Ich Traumte

The dream had been going on for a while before I became aware of it. In the dream, a group of us were preparing to depart a foreign city. I was gathering my belongings, which seemed to be scattered around several cluttered rooms. Two women I didn’t recognize asked if I had and extra ball cap. I said not to worry, I had five but wasn’t sure where they were at the moment. Suddenly, I realized my group had already left for the airport. I worked my way through the labyrinthine halls of the hotel and out onto an unfamiliar, foreign street. All the while, I was thinking how I was going to have to find my own way to the airport and possibly change my flight info and that these were tasks Merri is much better at. Optimistically, I considered one person might move faster than a group, which surely had allowed more than enough time to get to the airport.

Traffic seemed to stop at an intersection. A man was in the equivalent of a wheelchair combined with a motorcycle. He veered abruptly across the intersection at 90 degrees, though this surprised no one but me. Traffic stopped and started in incomprehensible ways, following signals lost to me. I realized I didn’t have any clues as to which direction to move in. Where was north? Which direction did I want? I overheard someone say, “‘kuchen,’ that sounds interesting.” I was in a German-speaking city. I walked in an arbitrary direction. The streets got narrower and more Old Worldly. I was descending a narrow, steep flight of steps — nearly a ladder — surrounded by people. The guy in front of me stopped at the bottom of the stairs and said, “I understand you’re trying to get to the airport.” Now, with a group of American students (how did I know?), I said, “I know how to ask, ‘Wo findet man den Bahnhof?’ but I don’t know how to say ‘airport.’ (In the dream, I congratulated myself silently on that construction. Bahnhof is train station. My waking mind recalls ‘Flughof’ as airport. I spent a lot of time in German train stations. I was never in a German airport.) Turning to a woman, I added jokingly, “It’s not aeropuerto.” She considered that for a moment before agreeing. I awoke to a thunderclap as the dog appeared beside my bed.


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