The Station

Ha, it would be pretty cool to dream this place. I’m going to have to upgrade my dreams!

It always fascinates me how certain things show up in my dreams over and over again, with no apparent reason behind them. Obviously, there is one, but search me what it is.

I dream about train stations. I don’t know why. I’ve looked them up in the dream dictionaries. None of that crap applies to me. Subways, railways, elevated… historic or futuristic… it doesn’t matter. I dream about them. Sometimes, there are people; sometimes I’m alone. Sometimes I know where I’m going; sometimes I’m just there. Sometimes there are trains and sometimes I get on them.

Super Spy Girl was the first train station dream I wrote about here. And then later, I wrote about another in Late. Here are a few others I’ve had recently…

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Descending the escalator into the station, I’m immediately overwhelmed by the jumble of corridors, an underground labyrinth in which I will assuredly be lost. Where am I? Crap! I’m already lost!

Overhead I can hear the roaring turbines of a commercial jet as it taxies down a runway. The signs appearing now on the ceiling as I sink slowly beneath them show myriads of destinations and departure/arrival times. Crappy techno music assaults my ears. Unending announcements in a droning robotic voice echo through the corridors like electronic nasal congestion.

I hate this station. Three tiers of Traveler’s Hell. The only way to get from one area in the airport to another is through the nest of subway terminals beneath it, a spider-web of confusion every time I go through. And I’ve been through way too many times.

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I’m standing forlorn at the boarding gate. Steam belches up from the powerful black locomotive as its engine coughs, and the heavy drumming of its pistons climbs. It’s leaving and I’m staying. Stephen is on board that train now and there’s nothing left for me to cling to. I belong on that train. I feel I do. I belong with him.

The whistle blows loud and shrill, curdling my blood like a banshee’s wail. Two more coughs of steam, and the steady chug, chug as the engine lurches forward, slowly at first. I watch helplessly, arms wrapped tighter and tighter around my chest with each chug, as the giant metal monster steals my love from me.

At last, I stand alone in the empty hall, staring into the past. The angry reminder of petroleum grease and pitch wafts up from the tracks below, to mingle with the sickly sweet mixture of coal and iron in the steam.

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I follow Diane through the giant glass doors of the station. Bright sunshine gives way to the dimly lit building and I have trouble seeing. She’s pushing ahead at an impossible pace, but calling out to her is pointless in the crowd of people bustling past each other in both directions. I can see the gate ahead and she’s nearly at it.

Diane has my ticket. If I lose her, I can’t board the train. Someone steps on my toe and I trip a little. Damn it! These are nice shoes! I look down to inspect the damage and next to my foot is a piece of paper. It’s a ticket for the train. I pick it up and blink in disbelief.  “Anne Schilde,” it says on the receipt. It’s my ticket!

My hackles raise. Diane is nowhere in sight now. She’s trying to keep me off the train! Isn’t she going to be surprised when I show up in my seat! Only I’m suddenly stuck in a stampede of people funneling through one tiny turnstile, while the attendant stops someone with an invalid ticket.

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“Don’t lose your ticket,” you reminded me. I double-check it as I’m walking down the steps at the station. BART access included, it reads, and the fare balance looks correct.

The new high-speed subway, non-stop to San Francisco, won’t be leaving New York for another twenty minutes, so I have time to kill. Karen and Wendy are already in the waiting area according to the text message, and I can picture them huddled over Wendy’s laptop.

I pass a group of three blonde ladies huddled together chatting. A little blonde girl, about seven or eight, lies sprawled on the ground next to them with her arms and legs bent unnaturally as if she’s fallen unconscious, but the ladies don’t seem to care. I’m about to stop and help when the little girl sees me watching her and smiles at me.

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What crazy thing always shows up in your dreams?

© 2012 Anne Schilde

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About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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17 Responses to The Station

  1. For a while, I kept dreaming of this huge double door. That was when I was 10, so I don’t really remember much past that. Recently … my dreams are generally very weird, but they tend not to repeat. Sometimes I’m chasing Death Eaters through a mall, at other times I’m perusing a doughnut library. At least they’re fun 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      That’s cool! I get double doors sometimes, like the huge glass ones here, but usually wooden ones like on a cathedral. Haha, Death Eaters would probably chase me if I dreamed them. 🙂 My stations don’t really repeat either. The ones I see again, the dream changes. Like the escalator one, there’s one where I’m running through it and can’t find my way back out, and another where there’s this weird kid sitting alone on the benches eating a sandwich. Thanks for the comment!

  2. elaviel413 says:

    For some strange reason my ex-boyfriends keep making an appearance in my dreams. I’m not sure why. It’s a rare occurrence that my ACTUAL boyfriend shows up!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I bet you’re not alone in that! Stephen is definitely my generic every-ex. Maybe it’s just easier to remember what makes us uncomfortable. I dream in other languages sometimes even though I don’t speak them, and your poem in French reminded me a lot of another train station dream I had.

  3. yazrooney says:

    I read some psychology literature once (gestalt, I think they called it) where you had to analyse your dreams by BECOMING everything in your dream. When you did this, you felt emotions….its all a bit complicated and I’m explaining it poorly. Try looking it up some time (perhaps google ‘gestalt your dreams’) when you’ve got nothing better to do. It’s fascinating stuff, and you really do get to understand your dreams!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Haha, becoming the train station sounds like a challenge, especially since it’s kind of a moving target, bouncing all over time and space. I’ll have to take the time. Thanks.

  4. TheOthers1 says:

    I haven’t had one in a long time, but I had a series of progressive pregnancy dreams. I was having twins and it went from conception to watching them in a cradle in a months worth of dreams. Quite odd.

  5. That reminds me that there was a time when I was about 5 I would dream of standing on a bridge and watching the sunset every night. I think it happened three days in a row. And I never forgot it. Then the past few years showed me that in my dreams there’s a particular bus station that is in the desert and I always have to take the bus there if I want to go home but buses are so rare over there!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      That sunset dream fits right in there with this week’s Pictre It & Write doesn’t it?! I never really dreamed bus stations, just trains. I wonder why your station is in the desert. That’s different.

  6. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    “Don’t lose your ticket” seems to be meaningful, to me. Do you have a key/clue/idea on something that you’re not using yet?

    I personally like to analyse some of my dreams online. You should try it, Anne, it’s good!

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I’ve lost the keys in my hand for an hour before. 🙂 It was my roommate who said that in the dream and she’s always telling me not to lose stuff. I’ve done lots of reading in the on-line dream analysis stuff, but unless my life is constantly at some kind of crossroads, I don’t think their take on the stations means much.

      I tend to think of dreams as memories. It’s difficult for me to explain them any other way. In the dream I mentioned to Jenna for example, I’m about 20 but elegantly dressed. I’m walking aimlessly along a wooden platform waiting for the train to arrive and listening to announcements… all in French. I couldn’t repeat any of it, because I don’t speak any French, but I can tell you it was all random news stuff that had nothing to do with the trains. The clothing is from 1880s, as is the picture I had in my head of the train even though it never arrived in the dream. My memories? Probably not originally, but they are now. That was more than a year ago and I still remember it as clearly as if I was there yesterday.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        That’s so interesting Anne, re the speaking French.

        Actually, I did see a report recently that dreams are the subconscious just putting all the images & captures of the day into “order” or place.

      • Anne Schilde says:

        I would be so there… except it would mean my days were sometimes centuries ago!

      • Anne Schilde says:

        I’ve been writing my dreams down long enough to believe the relationship with reality is both a cycle, and a symbiosis. I stopped trying to analyze them two years ago, and started just letting them tell you stories. 🙂

  7. Tanitha says:

    Dreams about train stations… Maybe your subconsious is trying to make a decison about where to go? Or maybe you feel like you’re about to start a journey, or watch someone else start theirs? Weird, though. I love dreams, they are so intresting and weird. Apparently if you dream about a crowd then everyone in the crowd is a real person that you saw in the street, or on the train, and your subconsious ‘saved’ it to your memory.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Honestly, I think my stations, like the one you wrote about, have more to do with either the bustle of people, or the lack of people coming from or going to the same place I am, if that makes any sense. As for real people… hard to explain the stations I’ve seen with people from other countries and from other centuries!

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