Dream July 19 -- Interstellar Convenience Store
Dream July 19, 2021
I had a dream that a relative became the leader of an interstellar space exploration program. I had never seen him so sincerely excited about something like this before. He wanted volunteers from the family, but I was hesitant. His wife convinced me.
The ships were small, not much larger than compact cars, but capable of light speed. I began my journey alone to a far off tendril of the universe. I arrived at my destination in what seemed moments, a planet with no atmosphere. Just an eternal night, a blackness that reached from the surface into the sky, poised forever at midnight with no close star as sun. But the heavens of this planet were not absent of light. As my spacecraft landed, it reversed and faced the sky, giving me a long glimpse of a galaxy of astonishing beauty, spirals of light and thousands of colors both known and unknown. It filled the whole of my vision and I wept as I tried to understand it and capture it to my memory.
The ship touched down beside a small, bubbled dome, and opened its egress portal to an adjacent hole in the dome, allowing me to enter the enclosure without having to suit up.
The material of the bubble somehow converted the light from the galaxy into a bright and cold fluorescent shine, revealing to me that the inside of the enclosure was an abandoned convenience store.
At once the mystery of my destination was dispelled by the presence of shelves and shelves of candy, snacks, beverages, a profusion of beef jerky, and a clerk-less counter. The familiarity of it all depressed me. The fluorescent glare in the ceiling hid the strange galaxy from my eyes. I opened a drink cooler and took out a damn Dr. Pepper. Drinking a fucking Dr. Pepper on an alien planet! When I cracked it open, I caught sight of a door at the rear of the store. It was unlocked. I opened it and the bizarre dark light of the world splashed in. I held my breath for a second, expecting to suffocate or freeze or cave in or whatever, but the outside did not kill me. I walked out into a small grassy area suffused with the illumination of the galaxy above. At the corner of the area was a small, gray shed, and an oval garden filled the center of the space. With slow understanding I recognized this was a replica of the rear corner of the back yard of my childhood home. The garden was my Father’s, and here it was overgrown with alien flora that stirred in the breeze and reflected the light of the heavens. I cried again, seeing this, this time not feeling cheated by sameness, because while it was familiar, the garden and shed were now inhabiting and inhabited by the strange and distant.
I froze there, standing by the oval garden and had the sense that an enormous period of time was passing, a sense that I was both there and not, seeing my visits to this very space over eons and eons. I watched the flowers and plants in the garden evolve into fauna, alien creatures that ripped themselves out of the garden and ambled away into dark avenues to find their new way.
The convenience store faded, while the galaxy lights in the sky grew and grew until my mind and thoughts and body were immolated by its star-clustered fingers.