This is a recurring dream that I had almost every night for about a month during high school, and the story surrounding it.
In the dream, I come to my state of self awareness behind my own eyes sitting on the back of a horse. We are on a dirt road. I say we, because I am surrounded by a company of uniformed soldiers on horseback. There is a long line in front of me, several on either side, and although I did not turn to look back I just know that there is a long line behind me. I’m in the middle of this group. We are wearing grey. Hats. Boots. Belts. I didn’t think of it in the dream but looking back I would say we were Confederate soldiers. This must have been the Civil War. There was a sense of ominous apprehension
in the air. Nobody was talking. The horse’s breath was visible. The air temperature was brisk, cold but not freezing. It was early spring.
On the left of me was a River. It was flowing past us in the opposite direction. It was about 30 feet wide and shallow, with rocks and rapids, but it was not really fast or raging, just moving along with purpose, coming towards me and passing on the left. Between the road and the river was a line of trees and a bank that dropped down to the river. It was steep with about a 3 or 4 foot drop. You could tell the river had carved out that steep bank during times when it was flowing much deeper. On the edge of the road were stones lining the road, almost like an edging of sorts.
On the right of me was another line of trees and a slight rise to an old stone wall about 2 feet tall, made of fieldstones, just on the other side of the trees. On the other side of the wall was a field. It was about 20 yards of brown grass laying down flat. It was not yet re-invigorated from winter.
On the other side of the field was another wall and then trees… the woods. It was dark in the woods. It was early morning. The sun was just coming up and so the woods were still dark, aside from the first few feet of trees that you could see along the edge.
Suddenly, there was a CRACK of gunfire and then all hell broke loose. On the other side of the field you could see the smoke from the gunfire. There was a line of soldiers staged along the wall shooting at us. I don’t know how far it went or how many there were, but for as far as I could see there were clouds of gun smoke. The orderly line of horses I was travelling with turned into a wild, chaotic, frenetic scene with horses (my own included) rearing up and braying with panic. It seemed the sound of the gunfire would tear apart the very air. Men were falling off horses, shot, and others were yelling orders, men were screaming in pain, and the rest of us got control of our horses and jumped the wall. I drew my sword in a with little effort and obvious skill, and within 10 seconds of the first bullet zipping through the air, most of the men were charging at the unseen gunmen with a full frontal assault, swords drawn.
Just as we jumped the wall into the field, the ambush was apparent. Out of the woods came a huge contingent of the enemy on horseback. It was obvious that we were outnumbered but there was no time to think about it. We rushed them, they rushed us, and in a couple of seconds both lines came together at full speed.
I was thrown from my horse and landed hard on the ground face down. The wind was knocked out of me. I lie there in a daze, recovering my senses for a few seconds, then I could hear the yells and screaming of men, horses, and steel clashing. What am I doing on the ground? I have to fight!
I started to get up. I was up on all fours just starting to pull my right foot under me to stand up when I could hear rapidly approaching hoofs pounding the ground. It was the only thing I heard and it came on me fast, before I had a chance to even register it or see where it was coming from. Then I felt the snick of the sword slice across my back, right in the middle of my back just below the shoulder blades, as the enemy soldier rode by and gave it a good swing, nearly cutting me in half.
I fell to the ground in a limp pile, face first, hard. The first thing I felt was that damn high pitched electric shock of a zipper tearing my skin apart. It was not really painful, just cold. It felt as if the flesh under my skin was suddenly exposed to the cold morning air. It was a feeling that every fiber of my being knew without having had the benefit of any prior experience. I just knew I was severely injured. Then the hot blood flowed out of my massive wound around my torso, draining down my sides and pooling up on me. It was a feeling that was both hot and cold simultaneously. I lie there feeling like I was patiently waiting. The intense burning of my flesh came just as the awareness and consciousness was running out of me. A cross-fade… and I just remember trying to hang on to the pain because I was falling into a black hole very fast.
I could hear seagulls. I opened my eyes and was blinded by a bright light. It was not what you think: it was the sun. I squinted and put my hand over my eyes to shield myself from the intense pain in my eyes from looking at the sun. My eyes adjusted and I could see blue sky. Clouds. Seagulls just floating stationary on the ocean breeze coming in off the water. Yes I could hear the ocean waves. I felt the sand with my free hand. I was lying on a beach.
I got up and looked around. Directly in front of me was the ocean. There were surfers, maybe a dozen of them, out on the water. I turned to the left and I could see a group of buildings, like some sort of sea-side village… there was a lot of them…. and a long pier that started somewhere on the other side of those buildings and went out over the water pretty far. There were people on bicycles, roller skates… just to the right of me was a sidewalk going on in the distance towards those buildings.
I was on a bicycle riding towards those buildings. I don’t know how I got on the bike, but here I was pedaling towards those buildings. There were girls in bikini’s roller-skating on the sidewalk towards me. They smiled and waved as they passed. Just as I was about to enter the area with the buildings, I stopped. A beautiful woman in a red knee-length dress caught my eye. She looked directly at me as she walked towards me, smiled, and passed.
Then I woke up.
I’ve been carrying this story around with me for my whole life, and I’ve never really published it or talked about it to anybody other than close family and friends. But the other day I was telling the story for the first time in many, many years and it struck me that this was exactly the type of story that my fans might like and it definitely belongs in the Dreams and Nightmares category.
When I was in High School, I wasn’t the most motivated student. Not by a long shot. You might say that I was more interested in smoking weed and partying than anything else. It didn’t matter that I was in the top 96 percentile in the aptitude tests that they used to administer in school (yes, there once was a time when if you sucked you got an “F” and if you were really great you got an “A” and the school system didn’t apologize for making kids feel like they were either smart or just plain stupid). It didn’t matter that my poor mother was turning inside out because I skipped classes and brought home F’s and Incompletes on all my subjects. I didn’t care. I was so self absorbed with the fun of playing music and being wasted all the time that it never occurred to me that there were people who were genuinely affected by my behavior. Typical teenager.
So, since I could not ever pass a standard English Grammar class (yes they used to teach that as a subject – you know, how to properly structure your writing so it was actually something that people could read) and because back then the Schools were just starting to come under fire for doing a shitty job, my Guidance Counselor put me into a special English class that she thought I would both enjoy and benefit from. It was called the Sci-Fi class. It was not really an English class at all, but it might have been the best class I’ve ever taken in High School (aside from the half-year of typing that I took as a filler not knowing it would be the single most important thing I ever learned how to do). The Sci-Fi class was taught by a really wickedly cool teacher named Mrs. Ford. And, like most wickedly cool things that weren’t on the football or baseball teams, she got a lot of really brutally cruel treatment from a lot of the students. They made fun of her and called her vicious things to her face and she was usually very high strung and flustered all the time because of it.
But I was always attracted to the underdog or black sheep being one myself, so I gravitated towards her and we had what I would consider a pretty excellent teacher-student relationship. No, I didn’t have sex with her… she was really old – like in her 40’s or something way up there… but now that I’m a little more seasoned I have to say that she was so high strung and such a hair-trigger personality that sex with her might have been an experience…
Anyway so here I am in Mrs. Ford’s Sci-Fi class. We read one whole novel in that class that changed my view of Humanity and Evolution forever. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark. It stuck with me since then and the experience that went on inside my head when I read that book was palpable… I really felt like I lived it, not just read it. I used to stay after class and talk to her about the story as we were going through it. Today, I attribute my love of reading and the fact that I’ve read hundreds of books to good ole Mrs. Ford who taught me how to lose myself in the pages of a book.
At some point during the year I started having this recurring dream (the one at the start of this story). I had the dream over and over again for about a month, nearly every night. Finally, I went to Mrs. Ford after class and told her I was having this weird dream. She asked me to describe it, so I did. Just as I did for you. When I was done, she said, “well, in the dream you were a confederate soldier, which makes sense because of your rebel nature. Then you die in a battle and are transported to modern times, in a sunny place on the beach, and the woman in the red dress signifies the promise of youth and beauty.”
She went on to say that the dream might be a message or a warning. Because it was recurring, she felt it was important, though. We never spoke of it again.
So what happens next is pretty amazing. My “rebel nature” got me into a lot of trouble, which culminated in me joining the Military. Yep, I joined the Air Force. I got really good scores on my ASFAB and so the recruiter wanted to know what I wanted to do. I could almost pick anything but my strongest scores were mechanical, and since I was so young and they didn’t have any jobs for aspiring rock star’s, I let him pick for me. Obviously, they lead you to where they have the most openings. That day, it just happened to be Jet Engine Mechanics. Sounds good to me! So, off I went into Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB in Texas. From there, on to Jet Engine School in Rantoul Illinois (a place that humans should never have to go in the winter). After Jet school, I was stationed at McGuire AFB in New Jersey.
But of course, my rebellious nature followed me there and I soon started having big “bong contest” type parties at my off base apartment. Me and my friend Chris would drive out to Fort Dix and pick up Basic Trainees that wanted to smoke it up and we’d get them totally “blotto” and then bring them back to the base. I know, you think I’m full of shit but Fort Dix was a US Army Basic Training base with NO GATES and a main road that ran right through it. The stoners on the base where always hanging out in the common areas smoking cigarettes. No, we weren’t gay. We just liked to have parties and get wasted, and they were more fun with a bunch of people.
So needless to say I got into a lot of trouble, and was constantly getting reprimanded, so when they came around asking people if they wanted an early out due to downsizing I took it. I got a DD-214 with an honorable discharge and full GI benefits. So where did I go? California. Why? Because my roommate in Basic Training, Keith, in one of our phone conversations that we had (we kept in touch, and we used pay phones back then – for you youngsters those are phones that used to be everywhere that you had to put money into to use them) he said “why don’t you go out to LA – my room is empty and my parents will put you up if I tell them to”. So off to LA I go.
When I arrived in LA, Keith’s parents were really great (they didn’t deserve the hell I put them through – remember I’m still the wild and crazy party dude that left home in a cloud of pot-smoke). They told me the beach was just a couple of miles away and that I could use Keith’s bike. It was in the garage. Just go down this road and turn here, and blah blah blah and you’ll be on a road called… let’s see if I remember right – The Esplanade. This is Redondo Beach, folks. The last beach town in the string of beach towns that make up the LA Beaches. It’s in the far south, just before the Pacific Palisades and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Yep, I just looked on Google Maps and found it. It’s definitely called Esplanade. They told me that I could take one of the path’s down from the Esplanade to the sidewalk called the Strand.
Wait… a sidewalk on the beach? But I didn’t see the connection yet.
They told me to take the sidewalk North to the Redondo Beach Pier, where I would find shops and stuff, and then the pier itself. That would be a fun day for my first day in LA.
So off I go on the bike down to Esplanade. I found it to be awesome. This road was a good 30 feet (maybe more) above the beach below. There was a steep hill you had to traverse to get down there. I went down and stood on the beach. I just let the bike fall.
I stood there, put my hand over my forehead to shield the sun, and looked at the water. There were surfers….
There were seagulls squawking and flying “in place” against the wind…
I looked to the right and there was a group of buildings….
There was a long pier going out over the ocean really far, maybe a quarter mile? It started somewhere on the far side of those buildings…
I got on the bike and started riding on the sidewalk towards those buildings. Ah, this must be Redondo Beach Pier up ahead…
I started to get a feeling of Déjà vu right about now…
There were lots of people on the sidewalk…..
Some really hot girls in bikini’s roller-skating towards me and smiling as they passed…
Déjà vu – but I still didn’t remember the dream – just this wicked feeling that I’ve been here before…
And for the icing on the cake, just as I got close to the buildings and shops of the pier, around the corner, walking towards me, was a beautiful woman with auburn hair. She was wearing a red dress and high heels. I stopped the bike in utter disbelief.
And just exactly as in the dream, she walked towards me, looked at me, and smiled as she passed.
Love and Prosperity to you ALL! Have an AWESOME Day!