My sleep was chock full of dreams last night.
Zombie politicians, a giant storm, a cast of 20 people who I seemed to know the names of (though none of these people had analogs to real-life people), and a fight at the mall.
The fight stood out the most for me. The location looked kind of like a combination of Eastview Mall back in Victor and The Galleria in Middletown. Big glass wall behind me (like the food court in both places) and I decide to take a load off on one of the benches. I’m dressed kind of nice, as if I just had an interview at a department store.
I’m on one side of the bench, and three guys come by and sit down next to me. Crowding me, actually. The dude next to me basically shoves his elbow into my side. I slide over a bit, and he follows. He digs me with an elbow again. I look over at him, getting irritated.
“What are you, 16?” He says to me.
“23, actually.” I’m looking right at him the way a male mammal challenges another. I’m not looking to fight here, but I’m certainly not going to back down. It’s his move.
“You got your little goatee, you’re dressed for church…” he shoves me and laughs. The two others follow. I decide this is going to be ugly if I don’t leave now. I stand up, and as I start to step away, I’m tripped. Now I’m pissed.
When I stand back up, he’s already standing and sneering at me. “Gonna do something?” He asks.
I’m nervous now. I haven’t been nervous in my dreams for a while. I’ve fought zombies and crimson cats, but I haven’t had to go up against a human in a while. Because this felt so real, I wasn’t even sure that I could defend myself. This kid was big…a few inches taller than me, for sure.
My confidence wasn’t shaken completely, but this felt like a real fight. I wasn’t a warrior without the god-like terror that guides me through my superhuman fights with zombies.
He shoves me. I take it and stand my ground. “C’mon, pussy,” he says. I don’t want to hit him, but this is accelerating so fast. Now he comes in with a big swing. I put an arm up. He’s half-blocked and half-connected, but it doesn’t hurt at all. I don’t feel a thing.
The nervous feeling subsides and my confidence returns. If that’s all he had in
his punch, it’s not going to take much for me to end this. This fight is unique among the dream fights I’ve had lately. I’m not fighting a monster or an undead minion. This little scuffle isn’t a matter of life or death. I’m not getting the same surge of adrenaline that I had in my previous dreams, which is probably a good thing.
I don’t want to tear this kid limb from limb. I don’t even want to hurt him. As annoyed as I am by this sneering macho archetype, I don’t want to fight at all. There’s no anger or vengeance in me. That’s a very calming feeling–knowing that in a confrontation in my dreams, neither fear nor rage are my first instincts. I just want the fight to be over.
He’s right on top of me now, and he takes a wild swing at my face. Too wild. No power at all. I actually catch the punk’s fist and hold it while throwing a single punch from my left.
This one connects, and when it happens I know it’s the only one I’ll need.
Now he stumbles back, holding his cheek. No blood. I’m relieved by that; I’ve never thrown a punch at a person in real life, so I don’t know how much damage I can actually do. The kid falls over and starts to heave.
Apparently I made him puke. His friends aren’t helping him at all, so I lean over, turn him to his side, stand up, and grab some nearby napkins. I help him clean up a bit and pat him on the shoulder. He looks up at me, glassy-eyed.
“You alright?” I ask him. “I didn’t hit you that hard, man.” He looks okay, but he’s certainly ashamed.
I’m satisfied with the outcome…I didn’t hurt the kid, but I embarrassed the hell out of him in a mall food court. Next time he’s going to think twice before picking a fight with a stranger.
The best part about the whole situation is how I felt in the dream–before, during, and after the confrontation…
Before the fight, I wasn’t quick to temper. I was irritated, but I tried to avoid the fight. I didn’t want it to happen.
During the fight, I was calm. Certainly kind of pissed, a little nervous, but not scared to death and not looking to tear anyone’s spleen out. I felt balanced. I wanted the confrontation to be over with just enough force to end it.
After the fight, I felt bad for the kid. Yes, he chose to pick on me; yes, he had a few chances to let it go, but when it was over I felt more like his big brother than his enemy. I helped the kid clean himself up; I was concerned about him; I wanted to make sure he was okay.
So for a dream about a fight, I exhibited some very wonderful and noble qualities in the heat of the moment. It was a very cool experience. Very cool.