September 16, 2001

Strange Visions

The night after the worst terrorist attack ever, I had a dream. I dream regularly these days. From time to time I’m not sure I dream at all. Other times I’m sure of it. A few weeks ago, I was telling Tabitha one of my dreams and she pointed out that I had recalled a color from my dream. I’d never realized I dream in color. My dream Tuesday night wasn’t about color. It was about pain. After watching CNN for 17 straight hours, furiously scanning web sites, cringing as I watched planes full of people smash into huge skyscrapers (full of people) and send the buildings crashing to the ground over, and over, and over, and over, and over again from more angles than I can remember… I dreampt one of my thumbs had been cut off.

In my dream I knew my thumb was gone. I didn’t know why it was gone. I couldn’t tell where it was. But it was definitely severed from my hand, probably by a knife. And it hurt.

I remember waking up. But only slightly. Transferring from sleep to that state where you know you’ve been dreaming about skiing, you know you’re awake, but you’re certain that you’re still skiing. I was certain I had no thumb. CNN was still on in the background. No doubt still showing every angle of the second building’s explosion over and over and over and over and over…

I was only partially awake for a moment. I can’t remember anything until I woke up the next morning. Except feeling uncomfortable. Feeling that when I awoke I was going to have to deal with the absence of my thumb. (Can you type without your thumb? Use a mouse? Drive your car? Brush your teeth? Probably. But it would be annoying.)

I woke up. I thought of my thumb. I had to know. I held out my hands, placed the thumbs side by side. Same length. Both there.

CNN played on in the background. It was the day after. America was bloodthirsty. Their thumb had been cut off. And they wanted vengance. I just wanted to understand. Why? CNN still isn’t answering that question.

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