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Overhead, a 737 flies into the clouds, and close on its heels, another 737 disappears. They're only about 50 feet apart, so the inevitable occurs (at least in my dreams that involve planes) ... the planes collide in mid-air. The unusual thing about this particular dream is, since it takes place in a dense cloudbank, it seems as if the clouds are exploding. It's really quite fascinating to me ... Until flaming wreckage begins to rain from the heavens. At first it's very far away. However, each second, a new fireball descends closer and closer to me, and so I start to run away to ...
--Dream Log, December 21, 2000

I have always been both lucky and cursed to remember in vivid detail my dreams, and ever since I was a little boy, flying in jumbo jets has scared the hell out of me.

The images as presented in the above snippet from one of my dream logs here on E2 are the reason why.

All my life, I've had recurring dreams of 2 jumbo jets colliding with each other, or of 2 planes colliding into a very tall building, or of 2 planes first colliding with each other and then smashing into a tall building.

All.

My.

Life.

I used to laugh these images off as silly dreams, as a reflection of my own lack of control over my own life. I would joke about these dreams when people asked me why flying terrifies me. The irrational part of me whispers that my death will come as a result of a plane crash, that my dreams are a warning of what is to come, how I will end ... in one of the most horrible and horrifying ways I think I can imagine.

How can I possibly joke about these dreams ... dreams I have had for a long time, at least thirty years ... now? How can I possibly describe to you the almost religious horror and dread I felt looking at Wednesday's edition of the Los Angeles Times and seeing images ... images that are the same, the very same images that I've dreamed in my head all my life ... plastered over the front page?

How can I possibly tell anyone in a manner in which they'll believe me that I've seen this before?

I can't. I can't even explain the feeling to myself, fully. I don't know if my mind is playing tricks on me, in an attempt to somehow personalize this tragedy so I can understand it.

And yet ... and yet ... thirty years worth of remembered dreams. Vivid. Real. Terrifying. I always wake from these dreams with a terrible start, drenched in cold sweat, my heart thudding and pounding wildly as the adrenaline caused by my night time fears surges through my body.

I've even known for a long time now that at least one of the planes in my dreams, my nightmares, was owned by United Airlines.

What does this mean? It has to mean something, doesn't it? It didn't have to mean anything before Tuesday, but the world changed on Tuesday. Now ... do the images I've carried with me almost my entire life ... what do they represent now?

Should I have paid more attention? Should I have been more scared, less dismissive? Should I ... could I have done something? Are the dreams a warning? A reminder? A prophecy? A macguffin?

I can't get the images out of my mind. I can't stop seeing the exploding clouds. I don't know anymore what's real, and what's not, what's dreamed, what's remembered, and what's CNN.

I want to dismiss these images, these planes that always crash, these clouds that are always on fire, from my mind. I want to be rational, and rational people don't listen to their dreams, or assign any import to them if they do.

But then I hear stories, apocryphal and distorted, about how people dream about plane crashes that haven't happened yet.

I hear how in nearly every major jumbo jet crash, there's less people on board than expected ... as if some sort of psychic warning signal veers some people away from a date with death.

Consider that a 767 can hold up to 300 people each, and a 757 can hold up to 240.

But I don't believe these stories most of the time, no matter how credible they sound.

Now, though ... I don't know.

I don't know if I'll ever know.

Even worse, I don't know if the dreams will stop now, or get worse. Because if one dream can come true, is it not possible for another?

Finally, God held my hands and said "This is it!" and a tremendous rushing noise filled my ears, like the universe's largest wave crashing on the universe's largest shore.
--Dream Log, November 15, 2000

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