4 am, Friday the 13th

I tell myself that it’s a dream and I can wake up. But I don’t wake up.

I have gone back to my apartment building, but I can’t find my apartment. It’s no longer there. Everything I own is gone — my clothes, my cell phone, my car keys. I have to call my daughter, I think. I can’t remember the last two digits of her phone number. But I don’t have a phone anyway.

I run down to the lobby. I don’t know anyone. I ask various people for help, but no one will help me.

It’s dark out now, and raining. I run out into the street, go into a store and ask for help. I ask them to call my daughter at ….. I can’t remember the phone number.

I am crying now, running down the dark wet city streets. I find a police station and run in, asking for their help. They ignore me. I go to reach for the phone on a desk, but I can’t remember the phone number anyway.

I run back out into the street, lose one shoe, keep running and crying,

Part of me says it’s a dream. You can wake up.

But I don’t wake up.

I run farther, shivering in the cold rain, without a coat, with only one shoe, and with no way to find a safe place. I run and cry.

I can wake up. I can wake up. This seems so real, but it can’t be real. I can wake up.

Eventually I do wake up. It’s just about dawn, and I am in my bed with my cat sitting on my head.

While I was in the dream, it was so amazingly real — the fear, the abandonment, the isolation, the cold rain. At the same time, I was watching myself in the dream, telling myself to wake up.

I wonder if I had been having my mother’s dream.