Friday, November 12, 2010

Dream While Driving

I fell asleep again today, this time while driving.
I dreamed I was awake, and driving
on the very same freeway
on the very same day
and every driver in every other car
knew me and waved as they passed.
Some honked their horns and smiled.
Small children pressed their faces against the windows
and gestured wildly.
It felt good to be known and recognized.
Everyone drove safely,
and gave me lots of room.
I did not recognize a single man, woman, or child
though they seemed to know me very well.
I wondered - had I known them in some other life?

A taxi driver wearing a turban
rolled down his window
and motioned for me to exit.
I pulled off at the next freeway offramp.
I found a place to pull over beside
a field of golden barley.
I waited for him to come to my window.
It took a while, for he had but one leg
and he had to walk with crutches.
"Do you remember me?" he exclaimed,
smiling broadly but with tears in his eyes.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I don't remember you at all."
"I am Mansi, your son in law," he said.
"I married your daughter."
"I don't have a daughter," I said.
"Your daughter Gloria, with the beautiful voice."
"I'm sorry," I said, "I don't remember a thing."
"It's okay," he said. "Remembering
isn't everything."
He embraced me then and I woke up.

I was still driving, but on an unfamiliar highway
that seemed to stretch on forever
between foggy rice fields
without another car or farmhouse in sight
and no way to remember
from where I had come from
or where I was going.

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