(originally posted 6/11/2012)
So I had this dream last night. I’m walking through this big city, although I don’t recognize any landmarks that would let me know which one. There is nobody around, the streets are completely empty. There is no wind, once I become fully aware of that I suddenly realize there is no sound at all except for my footsteps on the sidewalk.
There is no smell.
Looking closer there is no trash in the street. Everything is clean and tidy and entirely un-city-like. It looks more like a movie set of a city except that it is enormous and looks to be completely to scale in every way.
It appears to be a little past dawn and there is a hazy yellowish light hanging over everything but none of the street lights or building lights on.
I’m continuing to walk down the sidewalk, only half in control of my destination, when suddenly a bank of TVs suddenly turns on in a huge storefront window.
The screens are blank but I can tell that they are on. A low hum seems to be coming from behind the window.
I stand before the window looking up expectantly at the TVs.
After a pause, long enough to make me wonder if anything would actually be on the TVs, there are a series of words that pop on the screens one at a time. Filling them in bold white letters against a black background.
Then they turn off again.
Like a switch was flipped somewhere I see doors start to open and people begin to filter out onto the street. They are of every race, creed and color and most of them seem hurried and distracted.
As they pass me I search their faces, looking for something that will tell me who they are or where I am. There is something familiar about all of them and yet I don’t recognize anyone.
A single TV in the bottom corner of the window display flashes to life again.
It is only when I am become irritated by my inability to figure out who these strangers are does it come to me.
This is everyone I have ever flipped off, cursed at or wished cancer upon while I was driving. Normally I have a terrible memory but suddenly I am certain that I am sitting in a city whose population seems to be made up entirely of people who I have had conflicts with on the road throughout my life.
I get it.
This is an opportunity to see the error of my ways. To live amongst the very people who I have cursed and see that they are just normal folks like myself and that my temper and my arrogance caused a terrible lack of judgment.
Judgment, the word echoes ever so briefly in my head.
So in my dream I live in this city for a year. 365 days. I find a place to live. A place to work. And every day I must interact with the very same individuals that I had called names and wished horrible things upon.
At the end of that year I find myself standing back in front of that bank of TVs behind the big plate glass window and I realize something.
Every single one of those people were complete assholes.
Total jerk-offs every last one.
I was right the first time.
Suddenly the TVs spring to ON again.
Again the hum that I can feel more than hear.
Then the white words upon the black abyss.