I Will Follow You Into The Dark

I had the most beautiful dream last night. Still, it scared me just a little bit.

I lived in Telluride, CO, a tiny mining-turned-resort town tucked nearly 9000 feet into a tiny corner of the San Juan range, during the summer between my junior and senior years in college. At 9078 feet, the Telluride Regional Airport is the highest commercial airport in the United States. I used to drive up there to look at the stars, but I never landed there until well after college (two weeks before I started at The MTV, as a matter of fact). As you can imagine, a runway tucked on the side of a mountain doesn’t accommodate very large planes. It’s mostly twin props and some small private jets.

In the dream, I’m in a luxury condo high above town. In fact, the vantage point of the dream is from the western edge of the box canyon where the terrain prohibits development. But it’s a dream, so anything goes.

I’m looking out over the valley from the front door. Way down a long, steep driveway, my family is packing to leave. An enormous DC-9 swoops in over my shoulder, banking left just above the tree line. I had three thoughts in the dream: ‘That plane is too low, too big, and banking too early to make the airport.’

It barely clears the pine trees in my front yard, when I see a man straddling the tail section. He’s nearly as large as the plane. And he’s naked. It’s like a da Vinci / Magritte mash up. It’s startling, and beautiful.

Still, the plane’s too low, too big, and banking too early. I’m anticipating a crash. Instead, just as the plane disappears below the ridgeline, our neighbors pull up in a station wagon. They’re frantic. Their youngest child, barely a toddler, is scraped up, and unconscious. They lay him down on the driveway, kneeling over him. I summons my mother, who is in fact, and in the dream, an RN. She attends to the child, and the hysterical family, and all is well.

Later, the drama has passed. I’ve come down the mountain to town for a beer with my father and brother. I’m telling them about a business trip that I arranged to hang out with my high school friends Jon and Sibby and in Telluride. My dad laughs, and says, “Good deal, if you arrange it.” And then it’s time for me to catch my plane. But once again (see Wednesday’s post), I can’t get to the airport. My car breaks down. I find a payphone, but my father isn’t answering. I’ve lost my brother’s number. Knowing full well that I’m going to miss my flight, I begin walking along the highway into the inky black night.

I wake up about seventy-five feet above sea level. It’s barely six o’clock. I can’t fall back to sleep. I start my day a little bit shaken.

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