wake up call

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.