I remember when I was growing up I had a recurring dream that always woke me up. It wasn't really a nightmare, but more of a dream I wished I could've controlled.
It always started out the same way: me struggling to reach for the surface in a clear-blue roaring river. I'd pop to the top, breathe in some fresh air, and realize I'm quickly being taken downstream somewhere. As I looked to where the river was heading, I'd see things from an aerial view somewhere behind me and take in the whole scene. There was a ridiculously high and straight waterfall which I was about to head over, and the landscape beyond stretched out in all different shades of green with a river winding through it, mountains in the background, and the sun setting behind it all. Sort of breathtaking.
Then I'd be back in the viewpoint of a half-drowned kid about to go over a waterfall and I'd sort of launch over the edge, just out past the rest of the falling water. I would try to flail about, grab onto something stable, or even look for something to save myself, but all of my muscles had completely stiffened up. I was stuck there, tumbling through the air in front of a waterfall in a half-fetal position, screaming obscenities through a mouth that wouldn't move.
It was really strange, and I would always wake myself violently, bolting upright in bed and gasping for air before I would hit the water.
I haven't had that one since I was a little kid. The ones I've been having lately have been involving guns, and bad guys, and moral dilemmas. I'm either chasing or being chased. Or we're all in war on a hillside, or in the jungle. Sometimes it's just running through the city. Nondescript, just the blur of storefronts and buildings, trees and fences and crossroads, and the periodic checking over the shoulder.
Though, the other day I had one where I was at a large house in the suburbs with a stone horseshoe driveway. John Cusack came over, (we had plans to go for lunch) but instead of driving he arrived in his new personal helicopter. I was excited. He was excited. He really liked flying his new helicopter.
We took off for lunch, staying above the main roads and obeying all traffic laws. We stopped at stop signs, and waited for a red light to turn green before continuing. Apparently, it was only a private residential helicopter, not a commercial one. According to the FAA, I guess he had to adhere to the rules of the road while flying within city limits. I didn't get to fly it, but it was still fun. We got some sandwiches and had good conversation. John Cusack is a pretty cool guy.