Sep 2, 2003

This happened a few months ago, and though there's nothing earth-shattering about it, it wasn't very trivial too, and is something I will always remember for a long while.

Having had a late night at work on Friday, I came back home ready to hit the sack at the earliest opportunity. Before I nodded off, there was just enough time for my father to remind me that an agent would be coming over for some paperwork to do with some investments, and that she would in all likelihood be coming at about 4 pm on that Saturday evening. Immediately after which, I had one of the moments which Enid Blyton would've described as "he dozed off the moment his head hit the pillow".
And then came the dream.

I remember being woken up, probably by my mother. I look around, but nothing registers fully; there's a mass of fuzziness around the sides. Somehow I manage to look at the clock: I think it says 1:00. The next thing I remember is I'm walking, I think the agent has come and is sitting in the living room. I know I'm groggy, as if drugged, but I somehow walk to the living room, footsteps following an instinct for a familiar route rather than being guided by any vision (which seems to be malfunctioning). I nod at the person with the papers: she points to two that I need to put my signature on. I scrawl the signature on the first, it has just about come out decently. I know I have to sign again, and in a moment of clarity, I wonder if I would be able to scrawl it exactly the same way. It took all the miniscule amounts of concentration at my disposal to put the strokes and dots that constitute my signature. The fuzziness is now complete, having drained all my conscious energy.

I wake up, I have overslept and the time is 11:00. While brushing, the dream that I had slowly filters in. I can remember three basic aspects: the walking, the signing and the time. Obviously, the 1:00 had to be p.m. rather than a.m., further strengthening the fact that it was really a dream, and how I managed to make two signatures consistent with each other was the highlight of the dream for me. Other stuff happens and drives the dream out of my immediate thoughts.

It's 4:30 pm and the agent hasn't arrived. I'm impatient because I have to go out. I complain to my parents and ask how long it will be. They take one look at me and say: "Well, don't you remember? She's already come and gone in the morning at 9.00 am". Phooey! So it wasn't all a dream, it really did happen.

Thus for the first time in my life that I can remember, I wasn't able to differentiate between a dream and real life. The time on the clock that I thought I had read was what put me off: I must've misread it when I got up in that snookered state. The scary thing was: I could've sworn it was a dream. There was only a little element of doubt, so if you'd put me on the witness dock and ask to swear on it, I might've dithered. That too involving a question of signing something. That's probably how those guys who get drunk do bizarre stuff (like getting hitched in Las Vegas ;-) ) Rather wierd, for it will always pose a question: if I can't distinguish between a dream and reality, how can I be absolutely sure what's happening right now?

Probably, my very own Matrix-like moment.

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