Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Kafkaesque Dream

I had the most bizarre dream:
I was driving along in my car near Alexandria and I saw a man in flannel shirt carrying a safety cone.  I wasn’t paying close enough attention so I didn’t notice him trying to wave me over until I had passed and caught sight of him in my rear view mirror.  Later,, on my way home, I saw him again. This time, as we waved me in, I followed his instruction pulled off the road, parked my car, and walked down into what appeared to be a gravel parking area with a charming rock wall that overlooked a lake.  It was a nice area, bucolic really, and I didn’t feel the least bit frightened.  There was one other person waiting in this area. 
Within a few minutes, others arrived who had also been directed into this area. Eventually, there would be roughly one hundred of us.  There we were, waiting together, but for what.  Many of us had smartphones or tablets and nothing regarding any sort of incident in the Alexandria was appearing on feeds or news sites.  No law enforcement ever drove by, we never heard sirens.  It occurred to me that the man directing us wore no uniform and didn’t seem to be in contact with anyone else.  He had no phone, not even a walkie talkie. Only a flannel shirt and an orange safety cone. 
More and more people started to show up.  We visited only minimally, engaged in less than small talk.  Some of the conversations were simply peculiar.
  My alarm went off.  I felt a sense of relief. It was if I couldn’t recognize the pending doom, the emanate danger, the fatality or what was to come until my eyes were open and I was awake.   It occurred to me that I had followed the directions of someone with no apparent authority.  Someone who led me to a secluded space. And not just me, many followed.  What was the intent of the man in a flannel shirt with the orange safety cone? Were we all in danger? Were we going to be kidnapped, or killed?
I began thinking about my day and what could have contributed to this strange and thought provoking dream. Or perhaps it was a Kafkaesque dream.?  I had recently experience, what I refer to as a literary coincidence.  I had been reading Kafka's “The Trial.” And then one day Webster’s word of the day is Kafkaesque:  of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially: having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality.  And to this literary coincidence there is a third piece, I am reading the New York Times Book Review, (a simple weekly pleasure) and the Israeli author Amos Oz if featured in the section “By the Book.”  This is a section of the review where authors talk about writers and books they like, and one of the authors he references is, of course, Kafka (literary coincidence).
It certainly was a Kafkaesque dream. I believe it was also fed by my concern earlier in the day of stranger abduction, and how I had recently heard or read something about never let someone trying to abduct you take you to the next location, fight scream, do whatever you can to avoid being relocated. 
In this dream, we all went so willingly. So it occurs to me that there is even a bigger message in all of this about, who we trust, where they lead us, what are their motives, and why are people so willing to follow?
Gail Supernois-Hedstrom (12-7-2016)