There are a lot of things I don’t remember about last night’s dream, but I do remember that I was living in a beautiful apartment in the city with some people I don’t know. I was walking down the street to my apartment, which was full of taxis and pedestrians. One of the men I lived with was walking behind me, as if we were headed home together. We saw a man whiz past us on a bike, and immediately heard a crash once he was behind us. A car had hit him, and I knew instinctively that it had killed him. Not wanting to see the gore of the accident, I ran away.
Next, as I was running into the safety of my apartment to shut the door behind me, I saw a tiger and a black panther, presumably zoo animals on the loose, run at one another and begin to attack each other in the street. I watched for a few moments, and then found myself in my apartment living room, where I could see through the window that there were two giant phoenixes flying through the sky, and a lion pacing on the balcony of my apartment. I was worried that the animals would attack us, but they never did. The apartment separated us from them, but the separation felt fragile, like it could be broken at any moment and the animals would break through the glass to get us.
Then, an old Hispanic woman, also living in my apartment, gave me money to buy books at a bookstore. I could choose anything I wanted, but I couldn’t think of any titles to books I wanted to read, so I looked around the store. A huge book, as long as my arms with thick, brightly covered pages, stood out to me. As I flipped through it I realized it was a reference book that held answers and explanations to all the things that I don’t understand in the world: slang terms, differing cultural traditions, why terminal illnesses have killed so many people in the last century. I bought the book with the money I had and took it home. I remember thinking as I pulled it out to read more later that I wish I had chosen something smaller and simpler. One by one the titles of all the other books I’ve been wanting to read came back to me and I wished I had bought them instead, fictional stories that have a beginning and an end and characters I can relate to, but I didn’t have the energy to return the book to the store.