Have you ever had a crazy dream? I don’t mean a nightmare. I mean something bizarre, something that makes you wonder what’s really going on in your own subconscious.
I was working on a project – I cannot remember what it was – and I ran out of supplies of some sort, so I walked down to the drugstore on the corner. As I was searching one of the aisles for the supplies I needed , another store patron passed in front of me at the intersection. Suddenly, a Pikachu hopped out of one of the shelves and started chasing after him.
Well, it was a dream, after all, so this seemed perfectly normal to me.
I immediately reached for my waist pouch to get a PokeBall and capture it. Who would not want a Pikachu? And besides, I could not just stand there and watch the poor guy get shocked. But then I realized: I was out of PokeBalls!
I quickly ran up to the front counter to buy one of the PokeBall six-packs that hang on the wall next to the candy and chewing gum. But when I got up there, there was a long line at the register. I joined the line, jigging my foot impatiently and craning my neck to see when it would be my turn.
After a few minutes, I began to hear chattering and giggling behind me and turned around. A gaggle of teenagers had gotten into line behind me. They were pointing and whispering, but I could not quite catch the tenor of their conversations. I turned back around and realized with a start that the line had moved ahead. A register was now open and I had not moved.
I started moving forward to an open register, but one of the teenagers tried to cut in front of me. I put out my arm to stop him moving forward.
“Nah, kid,” I said politely. “Wait your turn.”
The teenager grabbed my arm and started pulling on it, yelling, “He’s hurting a kid! This guy is attacking a kid!”
Now every eye in the store was looking at me. I jerked my arm out of the teen’s grip, trying my best to make it look like the defensive action it was. The store manager appeared as if by magic, assessed the situation with a glance, looked meaningfully at the teller behind the open register. Hoping, presumably, to forestall further incident, the teller at the open register called out, “This one’s open,” and waved the teen forward. The other teenagers standing behind me were a chorus of jeers, taunts, and profanity, but I studiously ignored them, patiently waiting my turn.
Taking pity on me, the store manager opened a new register and waved me forward. Another teenager tried to cut in front of me, but the manager said, “No, I’ll be with you in a moment. This gentleman is next,” and pointed at me. Gratified, I moved forward to make my purchase. As I was paying for the PokeBalls, the store manager leaned forward and whispered, “Don’t worry about them. They’ll be old and gray soon enough.”
By the time I got back to the shelves, the Pikachu had vanished. All the long walk home, I wondered where it had gone.
And then I woke up.
Look – I wish I had any idea what that dream was about. I don’t have children, and have very little contact with teenagers of any sort. I haven’t been into Pokémon since I was that age myself. I don’t wear a waist pouch either. I do have a couple gray hairs, but I’m not yet thirty. The whole experience was startlingly clear – lucid, one might say – and one of the strangest dreams I can remember having.
The best explanation I can come up with is: Don’t eat homemade quesadilla right before bed.