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    I Dreamt A Strange Dream

    For a long time, I didn’t really dream – or at the least I didn’t dream such that I remembered it in any cohesive way. Going to sleep was like dying; I’d turn off, not move, and then wake up not-so-rested. It was my curse, and it was constant. I got used to it.

    Now however, things are a bit different. I’ve been experiencing time dilation in my dreams. Hours of sleep become days, weeks, or even months of time. A few nights ago was one of those nights.

    Sitting up in bed, I realized I’d dreamt a dream of a hundred days or more. I couldn’t say for sure how long exactly, but when I explain I’m sure you’ll see the vastness of it (just as I did).

    So the start of the dream – the part I remember the earliest – went like this…

    Sitting inside a rocket, I started to strap myself in; clearly nervous at the endeavour before me. I’ve obviously never been to space, and I’ve hardly even been airborne in a plane, but here I was some sort of astronaut; one with a scientific degree, though I can’t rightly say which one. As I strapped myself in, familiar – but also strange – people joined me with words of encouragement. Two men, though I can’t say who they were. I felt comfortable enough around them to have one of them help me strap in, which is something.

    So I get strapped in, and we do a systems check. We’re communicating with someone, though I don’t remember a call sign or anything. They seemed to know what they were doing, and it was pretty clinical as far as start up procedures go, so I assume it was an agency of some sort – though maybe not NASA.

    It takes a while to get set up, and then there’s this countdown which I know is going to end in ignition. I’m a ball of nerves, but whoever I’m with is pretty confident as they’ve done this before (both of them). I let them try to calm me, though it really has little effect. I’m freaking out on the inside, but on the outside I’m sort of in control. Enough that nobody calls it off, at least.

    So we launch.

    Up into the air at a million miles an hour (not really – but it feels like it), we fly into the sky. I can’t see anything of outside as the small viewing windows are covered (and the ship is traditionally without a front windshield), but it sure feels like a launch. The entire ship shakes and vibrates as I’m pinned to the seat, but nothing else of note happens as we ascend. Then, all of a sudden, I’m weightless.

    As we maneuver into docking with some sort of space station (I have no idea if it was supposed to be the ISS, just that it definitely had large windows) I’m pretty much just there to be nervous. The idea of the vacuum of space penetrating the hull has me more than a bit on edge at this point, though I don’t admit it to anyone there.

    But then, it’s like I’m free.

    Floating through the station, doing work and enjoying the view, I go about my business for at least a month; writing down results of experiments and tweaking the tech they’re using. I don’t remember anything specific about what I was doing exactly, but I remember time passing. I remember seeing night and day, repeatedly. It was peaceful, and humbling in a ton of ways; and I got over my fear of the outside closing in.

    Then, after some time has passed, we return to Earth and everything goes smoothly. Splash landing in the ocean, immediate pick-up, tons of praise and celebrity from it. I remember some sort of award ceremony, as well as a few parties. At the parties I told bad jokes, for some reason. It was strange.

    Then, somehow, I got roped into going back.

    Sitting on a plane with what I think was three passengers like myself (going to the launch site be blasted off into space), I switch seats with a woman who wants to sit near the middle of the plane. I end up at the back of the mid-size craft with someone who is completely new to the whole thing. He’s some sort of brute with half a brain, and while I’m getting situated he breaks something in the back of the plane.

    So then we go down, the plane crash landing somewhere – but doing so in a safe enough way that nobody gets hurt.

    And then I wake up.