Yesterday morning, I woke up, and frankly, it pissed me off! I was in the middle of a fantastic dream, and I did not want it to end. I rolled over and literally mumbled, “Damn it,” under my breath.
“What’s wrong?” Tom asked.
“I was having such a vivid dream.”
“I never remember my dreams. What was your dream about?” he asked.
I proceeded to tell him.
“We were in the living room watching television and it was a NASCAR race but it wasn’t. It was more like watching NASCAR and the Olympics. Bob Costa interrupted to tell a human interest story. The music playing in the background was both inspirational and uplifting. He interviewed Kyle Busch. On his car on the left hand bumper he had recently placed a small bumper sticker. It did not represent his sponsors or anything to do with NASCAR. It was simply a white rectangle, outlined in a thick blue, and in the center in bold red letters, it said FREEDOM.
“He then went on to explain that he had recently been on a trip to the Middle East to visit troops and he saw the squalor, the decay, and the travesty of a region hit hard by war, hit hard by people fighting for rights. He went to visit the troops and show support for what they did, but in the long run, he felt that he was the one who benefited from the visit. He told Costa that he understood how privileged he is to be a United States citizen, and he, maybe for the first time in his life, understood the value of freedom.
“As he was talking, the footage on the television went from a studio with Busch and Costa talking to footage of our troops in the Middle East and footage of cities hit hard by war. With the patriotic music playing and the passion in Busch’s voice, I got goose pimples– something that always happens when I feel patriotic.”
“Wait,” Tom interrupted. “You really remember all of this? You’re not just making this up?”
“No, it is as if it really happened,” I told him.
“Do you remember more?” he asked.
“Yes.” I continued. “I looked at you next, actually, and you had taken off your ball cap and you looked…. I don’t know how to explain it…. inspired, I guess. And then, as with many dreams, the scenery changed. We were at a race track. It was loud and I could feel the rumble of the engines in my belly. I could smell hot dogs, and everywhere I looked, people were in lines trying to by “Freedom” bumper stickers.
“I said to you, ‘We need to get in line before they run out.’ But, the race was running and we wanted so desperately to go watch. We decided to return to our seats, and on our way to our section, we passed a concession stand without a line, and I saw the sticker on the wall. ‘Wait!’ I said to you, and I walked up to purchase the sticker. Suddenly, I had a craving for M&M’s.
” ‘Can I help you?’ the concession worker asked.
” ‘Yes, I need a “freedom” sticker and a bag of M&M’s,” I replied.
” ‘Did you just say you want M&M’s?’ he asked. His eyes grew wide and a giant smile crept onto his face.
” ‘Yes, please.’
” ‘Ma’am, you won! You won the grand prize!’
“He shoved M&M’s and the sticker at me, and suddenly, we were being escorted onto the track and into the pits. We were actually in the pits! The cars were racing by and it was so bright and loud and colorful, and all the pit crews were clapping and smiling as we walked by. I could feel the excitement build as we neared Busch’s pit, and by this point, all I wanted to do was shake his hand.” I stopped.
Tom was sitting up and staring at me, seemingly on the edge of his seat.
“So what happened?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I woke up.”
“Oh,” he said. His enthusiasm deflated and he plopped back onto his pillow.
“Now you understand why I said ‘Damn it?’ “I asked.
“Boy, do I. If I dreamt like that I would never want to wake up.”
“I dream like that all the time. I love sleeping because it is my alternate reality where I lead a really interesting life. The best part is, it is a melding of all the things I was thinking about before I went to bed.”
“Right,” he said. “I told you we pulled Kyle Busch for the race. Carson and I are going to the race, and we just watched Olympus Has Fallen.”
“Yep. It’s fun, really.”
“I’m impressed you knew he drives the M&M car.”
I furrowed my brow. “I didn’t. The only car I ever knew was Tony Stewart and the Home Depot car. And I know he doesn’t drive that anymore.”
We looked at each other in disbelief.
“Huh” is the only comment either of us could muster.