I had a dream not long ago.
I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
In my dream, a tree had fallen on me.
I remember it slowly bearing down as I wriggled.
I remember the squeezing sensation of my skull approaching its cracking point.
But, most of all, I remember the horrible flight of hope.
The certainty that someone would rescue me melted.
My cries for help caught in my throat.
Then came the irreversible knowing: a freak accident death, a random unfinished end.
My life had no special purpose.
I was embarrassed to realize I’d always thought someday I would do something significant.
Whatever that means in a temporary, unfeeling universe.
I didn’t matter enough for any entity in the cosmos to intervene.
I breathed deeply, trying to glimpse the sky because I would miss it the most.
I woke up relieved, and in horror.