“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
Oblique Strategy: A line has two sides
I rarely remember my dreams. When I am able to grasp the wispy end of something as I’m waking up it is always some form of daily frustration, like my car won’t start or my key won’t fit. I guess that’s why I can’t remember my dreams – they are simply more boring versions of my daily life.
This morning, though, as I crawled out of bed, I remembered. I was hitchhiking through Japan with two other people, a young couple. Why we were three was hazy, though there seemed an adequate explanation somewhere. At the time of the dream we were wading through a rice paddy, each clutching a train ticket. The tickets were paper and plastic, white and bright yellow, and valuable.
Ahead, rising out of the rice, was a track on a levee and a simple station. The biggest passenger train in the world was stopped there, vibrating and smoking. As we approached, it blew its whistle and slowly pulled off, just as we arrived. I was frustrated at the fact we had missed the train, and clutched at my ticket in frustration.
A minute later, we realized that this massive transportation system was too large for one single train, and a second, identical one came huffing into the station. Suddenly elated, I had my ticket stamped and boarded the nearest car. My two companions followed close behind me.
The rest of the dream consisted of me exploring the various cars up and down the line. They were laid out in a linear cornucopia of delights, each car more opulent and fascinating than the one before.
My alarm went off – time to get up and go to work. I hit snooze to see if I could drop off again and visit a car or two more, but the train had sped off to somewhere unknown.