I was running and I didn’t know why. It was dark. It was raining. I could only tell I was moving across grass because of its familiar feel beneath my feet.

Not by its wet crunch. I couldn’t hear that. Not because of the rain. I couldn’t hear that either. Sound was absent except for one.

I could tell I ran parallel to a road because of a pair of headlights. A car’s headlights, coming opposite the direction I ran. It passed me, the droning of its approach and departure the night’s only sound. The exception to complete silence.

Not long after, another set of headlights accompanied by identical sound.

Then another.

I noticed the headlights matched. I couldn’t tell the make or model of the car but the headlights were definitely the same. They kept coming and I began to count. One… two… three… I was still running. I noticed I wasn’t out of breath… fifteen… sixteen… seventeen.

Seventeen seconds between each car. I thought to stop, but some need pressed me to keep my pace exactly as it was.

After only just having discerned a rhythm, the interval between cars began to shorten. Sixteen seconds. Fifteen. Ten. I could now see headlights before the previous set had gone. The interval continued to shrink. The droning grew more consistent in pitch.

Soon, the headlights and their incessant noise were a constant stream. Lights that did nothing to illuminate stretched out as far as I could see.

Then they were gone. I found my running had brought me to an idling motorcycle on the road’s side. Mine, I immediately knew, though I didn’t recall ever having owned a motorcycle.

Draped over it was a black duster coat. Also mine, though this thought seemed to make sense to me. I dug through its pockets for confirmation. A wallet. My ID inside it.

I looked around me. The motorcycle’s light illuminated a dirt road. At the end was a house. Decrepit. I knew I was supposed to go there. So I did.

Reaching it, I entered through the unlocked door. Moonlight, which had been absent until now, half-illuminated the room. A chair. A coffee table. A face, partially exposed, peering from the darkness. A face or a mask?

A menace like I have never felt before or since. We were both still. A steady clicking sound from the mask. The only sound since that of the passing vehicle.

Then I wake up.

I’m terrified but I don’t know why. It wasn’t particularly frightening. It was the most vivid dream I have ever had.

I went back to sleep, desperately trying to bring the dream back. I felt as though I was on the cusp of a discovery. Something I must know.

I still feel that way a decade later. I still don’t know what the dream meant. I still go to sleep, on occasion, thinking about it, hoping it will return so that I may witness its conclusion. What will happen then?

Will the answer be everything I imagined, or rather everything I failed to imagine? I can’t help but feel that my encounter in that house would have been the most profound experience I could ever have.

Why can’t I finish the dream? What is my mind protecting me from? Did I glimpse something I shouldn’t have?

Aside from one simple thing, I have not had the slightest sign of an answer. Shortly after the dream, a couple of days, I found my lost wallet in the pocket of my black duster coat, hanging in the back of my closet. A subconscious working. No big deal.

Was the dream all for that? To reveal to me my missing wallet. How imperative it was that I recover several dollars and a movie ticket!


It couldn’t be.

That dream has shaped several aspects of who I am.

My fixation on masks is something I could talk about for days.

More importantly, my view on dreams. Are they more real than we believe? Are they more dangerous than they seem?

If I ever have my answer, I believe it will be in death. If I am allowed to finish my dream, it will be at the finish of my life. In this regard, I look forward to death.