Sunday, November 25, 2012

What I saw Last Night

It's hard to recall too much. Dreams tend to soften around the edges the way a sandcastle does as the waves lap relentlessly and then finally wear it all away.  This one still has a bit of structure and I want to write it down while I can still see some of it in my mind's eye.

I'm driving to school, except I'm going the wrong way on I-30, I'm headed toward downtown rather than away.  I'm not clear where my school is but I head for the Woodall Rogers overpass and traffic slows down and then stops dead.  I can't have this as I have GOT to get to school. It's my job.  Fortunately, my car is small enough that once I step outside, I can pick it up with a bungee cord and carry it with me. I can move, but only at a walking pace.  

I head up toward the elevated loop and I start to notice patches of ice.  That's funny, I don't recall it being cold enough for there to be ice.  I keep walking and notice that there seems to be something wrong with the overpass, I can see that there is a patch missing and that there are bars exposed on one side of the deck.  

Then I see the children.  There are four children hanging from the bars that extend out over a gaping chasm.  They look frightened.  I am terrified of heights but the children are afraid.  I move forward and I see that many people are scurrying around trying to figure out what to do. I ask someone to go for help and someone says that help has been requested.  I look over the edge and can see a dark river swirling down below.  I'm so scared but I tell the children that help is coming--to just hang on.  

They are children though and children are not always cautious.  Two of them hold on tightly to the bars available to them--they are the closest to me.  One child is on the far side of the gap. She holds on tightly.  The child in the middle is a little black girl. She looks about seven or eight. She's wearing a brown popcorn knit sweater and brown leggings.  She doesn't look afraid. She looks bored.  She's not paying very good attention and rolls her eyes when I tell her to hold on.  

I hear over my shoulder that help is coming and I tell the children that it won't be long now--just hold on.  

The little girl in the middle looks restless and starts moving around as if she was on monkey bars.  I ask her to sit down and hold on just a few more minutes but she won't listen.  She swings around and tries to catch the bar with her knees but she misses and for just a moment is suspended in the air. I can see her face.  She doesn't seem afraid as she begins to plummet toward the river below. I can't watch because I know there is no way she can survive the fall.  One of the other girls watches and then begins to cry. 

I can still clearly picture the child. I can see that her hair was pulled back out of her face but was not neatly fixed in the back.  I can see the color of brown that she was wearing.  I can see an expression of placid unconcern in her eyes.  "Whatever."

I'm fuzzy after that, I don't really remember ever getting to school or even what happened other than I went over and over in my mind trying to find some route to school that didn't require an overpass. I've still not figured it out--I'm not sure it's possible.  

I've thought about this a lot today. I wonder if this is my subconscious chiming in on the state of education in the America lately.  I wonder why I saw the black child fall.