05 September 2020

No Appointment Needed

Last night—well, this morning literally—I dreamed I was hanging out in a large room somewhere—it might have been some kind of restaurant, or a lobby, or a waiting area at an airport. The place was packed with people, all of them animated and engaged in lively activities. There were children digging in the sandy floor, there was a woman breast-feeding her baby, there were groups engaged in discussions and games as far as the eye could see. At one distant point there was a door by a kind of desk with a register, and periodically somebody would come through it and call out a name. Somebody—I assume the person who was being called, would go over to the desk, sign something, and disappear through the door.

I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, since I wasn’t waiting for an appointment or anything I knew of. Everything seemed bright and peaceful and kind of mellow. And then a young woman came through and called my name. I thought it had to be a mistake, but she was looking my way, so I went over cautiously, with an increasing sense of dread.

“Sign here,” she said, pointing to a space in the open book. My name was printed there, right by a blank line for me to sign. I hesitated for a long moment. “Oh, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” she assured me. “It’s nothing new to you. And it happens to everybody sooner or later.”

“What is it?” I asked. “What’s on the other side?”

“Nonexistence,” she said.

I bent down to sign—and woke up.

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