I was in my parents' garage outside of Philadelphia, idly searching for a bicycle pump to inflate the limp basketball I had tucked under one arm. My mother is Japanese, and I could softly hear her humming a Japanese lullaby (Yurikagono Uta) outside in the garden. I peeked out the window and saw her pulling weeds a few meters away, the sun casting dappled shadows through the trees above her. Still looking for the bicycle pump, I was surprised by my dad opening the door that led to the house from the garage. "Can you help me take out the trash?" he said, handing me a large black bin bag, stuffed and tied. I reached out to grab the trash bag, but just as I took hold of it something shocking occurred to me. "Dad!" I whispered, "where am I?"
My dad looked puzzled. "I'm in the Czech Republic," I said with alarm, "I just took out the trash in Mikulov last night! Remember?? I'm in the CzechRepublic! I'm not here at all!" My dad looked both surprised andconcerned that his son would say such a thing. "Really dad, remember?I live in the Czech Republic! This is a DREAM! This must be a DREAM!!!" And with that, my dad's face abruptly went blank, utterly devoid of all emotion, and he turned robotically and went back into thehouse, shutting the door behind him and by these strange actions confirming what I had suspected. I could no longer hear my mother's lullaby outside, and I knew that she was gone as well. Oddly, I felt this amazing sense of euphoria, as if I had cracked the secret code that held the keys to the universe.
"A dream," I thought to myself, and wentto pick up the basketball, which was now magically inflated. This I took as more proof that I was just dreaming, and I suppose that it was this whole feeling of lucidity that's made the dream so memorable - most dreams I have are full of bizarre happenstance, with buses turning into boats while I'm aboard and the thrill of huge floating leaps down sets of stairs, but I never really question the reality of whatever occurs while it is happening. This dream was marked by what seemed to be my normal waking ability to recognize abnormality when I saw it though, andthe sudden knowledge that although I seemed to be at my parents' house in Pennsylvania, I was actually still lying asleep in the Czech Republic utterly blew my mind. I think I tried pinching myself, or perhaps itwas a simple poke? At any rate, I woke up, feeling amazingly satisfied and disappointed that I hadn't done anything fun and crazy like flying around naked.
Jeff Taylor, Netherlands, 27yrs