Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 1, 2013

Apocalyptic dreams

Filed under: disasters — louisproyect @ 12:43 am

For the last 40 years at least, I have been having apocalyptic bad dreams. Sometimes they are so scary that I start shouting in my sleep, loud enough to wake my wife who then squeezes my shoulder to wake me.

Usually they involve monsters from outer space or natural disasters influenced no doubt by the movies I have seen.

Last night was a fairly typical one, differing only by the vividness of the detail. I was contacted by John Halle, an old friend who teaches composition at Bard College and a Green Party alderman in New Haven some years ago, about driving up to Bard to hear a talk by a “humanitarian intervention” figure like Samantha Power or Michael Walzer—I can’t remember who. Insofar as Halle is already up at Bard, it only made sense in dream-logic terms. We were going up the Taconic looking at Borscht Belt hotels that had mysteriously materialized along the road, a good 40 miles from their location in Sullivan County. I see these hotels in my dreams all the time. In my youth they flourished, now they are in ruins.

When we got up there, I had to procure a toothbrush and toothpaste because I had brought nothing with me. I went to the campus bookstore where such items were sold. When I asked the clerk to sell me the items, he started giving me an attitude. He was a bearded fellow with a British accent who played verbal games with me like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. After a while I lost patience with him and demanded that he sell me the items straightaway. I was a Bard alumni, I reminded him. As I walked out, I noticed that he did not sell me toothpaste but mouthwash. I felt deeply frustrated.

I drifted in the direction of where the “humanitarian intervention” person was speaking and then found myself in the pressroom. There were twenty or so reporters with headsets on looking into cameras or video monitors. Wow, I said to myself, this is going to be big.

Then, someone shouted out that there was a flood of biblical dimensions approaching. In an instant the rain started coming down like a category five hurricane. The rain was coming down horizontally and buildings were collapsing all around me. Next, the water started coming across the campus torrentially like a scene out of “The Day After Tomorrow”. This was it. The world was coming to an end.

Once a week I have dreams just like this. They haunt me.

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