Last night, I dreamed a bizarre and frightening end. I don’t usually remember my dreams (though psychologists tell us we are always dreaming, even when we don’t remember). Of course, what I do remember is fragmentary.
I remember someone saying something about a nuclear blast. So I look up at the sky, and see what look like clouds in the shape of a mushroom cloud, much like all those films of above ground nuclear testing in the South Pacific. I said, “They’re just clouds!” Then there was a flash of light, and my heart started palpitating.
Next I recall huddling up close to the foundation of a house, while the firestorm of the explosion rushed by. Everything gets blurry at this point. Did any of my friends survive? No one who was with me at the moment of the explosion survived, but eventually there were other people, I think.
Was the explosion a single bomb over New York City, or had other cities been affected or attacked? Was only New York destroyed, was the entire world in ruins? These questions were never answered in my dream, but it seemed like everyone wanted to know, and no one did.
There were questions about what to eat, whether things were poisoned with radiation. Eventually, everyone decided that everything had been tainted, so there was no point in trying to meticulously ferret out safe foodstuffs. I guess it was a matter of eat the poison or starve to death, though no one ever said this out loud, that I recall.
Finally, I was alone, swimming naked in cold, clear water; the light refracted along the bottom was the color of the sky. I knew it was contaminated with radiation, but I dove in anyway and swam among ice formations that looked like human skulls.
That’s when I woke up and wondered why I keep dreaming of nuclear holocausts.
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