I dreamed I was running along a busy beach, barefoot and late afternoon. As I ambled along, people would cast glances at me and smile or laugh, but I didn’t feel derided or upset. I knew I was the butt of some unknown joke, but it felt like teasing and not mean-spirited. I returned back the way I came, up a hill that fed into the beach and sand. There was a house there full of friends and bustling with people. These weren’t friends I knew or recognized in waking life, but my dream self knew them well. I convinced them to join me in jogging by the water and as we made our way back, the sun was setting, and blue sky had been replaced by a light dusk.
I heard voices start rising as we went down the hill and suddenly colorful lights were spilling over the beach and something was creating a pulsating light, an aurora borealis by the ocean. I looked down and there was a large track running through the sand and moving back and forth in it was a giant fish, built like a bus, writhing and inviting, and the source of the glowing lights. People were excited, drifting toward it and its strange beauty. It was definitely a fish and alive, but it was built for land.
I had the bursting, egg shell-breaking realization that I’d seen this before. This turned unsettling when I told myself that if I had seen it before, why wouldn’t I remember it? It dawned on me that the behemoth fish was hypnotizing people and drawing the people towards it. I turned back to the house at the top of the hill, screaming at my friends, trying to break them out of their stupor, as I tried to run back, but the ground started shifting, slanting, making us slide to the fish bus. That giant fish, somehow gliding on the tracks it had made, gray and blue, light spilling from glassless windows, a half open mouth full of gray coral teeth, and a terrible unblinking eye.
It was terrifying and inescapable and I woke with the realization that I didn’t want to go anywhere that bus would take me.