I replied that it would be of no use since I would forget most of the dream right away. She convinced me to try it anyway, so I grabbed a cheap paper notebook and put it next to my bed. I fell asleep listening to my window fan.
I woke up suddenly, with the noise of cars and honking still in my head from the dreams slowly fading away when I wrote down the following entry:
My taxi driver dropped me off to pick up some flowers to take for his dead brother, I couldn’t say no to the pit stop even though I was in a hurry. He gave me a $20 dollar bill and asked me to pick them up from the flower shop. No parking. Old woman gave me the change. $1. I got to my apartment and he left for cemetery.
Who knew I could remember these things? It’s like a whole other world that makes no sense.
The second morning, I wrote a shorter entry:
I’m sitting waiting for my mom at the laundromat. Playing with a toy gun that shoots rubber bands. It broke and I was trying to fix it. Old lady comes by and says “well aren’t you a good boy?” and gives me a dollar, she closes my hand. Another woman comes in yelling frantically. Her baby has been taken from her car and she was panicking.
And so I kept writing every morning, sometimes in the dark, writing as fast as possible before forgetting what the dream was, and yes, the old lady would always be there.
After about a month, I noticed that the dreams had recurring characters. Sometimes the woman yelling for her baby would run into me as I was leaving for work, or the same taxi driver would pick me up from a meeting. Sometimes I would enter the same flower shop, but in a city I didn’t recognize.
Even in some of the weirder dreams, with impossible scenarios or with my parents driving me somewhere as a child, I would notice the same places. My entries became more detailed, sometimes two or three pages long. I got into the habit of recording them on my cell phone and then passing them onto paper right away.
I became obsessed. These dreams were trying to tell me something, of this place I didn’t know. My friend suggests that I stop writing. Whenever I see a yellow cab, I look for the driver’s face to see if I recognize him.
But I can’t stop writing.
The unknown city in my dreams is familiar now, and I know the names of the streets now. I see the same deliverymen, and the same old lady over and over again. I’m afraid that I’ve created a different world for myself when I sleep. Like I’m living in someone else’s life.
Where is this place and who are these people? What do they want?