My Dream of a Crooked Insurance Agency: Part I

I had two dreams recently that seemed to overlap. The first one was very short and did not seem to make much sense. Then the second one was much longer and the events of the first happened within the second. It was as though I saw the preview of a movie and then later saw the movie and understood the preview when I saw it in context. The difference is my first dream made no more sense in the context of the second than it had by itself.

The first dream occurred over this past weekend. I lived in Perry of course but it looked different; it seemed more city-like. I never saw any buildings, just the same old traditional housing and small stores. But there were noises. There were sirens, distant yelling, and the sound of crashing cars which are the typical ambient sounds that are stereotypical of the big city. The strangest thing is it seemed to be night all the time. There was no rain, but the streets always glistened under the moon and street lights indicating the presence of moisture. It was obviously late fall or else early winter in Georgia because the trees had few leaves yet it was not yet very cold. In fact I was walking through town in a t-shirt and jeans.

As is typical of dreams I was dropped into the middle of a situation not knowing how I arrived there or why. I simply saw my surroundings and continued what I knew I must do (did I mention that I am not the type of person who “knows” he is dreaming? When I dream it is as real my computer in front of me and my cat sitting beside me right now.). This is how the first dream went.

I was on my way home. I do not know where I had been or why I had been there but I knew Lyndsay would be worrying about me so I walked faster. That is until I passed the old house that was on the corner. It was obviously abandoned and forgotten. It was the kind of place the Addams family would have called home. Indeed Herman Munster would have been glad to sit back and put his feet up in a home like that. However I was not afraid but was intrigued because it appeared to be a very interesting Civil War-era home. I knew that Lyndsay would love to hear about it and would want to know more. So forgetting that she would rather see me get home I ventured into the old house. I had to break down the door but once inside I was met with a lot of dust, sheets covering what I assumed to be furniture, and large shadowy objects. The front door opened into the main den and the fireplace was huge, the ceiling hung about 12 to 15 feet overhead and there were doorways at each end of the room that led to other places in the house (perhaps a kitchen and bedroom or a bathroom and a library). Now what happened next was blur and happened very quickly. I am not sure what set it off or how it happened. That is how dreams seem to work. The sandman, or God, or whoever causes dreams, never seems interested in how things start or happen, only that they happen. I was standing on top of one of the large shadowy objects. It felt soft yet robust under my feet. It was as though a sturdy frame was covered with soft material, so I naturally assumed it to be furniture. The only problem with this assumption is that it seemed about five feet high and was terribly irregular in shape.

In a flash, either because I set off a switch inadvertently or because the dream wanted it to happen and did not need to explain itself, the entire room came alive with noise and motion. A fiery, orange light filled the room giving the impression that the place was on fire or near a volcano, or in a volcano. The sheet-covered figures began to move and roar. Did I say “roar”? The violent movement caused the sheets to fall away revealing, in the orange light, dozens of the largest, most vicious group of…dinosaurs I had ever seen. The noise was the sound of a wilderness and every dinosaur was roaring and moving and chomping its teeth to beat the band. The clanging of their mechanical gears (for they were indeed mechanical) joined the din and competed with the sound of the roars for my attention and fear. The on which I stood moved so violently that it threw me down and I landed on some kind of faux vegetation and as I looked up a tyrannosaurus rex stood over me, for it was his back I stood upon and when he rose up is when I fell off. Behind him were mechanical, roaring, moving brontosauruses, stegosauruses and other smaller lizards I can not identify fought each other, crying out with shrieks of pain and anger. I was terrified. Every yellow, lizard eye in the place seemed to look at me with strange lizardy ideas of what it might do to me. A pterodactyl flew in circles overhead flapping it’s membranous wings.
Of course I knew they were fake. Yes, yes, I understood how they worked. I knew that they were gears and bolts and joints covered with material with electrical impulses powering motors thus giving them the illusion of life. But I did not forget that I had not turned them on and as far as I knew I was alone. How had they started up? Remember, I did not know it was a dream. I did not know that my mind simply decided that this should happen and that no explanation was needed. For all I knew dark magic or some kind of disembodied “force” had thrown the switch…or perhaps it had bypassed electricity and supplied the gears with movement itself.

Once I gained my (semi-) composure, I stood and watched them for a moment. It was the same part of me that would have stood stunned staring at the aftermath of a gruesome car accident. Finally sense took hold of me and I gathered myself and ran out the way I had come in. I dashed across the yard, tripped over a low-cut tree stump, stood up and again and ran into the street. Strangely enough, when I was still inside the lizard-house, I could not hear the sounds or see the light from the outside. And once I was in the street I observed that there were no people around though it could not have been any later than 8:00 in the evening.

I looked around and tried to determine what I should do next. The layout of the street block was nothing like I have seen in Perry, that is, the real Perry. The street on which the strange dinosaur house resided was a southbound one-way street. It was relatively short (for it was lined with only about six houses) and was perpendicular to two other two-way streets, one at each end running off east and west. There was a parallel street some thirty yards away that was also a one-way street but of course it was the northbound counterpart of this street. The two parallel one-way avenues were separated by a great green lawn that was peppered with trees of different sorts and sizes that, besides being a pleasant divider of the block, served as a nice park complete with benches here and there. Since the courthouse was not far it can be assumed that this square had once been the center of activity in this alternate Perry.

Being that the strange house was on the corner I was close to the end of the southbound street. I looked in the direction of the southern most two-way street. On the other side of it was a line of buildings. I would have described it as a store front except, I was looking at the backs of buildings and offices. Apparently as the city grew developers and builders no longer considered this square as the center of town. The city had grown outward. The fronts of the buildings faced the street on the next block so that anyone who lived on this side would have to not only see the ugly backsides of offices and stores but they had to go around to the next block to enter in the proper door to do business.

There was a small gathering of people outside the back door of one business. About five, maybe six men stood and there was one lady in their midst. They were dressed in business attire and talking in hushed voices. All at once everything grew dim. It was as though night had grown darker. I could not hear their whispers anymore. I could not make out their faces or the buildings. Strangely enough there was no more noise from the house of dinosaurs. All I heard was the sound of a preacher: “So as you can see, when Jesus said ‘Love thy neighbor’, he wasn’t just…”.

I recognized the sound of my radio alarm. Morning had come. I did not know what the people in back of the business were up to though I was sure it was malicious. I did not know the significance of the dinosaurs or why Lyndsay had not tried to find me. I had no doubt been gone many hours. I began to get dressed for work and thought I would forget about it. But only two nights later I had the continuation of my dream which picked up right where the first had left off.

Josh H.



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