The Parking Lot

A couple nights ago I parked my car in a rather large lot. There were cars in rows upon rows as far as the eye could see, but I usually have a good sense of orientation so I didn’t think much about it at the time. I walked and walked until I reached the main building of the fair grounds. Inside I saw there were halls upon halls, some wide and spacious, and others long and narrow. All along every inch of wall of the halls and hallways was every kind of restaurant you could imagine. Everywhere I looked, people were chatting and eating and clinking glasses. I walked interminably. There were crowds of people walking around me. It was so crowded that people couldn’t help but brush against each other, but nobody complained and nobody seemed concerned about it.

At some point I had decided I’d seen enough of the fair and I wanted to go home. I back-tracked, turning left and then right through the warren of hallways as I had come. When I reached the place at which I had entered, I found a restaurant there. People were chatting and eating and clinking their glasses. The tables were densely packed but I was able to walk between them to the other side where there would probably be a door. I came to a wall with tables next to it but I didn’t see a door. I worked my way along the wall looking for a door leading into the kitchen where there’d probably be a back entrance. There was no door anywhere in the restaurant. I wondered where they got their food from.

The crowd of people that had been walking around me continued walking with me wherever I walked. They tried to help me find a door and offered me many suggestions, but none of them bore fruit. Their helpfulness was slowing me down. I didn’t want to be impolite but I started to walk faster down the hallway looking for other exits, until I started running. I had to get away from that cloying crowd.

There was no exit anywhere. I began to sweat. Then I heard what sounded like a news broadcast somewhere. Reality shifted ever so slightly and I found myself in a universe that made a little more sense to me. There had been another stabbing and a Palestinian had been shot. The x-ray technicians were still on strike. The Maariv bridge would be blown up at 6 a.m. this Friday to pave the way for the new Tel Aviv metro railway. A Palestinian prisoner under administrative detention was in the 60th day of his hunger strike and doctors feared that damage to his brain might be irreversible.

It was 7:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Yes, this was a dream. We all have them. They usually start out making sense and then develop their own logic along the way. They always seem logical at the time we are dreaming them, but after we awaken we judge them by a new more rational standard. I read an interesting article four months ago about what’s going on in our brains when we dream. See The Science of Dreaming, by Robert J. Hoss. I think Hoss wrote something like when we are awake signals flow in our brain from our perceptual circuitry to our memory circuitry, but in dreaming the signals flow in the opposite direction. I won’t go into why this might be happening this way, although that was also fascinating. Although Hoss made reference to the work of researchers Hobson and McCartney stating that dreams might result from our higher brain functions trying to make sense of the random electrical activity in our lower brain functions during our dream state, it occurred to me that our rationality and the sense of it might be hard-wired into our brain circuitry and not learned as we go along in life. The truth of P may imply Q, but the truth of Q doesn’t necessarily imply P. Maybe we’ll never be more rational than we are now.

Anyway, time to get up and face another day. Next time I’ll try to remember to tie a balloon to my antenna and drop pebbles along the way.

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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