Thursday, 21 July 2005
Last night I had an absolutely incredible Tornado dream. It was a really good one, and it was especially good because it never strayed into abject fantasy like so many of my other ones did. And this one actually had a sense of urgency and menace! Too often my tornado dreams aren’t scary.
In this one I was at a party with about 100 guests at this really big house. I know that Carrie was there, and my Dad and Susan and I’m pretty sure all of Fools Play and most of its regular audience. The house seemed to be located somewhere in the Kent/Auburn valley (where a surprising number of my tornado dreams take place). There was a lot of empty land around it, except to the south was a chain-link-fenced in area that had really tall grass and a lot of junked machinery in it. To get to the house you had to drive over a wide wooden bridge that spanned a shallow dry riverbed. All the roads in view were just dirt, but wide enough to be two lanes.
For some reason at one point I left the party (I think maybe someone had pissed me off and I needed to cool down, but I don’t remember that part–just a feeling I have) and walked down the road, over the bridge, and turned left towards the parking lot (gravel & dirt, no lines) of the junk place. As I was walking over the bridge I noted to myself at how menacing the sky to my right looked. The clouds were really low and moving pretty fast, and they were the same dirty brown as the roads.
I’m not sure if I called him or if he spontaneously came to get me (or someone told him to), but my dad drove out to the parking lot where I was and picked me up in his old 1989 Taurus. As we were driving back we looked to the left and we could actually see the tornado starting to form very nearyby in the dry riverbed. I urged my dad to go a little faster over the bridge. When we got back to the party house it was completely empty. There was nobody on the back porch, either. And the tornado looked like it was heading straight towards the house. Well, shit!
We finally found that if you went out on the back porch and turned left around the house there was a door that opened onto a staircase that led down to a massive, windowless cellar beneath the house. But all 100 guests could in no way fit in the cellar, so they were crowding the steps all the way back to the door. Carrie had saved me a place about ten feet down the stairs (the stairs were really long, and curved to the left), but the stairs themselves looked really rickety and I didn’t want to be standing on them if the tornado hit. So I moved us over to the wall so we could stand on the actual wall instead of the stairs. That way in case they collapsed we wouldn’t fall.
At this point the dream gets muddled, and I think I woke up once or twice, but basically the tornado passed by the house with no damage. Sometime around this time my dream people tried to invent another, gigantic tornado way off to the north, but that was thankfully soon dropped.
The next day I went down into the dry riverbed and you could see the circular scar on the ground from where the tornado first touched down. It was about seven feet wide, and after a couple of bounces it turned into a solid scar about three feet wide that went straight down the middle of the riverbed. I followed it as far as I could, until I got to the chain-link fence. I could see where the tornado had parted the tall grass inside.
It was really, really cool.
I hope I never have to experience a tornado in real life, but for some reason one happens in or near Tacoma every couple of years (most recently a funnel cloud formed and threatened a tornado, but it never developed).