I awoke from a dream before 5 am, heart pounding.
There were no zombies, no shadows chasing me across dark parking lots, no threat of my untimely demise–just a room full of strangers.
I was supposed to be speaking at some sort of conference, but no one would acknowledge my presence. They just kept talking to each other. Even when I addressed them individually, they ignored me and continued their conversations.
Suddenly, I knew why.
In the back right corner of the room, sat a woman who has always regarded me as beneath her. She is thin, well-dressed, wealthy–everything I am not. Her voice was the loudest, her laughter jolting. Everyone in the room continued talking, but they were all looking at her.
I stopped. For a moment, like the others, I watched her.
Then, following the flow of energy, I crossed the room.
I stood at her table until she looked at me.
“‘I’m trying to speak,” I said.
“Who’s stopping you?” she returned.
“They’re following your lead.” I crossed my arms and moved closer. “And you’re being rude, so they’re being rude.”
She glared at me.
“If you stop, they’ll stop.”
That’s when my heartbeat doubled. Panic set in. Would she shut up and let me say what I’d come to say?
Your guess is as good as mine. I was too terrified to find out. I woke up.
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”