I had a wonderful dream about a co-worker this morning! (No, not a sex dream, you wily things!) The reason the dream was wonderful is because normally, if I dream about co-workers, I dream about beating them up or seeing other bad things happen to them.
Yes, I work things out in my dreams. Sue me.
This morning’s dream was different . . . Not only was something bad not happening to the co-worker in question, but he was actually helping me out of a bad situation!
In my dream, I’m a paramedic with a partner. The partner is neither my real-life co-worker or anyone else I recognize. My partner and I are walking through the woods in winter with icicles hanging from tree limbs and snow on the ground, trying to find a lost child. There are others searching, too — I can hear their voices in the distance. The situation is dire — The child is presumed injured, and he’s been missing for 12 hours.
Hurry. He’ll freeze. Hurry. He’ll die.
My partner and I move further apart. The voices in the distance become faint. I an quickly covering ground, my eyes sweeping back and forth across the ground. Seeking. Searching.
Hurry. He’ll freeze. Hurry. He’ll die.
Eventually, I realize I’m alone. I can’t hear the others anymore. I stop moving. I look up. Clouds now obscure what little sunlight there was when we began, and a mist has begun to fall. Both conspire to eradicate all shadow and reduce visibility to maybe 25 yards. I’ve been looking at the ground so long that I’ve lost track of where I am. All I can see are trees, rocks, scrub. The wind increases, I stumble over nothing, and I realize that I tumbled out of the ambulance without my coat.
I’m cold. Too cold. Waaaaaay too cold.
I stop, close my eyes, and take stock of my physical condition. Violent shivering slowing as I focus on it. Exposed skin beginning to tingle. Arms and legs stiff. I manage to jam the back of my hand into my neck hard enough and long enough to warm up both pieces of skin without blocking blood flow to my brain, then I take my carotid pulse with the back of my hand. Slow. Irregular.
The adrenaline kept me from realizing.
I call out to my partner, to anyone. No response. I call louder. No response. I reach for my radio. I find the holster empty. Left behind? Lost? Doesn’t matter. I am out of sight of everyone else, and I am out of sight of where we began. I could be miles from anything or anyone. My shivering has stopped completely.
I scan the area for . . . What? What the hell was I just looking for? Possible sources of shelter, that’s it. I try to say “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs” out loud. I can’t recognize what comes out of my own mouth. Maybe better after a nap.
Can’t think. Can’t speak. Exhaustion. Trouble.
I scan the area again, and this time I notice a copse of trees that I hadn’t noticed before. I trudge towards them. Walking has never been so difficult. Breathing is difficult. I’m weaving and stumbling, all but throwing myself forward. I don’t even really feel so cold anymore.
Trees. Maybe shelter. Trees. Out of options. Trees.
Fifty feet from the trees, I notice some boulders inside. Twenty five feet from the trees I realize there’s at least two feet of ground coverings — pine needs, leaves, etc.
Between rocks. Break wind. Cover leaves. Maybe warm enough.
Ten feet from the trees, I stumble, fall, can’t get up. Prone, on my stomach, too stiff to stand, looking at the trees.
Oh, well. Nap time.
As I close my eyes, someone steps from the trees and moves towards me. An unknown time later, someone is dragging me. I open my eyes and see my real-life co-worker! Even in my degraded mental state, I know he’s not supposed to be here . . . That he’s from a different . . . Place? Life? Universe?
It’s okay, I’ve got you now. You’re going to be okay.
Drag. Drag. Smack! My head hits a rock. I don’t think he noticed. Drag. Drag. Drag. I try to help by pushing on the ground with my feet, but I doubt this is helpful. My eyes close again. Drag. Drag.
Here, can you crawl? I can’t push you. In there, can you crawl under there?.
I open my eyes again and see a pile of leaves . . . so large compared to me on the ground, but not even as tall as his chest. I flop and flail, trying to make my arms and legs move, trying to burrow into the pile of leaves. With his pushing and my flailing, I eventually make it into the piles of leaves. The leaves are apparently covering two large rocks, and he pushes me in between them. He burrows inside the pile of leaves with me. I realise that behind me a something thick and fabricky — A blanket? A coat? A piece of fluffy cloud? He pulls it around me, pulls me to his chest.
It’s okay, you”ll be okay, they’re already looking for us.
Slowly I realize that we are cheek-to-cheek, that he is wearing a heavy winter coat, and that it is unzipped. The fronts of our bodies are firmly in contact from head to feet. He’s pulled the other blanket/coat around me and has pulled its edges around us over the top of his own, creating a cocoon around us. I realize that the steady drumbeat that I had thought was my own blood in my ears is actually his whispered voice.
It’s okay, we’ll be okay. It’s okay, we’ll be okay. It’s okay, we’ll be okay.
Time passes. My brain begins to start working again. Eventually we hear my partner calling my name. I crawl out from under the leaves. I’m still clutching the fabricky thing. My partner is there when I finish crawling out of the pile, oddly looking past me towards my co-worker with an unfriendly look. Oh, my God, the kid!
How about the kid? Did they find him?
Well yeah, but what the hell happened to you? And who’s jacket is that?
I smile and look towards my real-life co-worker, but he’s nowhere to be seen. I realize that my partner was looking at me oddly, not at my real-life co-worker. I’m standing there, clutching a winter coat I don’t recognize, having just crawled from a leaf pile I didn’t construct, and wondering who or what just saved my life.
The dream ends here.
And I was real-life grateful this morning to see my real-life co-worker when I got to the office!