The Paranoid/Stalker Dream

Last night I had one of those eerie, unsettling dreams that isn’t quite a nightmare, but that leaves you feeling somewhat off-center. In the dream, I was walking up a ramp leading up to a hilltop. The ramp was something out of a Dr. Seuss story, with lots of curves and switchbacks to it. It was a long, long walk to the top. There was no one else around, except for a man, who was walking about 30 meters behind me. He was wearing a hat and sunglasses and was reading what I thought was a tabloid newspaper as he walked.

I suddenly had the feeling that maybe this guy was following me. I tried not to let it bother me but the more I thought about it, the more paranoid I became. So at the next switchback, I bent down to tie my shoe, slowly, and the man continued on past me. But as he did, I glanced up and I caught him sneaking a look back at me. I pretended not to see it, stood up, and continued walking, now a few meters behind the man.

Still, something didn’t feel right, and after only a few moments, I took off running. This is what is called, in dream universes, a bad idea. It’s like running from a dog that smells fear. As soon as I passed the man, he tossed away his paper and came chasing after me.

I don’t remember much after that. I woke up to find that it was only 12:30 AM (I had gone to bed around an hour before). I have no idea what events would have conjured up a dream like that, nor do I have any idea who the mysterious man was. I am the least paranoid person I know. Still, it got my heart rate up momentarily, but I managed to sleep pretty well the rest of the night.