Many years ago, working night shift in the data centers, I had a years-long series of consecutive city dreams. In these dreams, the bus lines remained consistent. Blocks mostly did not change. The bookstore filled with wonderful stories that don't exist outside of this city, that always closed too early. The rose garden outside of the private school. The graveyard beyond - the lakes.

The city was consistent, but I was always rushing to meet someone, to catch back up with someone. Sometimes I'd separate from them, and never see them again. Sometimes, I'd never even see their faces.

These days I dream of a vast and cracked lakebed, upon which a city is built. Sometimes, it sits in a silvery birch forest growing improbably from the playa. Other times, it shares space with an Old West tourist trap. Or Seattle.

In these dreams, I come unprepared. My Camelbak is lost. My tent did not get packed. There is no dust mask, no kaffiyeh, to block out the powdery, alkaline dust of the Black Rock Desert in the myriad dreamforms.

This, still, is to be preferred to the dreamscape where I drive an out of control pickup truck through the night, unable to steer, unable to change the crash. I've hit something only twice out of the dozen or so times I've had this dream.

I hope not to have it tonight.