Greatest hits: reunion dream

The mailing list of my high school graduating class was very lively in the months leading up to our 20-year reunion. One of my classmates wrote that she’d had a dream about the reunion. Here was my reply.

I’ve been to the reunion and it was great! […] Details are foggy of course, since it was all in a dream I had last night.

Hey, I’ve seen this movie. In the coming days you’ll remember a few more details, including a horrible event that takes place during the reunion, such as a murder or a gruesome accident. Slowly you’ll become convinced the dream was actually a premonition. This will be reinforced when you happen upon a crackpot university professor who persuasively confides in you his never-proven theory about the link between time and consciousness, and its implication that we can time-travel in our sleep.

You’ll become frantic trying to remember more detail from your dream in order to prevent the calamity. You’ll try to reproduce the conditions of your slumbering trip to the future, to no avail. Finally you’ll return to the crackpot professor, who has been trying and failing his entire career to send people through time via hypnosis. He tries it on you and soon you’re there, at the reunion that’s now just hours in the future…

The reunion is eerily familiar, but there are key differences from what you remember during your earlier visit. Someone’s white dress is now blue. A funny joke is told by a different person. An old crush who didn’t remember your name now does.

You roam the party in confusion until you recognize the elements of the calamity start to come together — a dropped glass, a raised voice, a distinctive laugh. You rush to the center of the action — and this time you’re the victim. But you’ve saved the life of the earlier victim…

…who awakes in the crackpot professor’s office in your place.

I see Julia Roberts as you…

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