Weirdness & Storms

Okay, my dream geography is getting weirder and weirder.

I suppose that’s normal for dreams.


So in this dream I’m in Richmond Indiana, where I spent some formative years. This Richmond isn’t that Richmond. DreamRichmond has a highlands north of town with a bunch of little hotels and strip malls along a highway, and the city itself is in a low valley. There are a bunch of interstate junctions (I-74, which used to be US 40 in my dream, and I-13, which I think I’ve made up, and I-70, which is real) and tons and tons of traffic. But it is Richmond. I know that.

I’m staying in a hotel on the highlands near one of the highways, with a team of other people. We’re doing some kind of project in the downtown, which is a preservation area with old Victorian buildings and small-town shopfronts and so on. For some reason I’m out driving and there’s a horrible, horrible storm. I can see it coming as I’m going down the steep hill past the lake — you know, a huge broad lake that looks like an ocean, the kind of lake Richmond doesn’t have — towards the downtown.
Like this, only scarier.

There’s a big dark blue-gray sweep of angry clouds dropping rain in a veil behind me, and there’s a tornado in that rain. I can see it swirling down and around and getting closer and it’s all but panicking me. The weather catches up, and it’s much too nasty to drive, no visibility, pounding rain, lightning, thunder, and I’m scared so I stop at the first chance I get.

The only place I can stop is a casino, one of many all in one area — you know, the casino district Richmond doesn’t have — and these buildings are all in a big curving row like a huge wall of brick and neon lights that go on beyond where I can see them. All of them have little pull-in areas like hotels, but no one wants to let me park, so I park illegally across from the entrance of one and go inside. The first is an MGM casino, the next a Harrah’s. I know this because I go wandering through the buildings, which are all connected.

Hardly anyone is inside, and it’s eerie, so I keep walking because for some reason I’m not allowed to stay in any of the places until I reach this one little cafe-like area where a bunch of ill-dressed vagrants are hanging out drinking coffee and waiting for buses that never come. They keep grumbling about it.

I finally get reception on my cell phone so I can call for a pickup, and one of the guys on the team comes to get me and we retrieve my car, but it takes us a long time to get back because of all the storm damage, and it’s now freezing cold.

And then I wake up to Paul’s alarm clock. Is there a deeper meaning to this dream? Unlikely. It was entertaining, though, and I keep thinking about it. There’s probably a story in there, somewhere.