In the past, on a few occasions, I have realized I am dreaming. So called lucid dreaming, and the control which is supposed to come with it. I’m afraid my use of that control hasn’t been terribly creative however. For the most part I’ve used it to delete people who were hostile to me. I would just will them out of existence.
It’s never come back to bite me until recently. I dreamt I was laying in a tent upon a vast field of grass. It was a warm Summer night, the stars were out, and I had a telescope. The fancy amateur astronomy kind. I was also with my childhood sweetheart, showing her cosmic objects of interest.
Then, someone in a tidy black button down uniform came to tell us we couldn’t be in the field. “It’s private property, no camping here” he said. I insisted we weren’t camping, that the tent was just shelter in case in rained and we didn’t plan to sleep here. He was having none of it. I became exasperated. But then, I also realized I was dreaming.
So rather than argue until blue in the face, I simply de-realized him. He was just gone. With the exception of this dream, I’m typically the only one who even remembers the deleted person ever existed. But this time, my childhood sweetheart, the girl who gave me my first kiss, remembered and scolded me for what I’d done.
“He was just part of myself” I protested, “I created him, so I had every right to destroy him too”. She pointed out that she was also part of me. I swore I would never de-realize her. She assured me she believed I was telling the truth, but that self-preservation wasn’t her only concern. “You can’t keep destroying the parts of yourself you don’t like. They’re all in here for a reason, and contribute in one way or another to making you who you are.”
More uniformed men approached, presumably wondering what happened to their comrade. I prepared to delete them, but she gave me a stern look. “Every time you do that, it only becomes easier and easier. You’ll find one reason or another to destroy everything about yourself one at a time. Saying to yourself, “this isn’t necessary”, or “that isn’t necessary”. Not realizing we are all made up of unnecessary things. What will be left when you finish? Someone who would destroy even me, I’m sure. That’s how you’ll know when you are truly lost.”
So we fled to the parking lot. They had their own squad cars, not resembling police cars in model or coloration but old timey 1930s streamlined luxury cars (like this one). When they began giving chase and easily overtook us, I made the car turn invisible. That did no good, I soon realized because the car was invisible but the girl and I weren’t.
So I made it fly. I flew it to a university of some sort. I often visit abstract, architecturally grand universities in dreams. This one was no exception. Most of it was brutalist, but in a courtyard between buildings, there was a sort of artificial canyon in the ground. It was lined with Roman pillars holding up a roof to keep rain out.
Down inside the artificial marble and stone brick canyon was a temple of some sort. More pillars holding it up from below, as it widened into a chamber below ground level, and an immense round copper emblem was embedded in the marble floor. Bearing some abstract logo I assumed represented the university.
I thought about how strange it was that it felt so plainly real. It had the exact same clarity and feeling of immediacy as waking life. I wondered how I could possibly be certain that waking life is not also some manner of dream that we wake from upon death. I experimented with deforming the nearest wall.
It was granite, but I sort of gravitationally pulled a bulging blob of the material outward as if it were putty. It then separated into a spherical globule of granite, confirming to my satisfaction that in fact I was still dreaming. The girl was long gone by this point, to where I have no idea.
The uniformed men appeared and closed in on me. I descended the stairs down to the underground temple. She wasn’t here to judge me for it, but I still didn’t want to delete any more dream people. I was evidently already in some sort of trouble. I stood on the copper emblem.
It opened up beneath me, sections splitting apart like a flower. I sank into it, possibly lowered by an elevator. The dream ended here. I woke up disturbed and confused by all of it, and most of all still reeling from how vivid and realistic the recent memories of that university felt in my mind. Like someplace I actually just was, a minute ago.
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