Some have felt like epics.
Some have felt like video replays, like they have happened before.
Some have yet to happen.
As the Chinese philosopher 荘子 (Soushi) once said, you begin to wonder, is the one in the dream the real me, or is the one in the waking state the real me?
Invitation From a Dream
A Modern Japanese Kaidan*
original story copyrighted by author @ syarecowa.moo.jp/231/5.html
translation copyrighted by M. L. Mills, 2010
I wonder if there is such a thing as to repeatedly see the same house, the same place in your dreams?
For the most part, places in people's dream are of the past homes they lived in, of their friend's or relative's houses.
But even places for which you have no memory at all, often appear in dreams.
From a long time ago, there is a place I have seen in my dreams.
It is a two-story house that one would commonly see around, yet just slightly European.
Although I don't remember when I first started to see it, by the time I had entered Junior High it was already conjuring up that feeling of “Ah, here again.”
I had a very close friend whom we shall call 'K'.
Being that we were neighbors and our mothers were also good friends, we were back and forth to each other's respective homes on a near daily basis.
The comics we liked, the characters we used in our video games... they were all the same.
Our grades too were more or less the same, as were our heights and weights.
One day during our first year of junior high we were hanging out as usual when the topic of dreams came up.
"I Always dream about the same house.”
'K' was all over that as soon as I the words left my mouth.
According to 'K', he had had similar experiences.
Writing on a piece of scratch pad paper, I explained the layout of the house from my dream.
To which 'K' responded, “It's the same one!”
As we talked we came to feel that that house was indeed exactly the same in both of our dreams.
Our curiosity was propelled on by this peculiar happenstance and we began to talk of our dreams more frequently.
The house was fairly large - a place big enough for a family of four or five to live in.
And yet, neither of us had ever been into the one corner room of the first floor.
With everything else at that time and given we were at that curious in-between age of early adolescence, we decided on a competition to see which one of us would be first to make it into that room.
From that time on I had only nightmares.
I was chased around the house by a knife-wielding manic; I was pursued by a ghost whose form I couldn't see.
In the end, I wasn't able to get close to that corner room.
'K' reported the same problem.
At first we were all excited remarking, “I bet we were brothers in our former life!”
Then gradually we stopped talking about the dreams altogether.
Because we were too similar and that was frankly too creepy.
It's not that we looked alike, but it felt like there was some kind of “sympathy” shared between us that only we understood.
'K' seemed to feel the same way and so choose to go to a different High School when the time came.
Even so that didn't change our status of best friends and we often talked on the phone.
But again, when it came time to choose an after-school club activity or our future university, there was an unspoken understanding that we would choose differently from the other.
About the time we entered university, we gradually fell out of touch living in our different environments.
Then during winter vacation when I returned home, I found a New Year's greeting card from 'K' had arrived.
His pet dog was on it.
It was very nostalgic for me to see that he was still alive and well.
Beneath the standard printed “Happy New Year!” was a small note in 'K's handwriting:
"I've been called to that room. I'll see ya.”
I felt my blood drain at those words.
In a dream I had had just a few days earlier, I too, had been called to that room.
As usual, I had been seeing that house-dream on a regular basis, but at that time there was something subtlety different about the atmosphere.
Walking around through the empty house, I had the impression - “Ah, NOW, I can go into that room.”
Except I didn't go.
I couldn't go.
Just as I was heading for it my cell phone rang and woke me up.
Awhile after school had resumed a call came from my mother.
'K' had apparently gone missing.
The story was that one day he had just unexpectedly disappeared from the apartment where he had been living alone.
'K''s parents naturally came over to ask my mother if she knew of anything.
Of course, there was no way I could mention the dream, so I also could only say that I didn't know anything about it.
Since then more than six months have past.
'K' still hasn't been found.
*Kaidan – a traditional Japanese “ghost” story usually involving the unexplainable, a flexible concepts of time and space, strange meetings, love gone wrong, the supernatural… Curious and sometimes terrifying stories, but never centered on nor featuring either gore or sex.
Original text story:syarecowa.moo.jp
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