A Reader's Dream or Nightmare Part 2

About a dream or nightmare that a reader submitted.

The Dream

I reentered the lobby from the coffee shop. As I headed for the stairs at the end of the room, I noticed an old woman who seemed to be struggling with her luggage. She had two suitcases and was carrying a sheaf of cardboards. She looked around 85 years old, give or take a few years. She was pushing one bag ahead of her with her foot and towing the other with the handle of her umbrella. I went around a row of seats and offered my assistance. I noticed that her legs were completely bandaged and wondered if it was for support or because of a disease.

The old woman said yes, I could take her suitcases, but she did not look up at me. She appeared to be concentrating on her luggage. She told me to take them to the ladies' room. As I reached for the smaller bag to put under the arm that was carrying my coffee, she abruptly stopped me. "No," she said, "you'll have to put that down. These are my sister's suitcases and I can't have anything happen to them." I told her to wait while I took my coffee upstairs. When I returned, she was exactly as I had left her, waiting patiently. Since she did not look up, I announced my return and picked up her bags. She clung protectively to the card-boards. I started off in front of her, but in a rather alarmed voice she told me to stop. I turned to see her staring at my feet. "I can't lift my head more than this, so you must stay where I can see your feet." In this fashion, we made our way to the end of the room and on up the stairs.

There was only one free toilet in the restroom and that had no catch on the door. She told me to put her suitcases in the stall. She followed them in, closed the door, and rearranged the bags so that the door did not swing open. Since my financial situation forced me to wait for her, I washed, changed my clothes, smoked a couple of cigarettes, and drank my coffee. I sat down to do my nails. Then it started!

The noises! Suddenly that nightmare was with me. My first reaction was that it couldn't be happening. I went over every little detail that I could remember. The top of her bowed gray head, her shoes, her dress, her voice, and of course, the core of the dream--the bandages! It was all too obvious; my dream was happening before my very eyes. More than anything, I was amused at the events which seemed so meaningless by themselves, but which were necessary to bring me to this time and place.

I knew, of course, what the ripping and tearing sounds were. In fact, I felt privileged to know. Removal of the bandages lasted almost 30 min. Then there was a period of complete silence. It was shattered by a voice on a loudspeaker. "Miss _____. Miss _____, there is a message for you at the ticket counter." The old woman called to me, "Are you there?" I said I was. She told me they were paging her and to go down and tell them where she was, but under no circumstances was I to ask what the message was.

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