The train dream

Yes, it’s the middle of the night (well, 4:11 AM), but I could not wait to write about the dream that I just awoke from because it amused me so much. For some reason, I found it very funny and felt the need to write about it, lest I forget the punchline.

My dream involved a train. I live near railroad tracks and train whistles are blowing loudly (and sometimes, it seems, constantly) throughout the night.

In my dream, I was driving one of these trains across the tracks. It seemed easy to do, and as the train crossed, I pulled a lever that switched the train from one track to another. Well, in pulling this lever, it seems I derailed the train. The train came off the track and ended up zig-zagging into a parking lot, cars splayed this way and that. None of them overturned, they were just scattered in a pattern throughout the lot. And the last car was blocking the intersection so that there was a lot of annoyed people.

Well, my initial reaction was one of fear–that I would get in trouble for derailing this train. So I jumped off the train and ran into the apartment building near the tracks. It seems that I lived in this building. From my apartment, I could see the train crammed into the parking lot, which now seemed more like a back alley. I could also see my Mom and Dad parking their car in the parking structure and suddenly, I realized that they were going to be furious with me about derailing the train. They didn’t know that I’d done it, but I was feeling guilty, and I felt I had to be honest with them and tell them what I had done.

So, I headed back outside, into the alley, past the derailed train, and toward the parking structure to meet my folks. I found them by the mail boxes. “Mom, Dad,” I said, “I know you’re going to be mad, and I’m sorry, but this train–it’s my fault. I was controlling it and it just came off the tracks. I didn’t do it on purpose.”

At which point, my Dad shook his head, held up his right hand, which contained a bunch of envelopes, and said, petulantly, “You know, you forgot to check the mail yesterday.”

He seemed genuinely annoyed about this transgression of mine.