TAKING EACH OF US HOME - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

TAKING EACH OF US HOME

We all dream! Some people will tell you they don't but it's not true. We do dream, each and every night! A short time ago I was a victim of insomnia. It was brutal. For three nights, more than 72 hours, I was wide-awake. I watched every infomercial imaginable. I read every boring thing I could get my hands on.

Finally on the fourth night, at seven p.m., exhaustion took hold, and I fell asleep. I had the most unusual dream I have ever had. It was not your typical dream; one where you wake in the middle and you start a new one. I fell asleep a little after seven and woke twice during the night, at 10:16, and 2:06. This dream was more like a movie, bright colors; it continued from start to finish, not even breaking for the two short times I woke.

The dream started in the bowels of a New York City I had never seen before. I was in lower Manhattan and I noticed a young girl who looked completely out of place. I was immediately drawn to her. She had short, dark, shoulder length hair and an angelic face, with beautiful, intense brown eyes that will mesmerize anyone she encounters. I asked her what she was doing here and she just said she wanted to go home, but couldn't find her way. I could see she was frightened beyond words.

I decided to do my best to take her to Queens and out of a Manhattan I had never seen before. Once again this was not a Manhattan I had known existed. People lined the streets, begging, stealing, and killing one another. The streets were filthy; there was no law, no order. Cars, stores, were on fire and bodies lay in the streets.

This city made third world countries look like vacation retreats. My new friend and I couldn't take a bus, a train, or a taxi. We walked on and on, sometimes wanting to quit, and even give up, but we didn't. We encountered some of the most lost, frightened people you could imagine, all desperate in their own right. I never asked this young woman her name, at the time, and under the conditions we were in, it didn't seem to matter. And she never asked me my name.

On and on we walked up thru Manhattan until the 59th Street Bridge became visible. We both breathed a sigh of relief and soon we would be out of Manhattan, or so we thought. The strongest feeling in the dream was to leave Manhattan; it was not the place to be. As bad as it looked an overwhelming sense told me the worst was yet to come.

As we approached the 59th Street Bridge our hopes soon faded. The bridge was destroyed, cut in half. Military men were at the edge of the bridge and I asked if there was some way to cross. I pulled out some money from my pocket and the soldier glanced at it. He said he could only help one of us. There was no choice, my friend; the beautiful brunette with fear in her eyes would be the one to cross.

I handed the money to the soldier and I turned to my young friend. I asked her to promise me to have a good life, to never be afraid, never give up, and to make me proud. She began to cry and I quickly wiped her tears saying Now is not the time; you can cry when you're safe. I hugged her goodbye, she smelled like rose petals. I stood and watched for what seemed like an eternity for her to get to the other side. When she did she turned and waved, I think I saw her smile, at least I hope I did. I can't tell you what this means but as I knew my friend was safe and there was no place for me to go. The soldier then asked what I was going to do. I never said a word as I stepped up on the railing of the bridge and without hesitation I jumped freely. I was never at such peace. When I hit the water below a light grabbed hold of me and let go of my pain. I was lifted away, and in my heart I knew my friend would be fine, in fact more than fine. She would be happy and so was I. And I also knew I would one day see her again. And get to glance at her beautiful face, her eyes, and her smile. And at that time I would finally ask her name.

rhenry0726@comcast.net

September 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

September 2013 Table of Contents