I woke up towards morning with worries about my profession. I tried to turn my thoughts towards other things - about how happy I should feel, atleast, about my marriage. Then I gradually fell back to sleep.
I dreamt that I was in the apartment of Donny Smith, my friend from middle school who died when we were around 13 years old. In the meantime, the apartment had been transformed into a computer start-up company. There were three or four guys working there, maybe 18 - 25 years old. The place was a mess, with lots of noise - a hectic environment.
I didn't work here but still had a right to be here. I thought to myself, if they ask me what I'm doing here, I'll say that I know the owners of the apartment. I thought it would be interesting to meet Donny's parents again after all these years.
Then, everything shifts, and I find myself with Pam Rogerson, my girlfriend from that same time, when we were around 13 years old. I haven't seen her for twenty-seven years. We are embracing, so happy to hold one another. I can feel her smooth blond hair against my cheek. And then, to my great surprise, I can smell her scent again - her very particular and unique scent. It is still there after twenty-seven years, even though I had forgotten it. There is something in that scent, something deep and mysterious, that drew us together at the beginning and is drawing us again together now.
The dream shifts. Now I am before two snakes, which have the appearance of two boa constrictors - except there is something ancient and primaeval about them. They act upon the most innate instincts of our species.
At the beginning, neither snake seems to be aware of the other. So I pull one snake over and shift it so it can see the other one. The moment the two of them make eye contact, they both rear up and their hoods expand, almost like cobras (though they are boas).
I immediately regret what I've just done. I wanted them to see each other. But now I realize that, acting upon their ancient instincts, they were avoiding each other. Because, once they acknowledge and confront one another, they have no choice but to immediately fight each other to the death. I regret that nature is so cruel, and instinct so directed.
But, as the two snakes confront one another, nose to nose, they scent that one is male and the other is female. Immediately, they coil round one another in a sinuous embrace. The instinct to kill one another is immediately replaced by the instinct to join together like this. I watch in awe.
But then, these primaeval serpents become aware of my presence. They acknowledge me. Though still entwined, the two of them open their mouths wide and pursue me. They want to swallow me whole. In great fear, I turn to escape. But, at that moment, I can see a rabbit near me. They can either kill and devour the rabbit, or kill and devour me.
And, within the dream, I come to a profound realization. I realize that I have been killed and devoured thousands of times on the way to my becoming a human being. I have forgotten this, but in the dream I am clearly aware of it, remembering it all. And so, the only difference between the rabbit and me is that I'm aware of death and rebirth, while it is not. I needn't fear being devoured by the entwined serpents.
At that moment, I wake up.