I don’t typically dwell on or write out my dreams, but last night’s really shook me, so I think this could help me process it. I’m not sure if it actually means anything, or if it can simply be written off by the two cans of Mountain Dew I had yesterday, or my current indulgence of Doctor Who, or the too-close-to-bedtime conversation I had with my roommate about what fears would appear in our fear simulation landscape (see the Divergent series). Whatever caused it, here it is:
I was a Roman centurion, standing before a brown statue about six feet in height. Someone was shouting orders, and another centurion and I were to take the relic away in a wicker chariot. As I mounted the chariot, I noticed that the statue was surprisingly light, as though it were made of thin metal and were hollow on the inside. Before my partner, who was to push the chariot like a wheelbarrow while I held the statue in place, was able to take off, there appeared before me a newborn infant – not yet a day old. The baby still had the blood of labor on it.
I felt an instant attachment to the child, almost as though I were its father in spite of my femininity. I held the babe tight as my companion in armor took off, chariot rumbling over the dark, grassy landscape. The jostling was intense, and my attempts to maintain the balance of both myself and the statue were futile. When the cart struck a particularly large bump in the earth, we flew out of its basket onto the soft earth. My partner, seeing that the chariot was a useless waste of time, picked up the brown statue and continued onward, carrying it effortlessly under his arm.
Though sensing I should follow, I brushed myself off and looked around for the baby. I saw it a few feet away in the grass, seemingly motionless. I hurried to it and knelt down, examining it. The tiny body was lying face-down on the earth, but to my relief, I saw its tiny lungs contracting. As I scooped the infant up, I was surprised by its sudden strength. The little body started pitching, as though all it wanted to do was to throw itself out of my arms and back onto the earth. I held the child as tight as I could, determined to keep it safe in my arms.
As I hurried after my centurion companion, I saw him approach a building – no, an elevator. He and the statue went inside, and instead of following, I took the stairs to the right. Still clutching the baby who continued to writhe in my arms, I descended. A strange feeling that this baby would die if I were to let it go overwhelmed me. At the bottom of the stairs, I looked into a room at my right and saw my mother sitting with a familiar man – a man whose face and identity I cannot recall in these waking hours. I walked in, convinced they would not be able to see me, for I was from ancient Roman history, and they were of the present. They both turned to me and the baby as I entered, however. I wanted to beg them for help, explain that if my tiring arms did not continue to resist the baby’s fight to fall, it would die. But my mother continued talking with the man. They spoke of me, a secret that I had not known my whole life, one that told how my own survival as a newborn was improbable due to some complication. The conversation was unclear, but I know that I was the topic of their discussion, that my existence was an anomaly, that perhaps if it had not been for some “miracle,” my family would look different – different children. I looked down into my arms, and the infant was gone.