I'm at the grocery store with my wife, and we're arguing and doing our all too familiar juggle to try and fit our grocery purchases into our remaining money. So far, we've been to the checkout once only to find we don't have enough left in the bank to cover our selections. We're heading to another register with a lesser load and some creative means of paying for it, involving cash, a debit card, and a checkbook, when things start to get strange.

I see my dog trotting down the aisle toward us. I immediately realize she's gotten out of the car somehow, even though we never take her anywhere and leave her locked in the parking lot. I sigh, resigned to the need to drag her back out to the car without a leash, yet also eager to get away from the continuous financial argument, and manage to corral her before the store's staff does. Somehow I know this is important, getting ahold of her myself before they do. No idea why, perhaps I worry about the real origins of the meat in the butcher's domain.

So with dog under one arm, I head to the parking lot to return her to our car. To my surprise, all the car doors and the hatchback are open, and there's a swarm of young thugs all over it. Again, knowledge pops in my head: these are dangerous gang members. But I disregard that and wade in, going from dog-toting shopper to tire iron-wielding vigilante in three easy steps. Before I know it, I've scattered the gang; mysteriously, none of them carried guns, just tire irons and bats. All that remains is one, who I managed to disarm, and who receives the full force of all of my pent up rage. In short, I open up a good-sized keg of whoop-ass and let slip the dogs of war. I cry havoc and get medieval on his ass.

Then comes the jarring scene change. One moment I'm standing over the badly beaten and unconscious would-be car thief, then I'm back at Chez Corwin, my too-small rent house. At my desk, I read on E2 that another noder had his car broken into that day while grocery shopping, and was concerned that the perpetrators now knew where he lived. Not knowing what personal papers might be missing from my own car, it suddenly seemed to me to be a good idea to spend the night sitting out in it, keeping a watchful eye out. As I head outside to follow through with my plan, I notice that the neighbor's pickup, a monstrous 4-wheel drive number exactly like the one we traded in to get our little station wagon, has several people hanging out in its bed. I know instinctively that they are all noders, that my next door neighbor is actually the guy whose car was broken into. I'm not feeling terribly social, and I haven't the faintest idea what any of their names (real or user) might be, so I climb in my car to wait.

With another jumbled transition, I'm waking up in the back of the car and my wife is sleeping there beside me. I'm about to accept this as I have all the other odd happenings, but then I wonder: if my wife is out here, who's inside in case our daughter wakes up? I spring from the car, not even pausing to wake my wife, and run to the front door. The house is suddenly much larger than I remember, and I can't seem to move faster than a slow walk as I head for my daughter's bedroom. Everything is silent, but not in a peaceful way, as I move down the hall. It seems miles long, letting the concern inside of me grow and blossom into abject terror. Finally I reach her door and extend an arm to push it open, terrified of what I'm about to find...

And snapped awake. As soon as I was reasonably sure I wasn't in a dream within a dream sequence out of An American Werewolf in London, I jumpped up and rushed to my daughter's room. She was fine, sleeping contentedly, peacefully. I tucked her covers back in around her, and head out to smoke and calm my frayed nerves. The little moments of terror are all part of parenting, I suppose.

I've never dreamlogged before, but I thought since I needed to get up and clear my head before trying more sleep, and since this is the first time E2 has figured prominently in my dreams, why not. Hope this jumbled collection of rambling images makes more sense to you than it does to me.