My night of terror

I had three nightmares last night, all disturbing and frightening in their own way.

DIAGNOSED

I was at a gathering of family and friends and I had a wife who was projecting a slide show on the wall. I don’t remember the slide before or after to know if they were about a vacation or a topic or what.

Then one came up that just said: TERMINAL KIDNEY FAILURE. Everyone gasped, then got real quiet, and then slowly turned to me while I processed that this was a diagnosis about me that my wife had shared earlier with everyone, but hadn’t yet told me about, and the slide was supposed to have been removed from the “show.”

I just stood there stunned, for quite a while, wondering all those things I imagine everyone wonders when they get such news. “How bad is it? How long have I been sick? How much time do I have left?”

I moved slowly across the room, with all eyes on me, hugged my wife and cried inconsolably—terrified. Then I woke up.

ON DUTY

I was a new police officer, and I was with my partner going through a rundown building with rooms that were enclosed per se, but consisted of walls that you could see over and with glass-less windows and door-less doorways. They were such that you could see into a room through one door or window and see another window in the room that let you see into an adjacent room.

I had a gun but no idea how to use it. My partner heard a noise behind one wall and went to investigate. I was scared to death and didn’t want to be anywhere around that, so even though I knew I was supposed to be covering him, I left the area, walking around another corner in complete terror that I was going to come face-to-face with a “bad guy” with a gun.

There wasn’t anyone there, but I saw in the distance a line of people forming that was being escorted out of the building, so I got in it. Once I got just past the door leading outside, a woman called me, and said, “What are you doing?” I looked at her puzzled, to which she continued, “Don’t you recognize me? I’m your supervisor. You’re supposed to be in here working your beat. Get back in here.”

I re-entered the building—terrified. Then I woke up.

OUT OF CONTROL (A dream the likes of which I’ve had before)

I was driving alone in a van/truck. It was dark outside, and I was traveling about 50 MPH and using the cruise control. I was driving along the side of a mountain, so it was a winding road.

Suddenly, I was on the floor between the steering wheel and driver door and holding on to the steering wheel with one hand trying to steer from down there. I could see the quickly-passing side of the mountain out the windshield, and I wondered how long I could keep from crashing while steering but not being able to see the road ahead.

Then, the overhead cabin light came on, which made it even harder to see out the windshield at the passing mountain to try and at least stay close to it or follow it as a guide.

I thought, “Oh my god, how long can I keep doing this? I can’t believe I haven’t hit the side of the mountain yet. Or hit another car ahead of me. Or crossed the lane and hit an oncoming car. Or crossed the other lane and driven off the side of the mountain.”

I tried to get up, but I was wedged tightly between the seat and the door, so I couldn’t—and I was terrified. Then I woke up.