I don’t believe that dreams, in some psychic sense, have predictive powers. But I also don’t believe that dreams are wholly random “night-static.” Like Freud, I assume that dreams are at least sometimes routes to otherwise unconscious wishes and anxieties (either personal or collective).
And so it is that I offer up a particularly vivid dream (or, rather, nightmare) that I awoke from this morning, around 5:00 AM.
In this nightmare I witnessed an event of nuclear terrorism. I was on the north side of the San Gabriel mountains, out in the desert, standing on a broad concrete slab, in northern Los Angeles County.
The City of Los Angeles was behind the mountains to the south. It was night, and I was outdoors looking south.
Then it happened.
A mushroom cloud blossomed like a Medusa’s head over the San Gabriel mountains. It was huge. I assumed it was coming from either the harbor in Long Beach or LAX. But because it felt so near, I thought it might have also come from the San Fernando Valley.
In any case, I turned away from the blast and ran toward the house that was north of me, where my children were. I noticed that the lights in the desert city of Palmdale were fast winking out. When I reached the house door, I knocked. One of my daughters let me in. I vividly recall the exact words that I thought as I entered:
We all knew this was coming.
I wondered what our collective human future would be like after such an incident. I didn’t know if other cities had also been attacked. My task now was what to tell my children, who are five and eight years old.
Then I woke up.