Two Timing the Universe
Just in case someone googles that today. Long story.
So last night I had crazy insomnia. Every once in awhile this happens - even though I was tired as hell, it took me about an hour and a half to fall asleep. Then, at 4:30am sharp (a full two hours after I'd fallen asleep), I wake up like a nuclear bomb had gone off in my room. I get up, go to the bathroom, lie back down....continue to lay there. Stare at the ceiling for awhile. Roll over. Nothing doing.
Then I start having these semi-lucid dreams as my brain is racing 1000mph but my body is dead, and I distinctly remember that one of those dreams involved the bar next door catching on fire. The firefighters banged on my door and told me I should really get out of the house, just in case it spread. My roommate is traveling again, so I leash-up the dog, throw a spare set of clothes into a bag, and scan my room for the two or three things I need to grab just in case.
The iBook, of course, has my entire life on it, including all my photos, so that's a no-brainer. I grab my camera, not cause it's irreplacable, but because I'm strangely thinking it would be a good idea for me to take pictures while I'm outside watching the fire creep towards my house - insurance purposes, or whatever. Then I grab a silly stuffed animal I got when I was seven and have been dragging around since. Anything else I can't live without is in a fireproof box, so it stays inside. As I step outside my room, I'm looking directly in C's room and realize I have to call him before I leave. He doesn't answer the phone, and I guiltily rummage through his dressers looking for anything that looks like an heirloom. I grab some art off his wall that his uncle made, catch the dog again, and head outside.
It kind of ends there, but I vaguely remember sitting on the sidewalk across the street just watching the fire, hanging onto Chase. I don't really remember it being scary, but I seem to have a lot of dreams like that. Like, they're not really "nightmares," but just possible situations that my mind feels needs a plan of attack. Like I'm saving up disaster scenarios in my head.
I can probably blame my mother. She always had an earthquake kit fully stocked in the hall closet - with spare clothes, eyeglasses, canned food, a bunsen burner - the works. When I moved to DC and still had a car, she sent me directions to my aunt's vacation ranch in Montana in case I needed to escape a terrorist attack or something. This all makes my mother (and me, I suppose) sound really paranoid, but she's a tough military broad, so I think it's just needing to feel prepared for the sometimes harsh realities of life. If something crazy happens, we aren't going to be the ones running around wailing.
Okay, I actually had a point to telling you all about my dream. In real life today, I was gone most of the day and came home around 6:30pm. As I exit the metro, I notice a cop on 10th and U Street blocking traffic, and as I turn down U, I come upon a scene straight out of my insomniac brain. No less than two full-ladder fire engines, two ambulances, five or six DC cop cars, and two huge city buses are crammed in the intersection of 11th and U Streets - facing the direction of my house. I pause. And wonder if I have a new career giving Nostradamus a run for his money. Then turn out a full-tilt run down the block.
Luckily, the story ends well. I'm still not entirely sure what they were doing, but they felt the need to stop traffic between three full blocks to do it. I didn't see any fires or accidents, but it looked like there was some water coming from underground, so maybe a main broke - of course I don't know why that would require the ambulances and city buses. Maybe there was just some real crime in another neighborhood they were all trying to ignore.
I know one thing: I'm taking a sleeping pill tonight.