Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everyone Else

I read a book several years ago, no idea the title or author, that suggested that people grow to accept their own mortality as they grow older. Well, of course, that makes sense. But I'd never really thought about it.

Last night, though, I had a dream in which I had been trying to catch someone who had been doing something to me, or to someone I knew...not quite sure. Apparently, I caught the guy and had him in a box with a little opening where his head was. I opened it up and thrust some utensils down into his eyes and he started screaming. I then closed the door over his head and called the police, saying I had shot and killed a man.

All the people around me knew that I hadn't shot the man, but they did not know (nor did I) what condition he was in. At some point, I opened the little door and discovered he was gone. And then I called the police again and told them I had killed a man but that his body was stolen.

Soon, the police came and they looked inside the box and found no blood, no signs of a struggle, no evidence I had done anything to anyone.

But I insisted that I had killed him and that I should be arrested and executed. In this dream, I knew that the decisions on those matters would come fast. For some reason, it felt very good to insist that I be killed. I had a sense that it would be a welcome relief. I said something to myself, out loud, to the effect that "it's going to be so good to just get it all over with. I won't feel anything, but just knowing, that's going to be good enough."

And then I started thinking about what it meant to be dead. In my dream, I tried to imagine what it was like, but I kept coming back to the realization that it wouldn't be like anything. It would just be over and my consciousness would have been extinguished. And my death would be noticed by a few people, for a short time, and then the memories would fade and it would be like I'd never been here. It was very clear to me. And I was perfectly comfortable with it.

And then I woke up and was very disconcerted about the dream all day today, though I don't know why. I guess I realized in some especially strong way that one day I'll be dead and it won't have mattered, at least for long, that I lived. And that was disconcerting, but it was equally disturbing to realize that so it would be for everyone else.


YourFireAnt said...

Death in dreams usually indicates change. It's good that you were happy with your "death".


bev said...

Hmm. Interesting dream.
Well, these days, I'm in a what other people might consider to be a strange place. I don't really care about whether there is anything after, or whether anyone notices I'm gone, or remembers me for even a minute. I think we only matter to the people who most care about us, and when they are gone, we are gone. That doesn't make me feel sad. Lately, I don't actually feel too much of anything.