I Had a Nuclear Terrorism Nightmare This Morning

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.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to I Had a Nuclear Terrorism Nightmare This Morning

  1. Marlen says:

    If you were to die, ask yourself: have you done all you can within this world to stop such nonsense like a nuclear attack? Where are we attacking ourselves as our own thoughts? If we are able to dream this, how have we as humanity accepted the existence of such things as weapons and nuclear bombs? I’ll go watch a documentary called ‘Gun Fight’ (US, 2011) tonight. Will see what comes up to write about.

  2. Paradigm says:

    I had a similar dream some years ago. In it, Tel Aviv had been levelled with the ground. There was some horrible evil presence in the air. Like a demon feeding on people’s hatred and suffering. I remember thinking, “this isn’t a dream, it’s real”. And maybe it will be soon.

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