June 29, 2019
by Doug “Uncola” Lynn:
A few months ago I had this dream. I’m driving alone at highway speed on a causeway over a large body of water. The road was just a few feet higher than the rippling waves. Suddenly, I noticed a black mini-van about fifty yards to my left, bobbing on the water’s surface. The hood and front wheels were submerged and its tail-end began to rise as the vehicle sank in a manner similar to the scene from Titanic – it was going down bow first.
As I was processing what I saw to my left, the next thing I knew I was in the water myself. The road was gone and I was sinking. My first thought was: “Shit! I lost my rig”. Next, I thought it must have been some sort of catastrophic event. Tsunami? Meteor? Earthquake? And my final considerations had to do with exiting the vehicle before I drowned. I recalled once reading survival procedures for that exact situation. Stay cool. Release my seat-belt. Make sure the driver’s door is unlocked. The electric windows will still power down for a time even under the water – and they must be lowered first so the vehicle’s interior can be filled. This will equalize the pressure so the door can be opened in order to escape and swim to the surface.
So that’s exactly what I set out to do. But as the water was violently entering the vehicle, I realized it would take some time to fill and by then I would be on or near the bottom. I was sinking fast. And that’s when I woke up.
My heart was pounding and I was sweating. It seemed so real; like a premonition. In any case, the dream made enough of an impression that I told a few people about it later in the day. Honestly, it haunts me still.
Then, a few weeks later, my wife and I were taking an evening walk after supper when she told me about her dream the night before. It was very similar to mine but we were together in the rig, with me driving, and we drove off a bridge and into a river instead. As she described the nightmare, her eyes watered and I could see she was as profoundly disturbed at its realism as I was with my own dream.
Now imagine my angst when I realized that for a June trip we had scheduled back in January, I would have to pick up my oldest kid who, at that time, would be in a location where I would be forced to drive a rented car across a causeway over a large body of water on four separate occasions – two of them with my entire family, once with just my oldest kid, and once by myself.
Upon that discovery, and given the emotional impact of the dreams described heretofore, I almost cancelled the whole deal.
I didn’t, though, and we survived. But I will tell you this: Our first trek across that causeway occurred at night in a blinding rain and on the last jaunt, alone, I was shaken to my core at how similar everything matched to my dream: The shade of the water, the sky’s tint, and the whitish-gray concrete side-rails. I saw it all months before – of an area where I’ve never been.
So, what did it mean? In retrospect, the only thing I can think of is this: In nearly all cases, what we fear never happens. Or, at least, it never happens in the exact way we feared it might. Even in a metaphysical universe, where every occurrence sets off an infinite number of variations on separate timelines, the ones where I drove off that causeway were certainly outnumbered by the arcs where nothing bad occurred.
Were there other lessons to be learned? Perhaps. Either way, I did make some more observations.
As I’ve told my offspring when they were younger, vacations are like life, but condensed: There are highs and lows, pleasant surprises and disappointments, changed plans, and dead ends.
But on this latest trip, I realized that vacations are also like dying. First, there are preparations and goodbyes (packing and leaving) paired to institutional hassles, probing, and pain (TSA security). Then we experience a passage through the clouds (flight) before meeting our “previously-launched” loved ones at the edge of a great expanse; or ocean, or abyss, if you will.
And speaking of the ocean, swimming at sunset can be truly a spiritual experience. The tide measures time in waves and even the people appearing on the beach somewhat resemble cinematic presentations of the afterlife – where obscure stick-figures emerge from the ether and come into focus as they stand before the presence of a great light.
One wonders if those observations might be premonitions as well. Mere shadows of things to come. It’s a nice thought.
In the interim, however, I considered some other fears that never fully manifested upon this timeline: While we were gone, mines exploded in the Strait of Hormuz and tensions increased with Iran. There was talk of false flags, war, and rumors of war. A Russian warship docked in Havana. Russia also has the RS-28 Sarmat superheavy thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile. NATO calls it “Satan 2” because it replaced the R-36M SS-18 Satan. The damn thing flies at Mach 20+ (16,000 mph) and with a range of near 7,000 miles. Putin claims it can’t be intercepted.
Additionally, Russia possesses the Poseidon, a nuclear-tipped torpedo. It’s basically a remote-controlled nuclear powered drone that can travel great distances under the ocean and be detonated just off the U.S. coasts. This would, in turn, create tsunamis which would level the port-cities and military installations located upon America’s shores.
Moreover, our nation’s southern border is wide open currently and Iran could smuggle in Russian suitcase nukes which could possibly trigger fault lines causing earthquakes that could, in turn, create tsunamis as well.
Any number of these events would have swept me right off that causeway and, believe me, I was thinking about them every time I traversed those depths. Indeed, I felt vulnerable and far from home. And even at home we had a sick relative whose death might have canceled our plans – either before or during our time away.
But, alas, none of those fears came to fruition.
How much time do we spend fretting over things we can’t control? How many of those things never come to pass?
In closing, I’ll share just two more final observations from my travels and they are these: Many, if not most, Americans are fat and they act as if they are somehow entitled. I wonder if they’ll ever realize how good we’ve had it over the past several decades.
I fear they will soon.