I don't often dream, but I remember this one so vividly. My alarm woke me up about an hour and a half before I needed to wake up, so I turned it off and went back to sleep, where I found myself in a lucid dream.

It began in a mall - Eden Prarie Mall in Minnesota, the mall where Mall Rats was filmed. Even though I know it's gone through some renovation, the mall I am in is the mall of my teen years; cheesy late 80's decor, every second store front is empty, terrible muzak plays in the background everywhere.

I am being chased. I don't know by who, but there's a bunch of them. They all want something from me; I don't know what it is, but I know that it's actually inside my body, that they'll have to cut me open to get it out. I'm not running, I'm briskly walking from one store to another, backtracking, hoping that whoever is looking for me will lose my trail. I know that it's not working, that they're getting closer with every second. I bolt out of a store, and immediately run into a group of my friends. Ah, safety in numbers. The group of friends is comprised both of friends from back home in Minnesota, and a few people from my college in Iowa. I'm glad to meet them, they're glad to meet me. Some rather notable friends are missing, and I force myself to ask the others where they are. No one knows.

As we move through the mall, I get a sense of foreboding. My friends begin to demand things of me. I reply that you're only as good at something as you think you are, that practice only makes perfect if you are ready on a cosmic level to get better. I remember saying that exactly, but not why I said it. My friends give me a blank stare. Then they start demanding the same thing, insistently: "Where is it?" and, "Just give it up, Bob, we've been waiting long enough." And then they rush me.

I force my dream-paralyzed legs to run, and I take off past a number of closed shops in a poorly lit part of the mall. I find myself on the second floor, so I race down a set of stairs - I know my car is on the first floor parking lot. The stairway doesn't stop, though. It extends far longer than I remember. My friends are gaining. I force myself to hop over the edge, down a full flight of stairs. I land, and find myself on the first floor, well ahead of the pack. I run through a chinese restaurant. There is no exit. My pursuers are so close, I can feel them. I throw myself through a window, and then force the dream to propel me through the glass doors on the other side.

I run to my car, get in, drive away. There is no sign of my friends. I hear my father's voice in my head, saying, "Well, nothing to do but re-apply and try again."