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Murder in Hayward

Dreamed 2002? 03? by Anonymous #5.

THE DREAM

When I was 17, I dreamed my family lived in Hayward, California (we really live in Fremont, five miles away). I came "home" to find flies buzzing everywhere. No wonder. In each room, one of my relatives was chopped up and the bits of their bodies were piled in a corner, with flies buzzing round them. I distinctly remember being able to smell rancid death and urine like whoever killed them made them pee and poop on themselves first. And as I walked through each room I could see pieces of flesh hanging on the door knobs; but nearly all the blood was in the piles of diced-up bodies.

I was saddened by all their deaths, but but what really devastated me was that my mom was gone. I started crying in grief, but fear too--I felt like the murderer might come back. So I ran outside... and about that time I woke up. More or less... even though I seemed awake, I still felt like the murders were real! I ran into my mom's room and hugged her, but I still felt like she'd died.

In fact, for three days after that dream, I still felt like I'd lost my family--even though they were right there around me.

AFTERNOTE, 2006/08/23

I don't recall ever going to this part of Hayward. But a few years later I went down this street in Hayward, and it was the exact same one as in my dream. Crazy!

--Anonymous #5

EDITOR'S NOTES

This dream left no physical traces (a very rare and controversial dream-type I've dubbed "Natalian"), but its emotional traces lasted days--a persistent conviction the dreamer's family really had died even as they stood there alive. Strange, yes?

Most of us have had dream-feelings outlast a dream by minutes or even an hour or two, but that can easily be dismissed as a biochemical oddity--the last traces of the sleep-state still clearing from our systems, or a compelling dream leaving a strong mood. Let's call them sticky dreams. But this extraordinary persistence for days in the face of clear proof to the contrary... is something else. And the reality of that Hayward street, too, suggests something beyond a simple sticky nightmare.

My apologies to William of Ockham, but the only "explanation" I can come up with is as weird as the data. It's as if this dreamer picked up a parallel world much like ours, in which the family's house-choice was very unlucky. The persistent feeling they're dead would then be due to lingering contact with an alter ego who really was orphaned like this. While it troubled this dreamer, such contact may have been a comfort to that orphaned self in that parallel world--perhaps the orphan dreamed (and felt for days after) that the family was still alive, if living in an unfamiliar house... because, in a parallel world, they were. Worth considering, the next time you have a compelling contrafactual nightmare. Are you comforting another you, even as your double troubles your peaceful life?

Note the parallels with conventional religion. "They're living in a better world now." Though I've driven through Hayward too; and with all due respect to its Chamber of Commerce, Hayward is not Heaven.

Or is it? Maybe that's all Heaven and Hell ever were. What if all our traditional notions of souls, afterlives and spirit worlds are due to weak interactions with parallel worlds, parallel selves? Yes, it involves your accepting two big ifs: the many-world theory, and the possibility of ESP of some sort--a quantum entanglement of observers, as if we and our parallel-twins were huge particle-pairs. The casual reader will find this two wacko ideas too many; but most experienced dreamworkers will have experienced enough predictive or telepathic dreams to be open-minded about that; it's really not that rare, regardless of your explanation for it (or lack of one).

The plausibility of parallel worlds? We'll just have to see.

Source: Iris Alroy's surreal dream site, http://www.irisalroy.com/dreams. Dream and dreamer are unnamed there; Murder in Hayward and Anonymous #5 are only my names of convenience for searching and indexing.

--Chris Wayan



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