Dream No. 4×10^8

Last night, I dreamed I was walking on the first street block in New York City which hadn’t been destroyed by the fall of the Twin Towers.

In my dream, I could see the huge hole where the buildings had been. In fact, workmen were still clearing the site. Meanwhile, I was being led around by a moustached New Yorker in a yellow vest. The street surface we were walking on was shiny as if it had been melted red. As we were going around, a tunnel excavator in the form of an enormous drill, started to drill its way up through the ground.

I’ve not long woken up, so I’m describing the dream now before it disappears back into my head. Or wherever dream vapours go.

I did catch a glimpse of the World Trade Center in real life – both standing and in ruins. I last went up to the top of the South Tower, the One World Observation Deck, in 1999. It was spectacular that day. Gargantuan, 50-mile view.

Three years later, Jack and I flew to New York in January 2002. We went to visit my brother, Martin, who was living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and my dad, who’d come up to see us from Washington DC.

We’d gone to the financial district and walked past the viewing platform for the World Trade Centre. It had a platform; this time where you stared down. Some people were milling around, while others were making their way past. There was a nearby notice board covered with missing posters. Have you seen my brother, my friend, my daughter, my dad.

I have no idea why I dreamed this dream. Zero reference to it, or anytime since the last September 11th. I never looked at the World Trade Centre hole that day either when we were visiting. We stayed on the other side of the street. It seemed disrespectful to go and stare. There were still human remains at the site. I remember it was still smouldering. Workmen were working. Machines were moving. Not sure about that huge drill though. That was probably confined to my dream.

There was another part to my dream too. I began noticing empty rooms on the other side of the street. The rooms were like modified shop windows, with dated furniture and patterned wallpaper. It felt like we were looking into a building that had been damaged in the Blitz. The New Yorker in the yellow vest explained to me that the inhabitants had run away during the attack and had never returned. A pair of broken glasses lay on a kitchen table.

That was it. Now I’ve written this dream down, I can’t forget it. I probably should forget it. But I don’t think I’m supposed to.

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