Pandemic Dreams of Stranger Things
So I was reading that a lot of folks have been having bad dreams about Covid19. You can read some of them here: Vivid ‘Pandemic Dreams’ and Nightmares Keep Nation Awake During Coronavirus Outbreak.
It interested me because I myself had what I am certain was a corona/economic anxiety dream.
The setup of the dream was that we were a normal family, by which I mean much more consumer-oriented than we really are. We had nice cars and fancy clothes. My husband had an important job and I looked like one of the Real Housewives. (It was kind of remarkable as I have never had a dream where we were in any way other than who we are, and it was a lifestyle that neither one of us would even really tend to enjoy.) We came into a big city for a wedding and I had absolutely no cares about money. We went out to dinner, my husband and I and our nonexistent friends, as if we were enacting a scene from Crazy Rich Asians or something. Practically like being different people, just in our own bodies.
With the wedding coming up, I decided the girls needed new clothes, because the clothes we had brought with us were wrinkled (talk about a First World problem). In my dream, a baby I unfortunately lost was alive, so my two daughters and I, only one of whom actually exists, went to the mall while the boys took in a sporting event.
Now, as we all know, malls in 2020 are somewhat sad affairs with shuttered windows and stores running “going out of business” sales, but this mall was like traveling back in time to the 80’s. It was packed with people carrying all these shopping bags. The girls and I went into a store and started shopping, and everything in the place was adorable and super cheap, so we ended up buying all this completely unnecessary stuff. Again, I had absolutely no concern regarding money, I just whipped out a card and paid for it, I didn’t worry that my husband might be irritated that I spent so much. Very much not my normal existence to put it mildly, LOL.
But it was too much for us to carry, so I told the girls “Ok, we’ll go back to the car and drive around to this side of the mall, so we won’t have to walk so far.” And as I turned and said “Thank you” to the clerk, the girls took two steps out the door of the store, and a huge crowd of people walked by and they were just gone. That scene in the movie where people just vanish into thin air, and it was happening to my daughters. But I didn’t want to panic, I knew they had to be close by, so I walked around looking and looking and I couldn’t find them anywhere.
So I went to the help booth at the mall and tried to get the officials to help me, and it was like a nightmare. There were all these bureaucratic rules and forms to fill out and the girls had to be missing a certain time before they would do anything to help. I said “can’t you shut the doors of the mall till we find them” and they were like “no, we have to keep doing business, we can’t shut down a whole mall” and after going through about 40 different bored, disinterested workers and several even worse managers, finally I gave up because I realized no one was going to help me because the system was just so screwed up and every second that passed my daughters would be in greater danger. I was on my own.
I desperately thought and realized “maybe they went back to the car” so I headed over there and everything outside was covered with ice, like there had been an ice storm, and my heart sank thinking they might have been out in it. But as soon as I got to the car, they came walking up, perfectly fine, unscathed, unharmed. They told me they’d been in a building when the storm hit and pointed at the scariest looking, run down pedo shanty I’ve ever seen in my entire life, but they seemed perfectly cheerful, so I had them get in the car and get buckled into their seats.
As we were doing that out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy in a van in front of my car who had a gun and as I was putting my key in the ignition to drive away, he pulled a mask on over his head and got out of the car with the gun, ready to go into the mall to shoot the place up, probably starting with us, and that’s when I woke up.
Believe me when I tell you, it was on a short list of the most terrifying dreams I’ve ever had in my life. Fascinating, but terrifying. It was so obviously about the pandemic, but it manifested itself in a whole different way.
So, how’s about you guys? Are you being plagued by pandemic dreams or is it just me?