I don’t know if this was one dream or several, or if I am placing the events in the correct order.
I was with my parents at a diner when I noticed water lapping under the door. Even if the diner were on the shore, I sensed that we should leave immediately. I was frightened by what it seemed to mean. No one else reacted.
My dad was driving a van, and I was sitting all the way in the back. I noticed that I could see lights ahead, but little of the road, and that my dad was driving on the left (wrong) side. Thinking that the lights were headlights, he had turned on the van’s headlights. I looked out the back window and saw the largest, blackest storm imaginable filling the sky. With a sense of apocalypse, I realized the lights weren’t headlights, but something more dreadful. I turned back to tell Dad to move to the correct side of the road, but his head had fallen back and was lolling helplessly. My mother was senseless, and I didn’t think I could crawl to the front of the van in time to apply the brakes.
I was walking a hamster on a leash. A couple of boys admired it and said, “It would be a shame if it got away — you’d never get it back.” On cue, the hamster escaped, and I was distraught because a hamster wouldn’t have the intelligence to find its way home and would be just another rodent on the streets. It would run off and never look back.
When I returned home, I saw an enormous cage located off one room. I wondered why I hadn’t used that space to keep a large, charismatic animal, like the horses I could see across the way. The cage was littered with things like aluminum recyclables. It didn’t seem to be a good home for a hamster.
I filled a basin with water and suddenly felt a sense that the hamster was in it, under the water. I couldn’t feel anything, but when I emptied the basin the hamster was somehow on the bottom, lying on its stomach, all four feet splayed out, shivering. Its eyes were looking up at me reproachfully. Relieved, yet frightened that it could still die, I started stroking it dry and saying rhetorically, “Are you all right?” It looked at me sadly, huge eyes fixed on mine, and said, “I’m so cold and so tired.” I kept stroking it and praying that it wouldn’t die.
I was sitting somewhere in Cincinnati when I felt movement, as though I were on a train. I looked down and found I was flying over the city with nothing supporting me that I could see. A little girl ran out in front of me; I was shocked to see nothing under her feet. She was running on air just as I was sitting on it, even as we flew forward. Around and underneath us, planes, balloons, and weird flying vehicles rolled over and seemed to taunt us.
The mother told the little girl not to go too far, but she must have run off the invisible edge of the invisible flying train because she fell. I was horrified and thought irrationally that I should go after her, but I saw her land safely on a huge, colorful mattress below.
I got off when I saw a tram, like those at amusement parks and zoos. It was decorated with a jungle theme. I was about to get into the first care when a stern man in safari kit scowled at me from the second car. I understood that he was the driver and that all the trams, including his, were full (despite the empty first car). I worried about how I would get back and how the mother would find the little girl.