This Is Unit 322

[I know, two posts in such short succession? Forgive me. But after having this dream Friday night(or Saturday afternoon...), I called a good friend of mine to talk about it, and even though he doesn't know it, he inspired me to write this post in order to kind of...sort things out. I woke up from this dream crying, and I was seriously disturbed. I guess there are some things that can really get to you sometimes.
Be forewarned, there is gratuitous use of the word "blood," and some pretty nasty images (even though I edited out some of the really graphic stuff). Just so you know.]

I stand in the wings of the theater with Olivia. It's the black-box, the one I haven't performed in since my first junior year. The audience is level with the stage, and as we head out to perform, I realize I'm in the wrong costume. Olivia looks at me in horror as she notices her own costume, and the director stands up from the crowd.

"Get out of here. Go back home and get your proper costumes. Then I'll let you back on stage," he says angrily, throwing the dog-eared script at his feet.

The disappointment is palpable. I haven't forgotten a line or missed a costume change in so long, but I obviously messed up here. The audience laughs as we walk out the door, and I hope it's at something in the play--not us.

We run home and change, and before I know it, we're biking back to the building on the same bike, the tires having gone flat. Olivia sits strangely on the back of the seat as I try to pedal through flat tires.

The building is massive, one I've never seen in real life. It stands there with marble columns and matching stairs; it reminds me of something from my ancient history text book of sixth grade. "Virginia Institute of Fine Arts and Performance," the placard out front reads, and my subconscious knows no such place exists.

I hear sirens and radio chatter. I look around and see police everywhere.
"Unit 302, central, we need ambulances," one of them says. I look down and see that I'm in uniform for some reason.
"Unit 393, central, there are at least two dead, don't know much else right now."

I jump off the bike which promptly disappears. Gloves appear in my hand, and I pull them on as I run up the stairs. I motion for Liv to follow me, but I never look back.
"I can help, let me help," I say frantically as I turn into the first room I see.

Paintings lay in disarray around the room. Some are ripped and some are simply tipped over. A statue stands stoic in the middle of the room, splattered in blood which runs down to the base. The walls are covered as well, and I move my focus back to the floor. I see two girls slumped over some paintings, staring at me with the same empty gaze. Their deaths are artistic, their hands posed in matching attempts at self-defense, their mouths twisted in horror.

These must be the two they were talking about, I think to myself, watching blood run down the walls.

I turn and run into another room, desperate to help someone. I see no one there, just more blood-covered artwork and walls.

"Unit 322, don't look behind the painting."
I look at the radio in my hand and realize that I am unit 322. No one tells me why I shouldn't look, and I don't bother. I already know it's a girl I went to grade school with, staring at me blankly just like the others.

In another room I find another girl, her eyes pleading for me to help. She's alive, and gasping for air.
"It's okay, I'm here," I say more to myself than her as I turn for my jump bag. I realize I have nothing. No partner, no equipment, nothing. I can't help her like this, and as she goes into arrest, I pathetically try to do compressions, hoping back-up will arrive. When nothing happens, I give up and run back into the hall.

I look for Olivia to help. She's gone. The officers, too, have left. There are no bystanders, no sirens, no noise. There is nothing but me standing in the grand hall, looking into the rooms without doors, seeing nothing but destruction.

"This is Unit 322," I scream into the radio.
There is no response, just radio static playing back at me.

"This is Unit 322, please, somebody help me!" I break into sobs as I collapse on the floor. I can see blood pooling in little puddles, making their way into the hall. I press the button on the radio, and I can't say anything. I cry into the open mic.

The blood reaches me, and the smell of iron is heavy. I try again, desperate. "This is Unit 322." I pause and take in a deep breath.

There is nothing. "This is Unit 322," I say calmly, "over and out."


Chris said...

They say most dreams are loosley based on something that's really happened to you. I hope for your sake that this one wasn't, or if it was, it was only a very loose connection.

I hope you're OK

Evil Lunch Lady said...

Oh God! That's just horrible:(


Alaina said...

That dream sucks :(

Just know that if that ever did happen, I would be right there doing compressions with you.....and I would try not to be a fat ass and sit on the bike with you trying to pedal ;)

Love ya

tracy said...

Oooooooohh, Sam, i'd call that a nightmare not a dream...how very frightening...i've been having some bad dreams, but nothing like that. So sorry it happened to you.
You vivid descriptipns made me feel like i could almost see what you saw....you are definately a most talented writer.
Take care of your self, hugs, tracy

Epijunky said...

Ohhhh Sam.

Sweety... That's definitely not a dream.

You call your blogtwin if you need me. Hell, call me even if you don't.

Witness said...

I tend to agree with this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=pto-20071029-000003&print=1

It proposes that dreams are like a virtual practice for your brain, to prepare you for situations that you may one day encounter.

Scott said...

Wow. That was some nightmare! I notice how alone you got at the end. My nightmares seem to do that, too. Creepy. And you can call me, too, if you need to talk. That is amazing that you woke up crying! You will lose some patients, but you will help so many of them. And you probably won't ever be in such a dire situation as you were in this dream. You will have your equipment and there will be other EMS to help you.

Bernice said...


Not much to say here. You have my email... use it if you need it.

Anonymous said...

Um, wow. You know, dreams can be quite scary. Yet, they are only dreams.

If you were actually in real-life, having to respond to a similar (hopefully, a situation which is not as dire or terrible as this one) situation as this, what would you do?

My girl, I believe that this dream has come into your life, so you could learn something from it. What exactly, I have no clue. Be blessed...and take care of yourself Sam!

Medix311 said...

How disturbing, but I think it's great that you chose to write about it. I'm a firm believer in seeking support and advice from friends and peers after stressful and emotional circumstances--be they real or dream. I do truly hope that you're feeling better. Stay safe.

Sam's mom said...

I'm so glad you wrote about your nightmare. Putting it 'on paper' can be cleansing. Thanks for calling me. I love you.