Part I: The Policeman
I'm driving to Portland late at night. I'm going across one of the many bridges over the Willamette River. As I enter the bridge, I see flashing lights in my rearview mirror. My first though, of course, is "Oh, shit, not again.", because I tend to get pulled over for speeding a lot.
So I pull over. The cop zips past me, then stops right in front of me. He jumps out of his car, motions to me to get out as well. Uh, okay. So I get out. He points off into the distance on the bridge and starts giving me orders. I suddenly realize that there has been a big fiery accident on the bridge right in front of us, and there are injured people crawling, limping, lunging away from the wreckage. The police officer is telling me to help get the people away from the flames.
I respond, "Yes, sir." and do as I'm told. I help people to cover on the side of the bridge behind my car. The cop continues barking various orders at me, while he stands still. I think to myself, "You know, I read a news article the other day that said cops have an average IQ of no more than 105. I'm smarter than this guy. Why should I obey him?" Yet I continue to obey him and respond with respectful "Yes sir"s.
Part II: The Intruder
A few days ago (in the real world) a notice was posted on the door of my apartment saying that today the manager and a representative from the complex's insurance company would be inspecting all the apartments. I was bothered by this, but I resigned myself to this invasion of privacy because, according to the lease I signed, it is technically legal.
So yesterday (still in the real world) I cleaned up my apartment and made it ready to be inspected. The inspection was to occur anywhere from 8am to 6pm. I usually wake up around 9:30am, so I was a little concerned about waking up to find people in my apartment.
So, on to the dream. My dream is this: I'm sleeping in my bed. I'm awakened by a slight noise. I force my eyes open, but can only muster the willpower to open them slightly. I'm in that groggy state of semi-consciousness that usually posesses me for 30 minutes or so after I first wake up. It's very dark in my room, but I can hear slight noises from the doorway, and I think I can see something moving around there. It takes every bit of willpower in my body, but I manage to stand up to investigate.
Suddenly, I sit bolt upright in bed. It's just light enough to see -- the wee hours of the morning. I realize that I was dreaming. The intruder wasn't real. I get up and start to get ready for work. I take my shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and start to walk out the door. The phone rings. I try to answer it, but some invisible force restrains me. I can't pick up the phone! What is this??
I sit bolt upright in bed. Again. It's just light enough to see -- the wee hours of the morning. I realize that I was dreaming. I realize that I was dreaming that I wasn't dreaming. The phone is ringing. I answer it. It's my daily wakeup call courtesy of GTE. The phone continues to ring, even though I've answered it. What is this??
I sit bolt upright in bed. AGAIN. That's it, I start to go crazy. I can't seem to distinguish the difference anymore between the real world and the dream world. The phone is still ringing. I answer it. It's my wakeup call. This time it stops ringing. I actually had to pinch myself several times before I believed that I wasn't dreaming anymore.