Saturday, October 8, 2011

Running on Empty, Feeling Complete.

I was driving somewhere in Los Angeles, and I was lost. And out of gas. I turned into a parking lot and saw two guys. They had to know where the nearest gas station was, right? I looked at one guy to the next. They were talking to each other from a distance, and I couldn't help but notice one guy in particular. He had brown hair, which was cut short and had an easy smile that made the corners of his eyes crinkle. I somehow met his gaze, and everything seemed to move slower. It was like a moment made to be captured. Stilled. Remembered. And then the spell was broken when I turned away in favor of asking the other guy, who was closer, for directions to the nearest gas station as I was running on empty. The guy, the first guy, who I made eye contact with earlier came over and clapped the other guy on the shoulder and offered to take me there as it would be easier. I was startled at this stranger's offer. It was odd and unexpected to say the least.

"This place is confusing, I wouldn't want you to get more lost and with an empty tank no less," the stranger explained.

Feeling anxious and helpless, I couldn't help but notice how calm this guy was. I was drawn to him. And even more, I felt reassured. Safe.

It was a simple, easy thing to hand him the keys. He accepted them with a smile. And then we were driving off.

When we made it to the gas station, we both got out of our seats. I came around, opened the gas tank and worked the gas pump. It felt familiar and methodical. All my lingering nerves seemed to ease and disappear.

I looked over my shoulder, and the guy who brought me there had been talking with the attendant when I noticed something weird with the nozzle of the pump. It wouldn't go in the tank. It needed some kind of adapter of some sort. The attendant said that there was a trick to it, but rather than helping, he walked away. Feeling anxious again, I looked around for help. And the guy who no longer felt like a stranger to me came over.

The next thing I remember, we were seated once again in my car. And as we were leaving the station, I saw my dad's car, parked haphazardly to the side of the station. I was telling Stranger-No-Longer-Guy to turn back but it was too late, he had already turned out of the station. Everything in that moment felt out of context, disjointed. And somehow, we ended up back at the station, looking at the wreckage of my dad's car, trashed and vandalized. I don't recall whether it was like that the first time I had noticed it.

The attendant was back and telling me that it was stolen and left there overnight.

How could this be happening? And now? And here of all places? I wondered.

And then my father somehow appeared out of nowhere and was telling me that it's okay. Just get to the market like I was supposed to.

The guy who I was with came to stand behind me, and he and my father exchanged a glance. But before I could make anything out of it, we were back inside of my car.

"So what do we need to get?"

"Beef, pork and socks," I listed off.

He nodded as he made a turn, ending up at the market. We walked to the first stand and I told the lady behind the counter that I needed beef and pork, four pounds each.

And if that wasn't strange already, things got even stranger. The lady seemed set on packing the meat into a narrow tube-like bag. The guy who I was with gave my hand a comforting squeeze so I didn't question the lady.

Long moments seemed to pass. And it was no surprise that people were coming along with their own requests for meat.

Somehow, these requests for meat turned into something else entirely. Although, it felt natural. Like it was the order of things. I began seeing these rods with strings at the end, like fishing poles with little round, pea-like somethings that were bundled around the string. I had this weird feeling that it was actually rice.

The guy whispered in my ear, "It's almost done." And he nodded towards a rod that was seemingly ours.

A few more moments passed before he made a move to get the rod. I watched in wonder as he gently ran his fingers over the round somethings that were no longer white, but colored, like jewels. Brilliant red. Deep green. Bright blue. Golden yellow. He dropped them one by one in my hand and they turned into shimmering smooth rocks--diamonds?

I looked up, the guy was smiling.

And this is when I wake up. Of all my dreams, I don't think I had one so involving. And so present. Even with the shifting sequences and disjointed images, everything seemed so very real. I could still recall my feelings that, I swear, I really felt. I had felt anxious, lost, and then a sense of relief. I had this undeniable feeling of being close to someone, and feeling connected.

It wasn't only the scenes that changed, the guy changed as well. But he only changed in appearance. He got darker, taller, his hair changed from sandy brown to raven-black. Everything else, his personality, his facial features, his presence, his smile and the way the corners of his eyes crinkled had remained the same throughout. The thing I remember most about him is this feeling of calmness that this man seem to exude. He was calm and collected and I couldn't help but feel safe when he was near.

I'm thinking that was the whole point of the dream. To feel safe, to find peace in the unlikeliest of situations.

A few things that may have triggered this dream:
  • I was running on empty on Thursday, and I was totally freaking whether I was going to make it home. It was already too late to turn back towards the gas station as I was farther from it than home.
  • That same day, I learned that my brother got in a car accident and his car was totaled.
  • I recently bought new socks.
It's weird and just awesome how the mind works and pieces everything together to create a dream.

ETA: Just came back from the market. Hehe... Had a bit of an exchange with a stranger. "Ah, there you are," said the stranger after seeing him a second time. And he does look like the guy in my dream. How's that? Well, at least before dream guy's features started changing. :D Does this mean my dream was a premonition? LOL

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