Is there a city in New York State that starts with “C”?

Not a small place like Carlton or Clyde, but a big city, a city the size of Buffalo or Albany?

The other night, I was on my way there.

Only, for the life of me, I could not remember what the name of the city was.
Even so, I was headed to the city that starts with “C.” All was going smoothly until I made a mistake.

I missed my stop. When I tried to recover my steps, I couldn’t because I couldn’t remember where I was going. It’s hard to get there, when you don’t know where there is.

I was traveling with an acquaintance. Her name doesn’t matter because I don’t think I even knew her name. But, I knew her.

We had just left a Japanese Studies conference and were on a train, somewhere in the Northeast—that faraway land we call “back east.” It was unfamiliar territory to me.

She was heading home. I was going to another professional event of some kind, a lecture or a symposium.

We came to a stop called “Bus Stop.”

That sounded odd to me. I sat alongside my acquaintance and watched the sign for “Bus Stop” fade as the train pulled away from the station.

We neared her stop and she began to collect her belongings.

“I wonder when mine is coming up,” I asked, mostly to myself.

She heard me and said, “Oh you should have gotten out at ‘Bus Stop’. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

Now it was too late.

She got out, as I went to speak to the driver.

Apparently, the conveyance was not a train but a bus.

“No,” he said, you can’t just stay on the bus and circle back to Bus Stop. No, there is no return bus to Bus Stop now.”

There I was, in the middle of somewhere with no way back to wherever I was going.

I can’t remember if I got out of the bus or if it just morphed into an abandoned shopping mall.

The mall was a maze of corridors and hallways.

I wanted to ask the next person I saw for directions, but to where?

Realizing it was time to do so, I stepped into a restroom. It was spacious, with lots of stalls.

Seated on the toilet, I looked down and saw that my purse, which was now in a brown plastic Schnuck’s grocery store bag, was on the floor.

“That’s not wise,” I thought to myself, and just as I started to retrieve it, a hand reached under the stall and stanched it away.

“I’ll catch that thief!” I told myself. “I’m a pretty fast runner.”

When I stood to rise, I felt pressure on my shoulder, preventing me from standing up.

I tried again. Same story.

I was stuck.

I looked over my shoulder and realized the sleeve of my shirt was caught on a hook. (The hook where I should have hung my purse.)

I released myself, and left the stall.

By now, the thief was long gone. And so was my wallet, my identification, and my cell phone. I had nothing.

And, I didn’t know where I was going.

Some place that starts with C.

dream image

At what point reading the above did you realize I was recounting a dream?

So many dreams are like that, aren’t they?

At least mine are.

They start out very real and then at some point along the way, they morph into ridiculous scenarios. Eventually, as I am drifting along, I realize I’m in a dream. Sometimes, if I’m enjoying myself, I just let go and savor floating through surreal landscapes. I’ll even egg myself on, suggesting more and more bizarre twists and turns until even my dreaming mind can’t take any more and I’ll awaken.

When that happens I’ll keep my eyes pressed closed and try to dip back into the river of dreams, but I never can. Not really. I’ll know I’m the one in charge, so it’s no longer fun.

I remember the above dream because I wrote it down after I woke up on October 8, 2023.

I picked up the foster dog Kolby on October 7, 2023. Could he have been the destination that starts with “C”?