Dreams Are Boring Except When They’re About the End of the World

The world was ending and we all knew it. Everyone was watching the sunset together because it would be the last one. Once the sun set it would never rise again. Even though we knew it was coming for some time, as the sky darkened it became real for the first time. I watched and fully comprehended that this was it for humanity.

Then, unexpectedly, it started to become harder and harder to breath. We were losing oxygen somehow and we were all gasping for breath. We thought we were going to have a little more time. The sun would set for the last time and then things would all go south, but not right away. We’d have time to adjust. But we were all going to die right then and there. It was a terrible shock. And terribly frightening. The temperature started to rise a little. There was a sort of electric feeling in the air. No escape, this is it.

Then I woke up, and of course realized this was simply a most transparent metaphor. Death must always be such a terrible surprise even though we all know it’s coming. I’m going to start stock-piling valium.

These are people starting to gather for a talk I gave at Brooklyn Bridge Park. I felt like I was addressing senators in ancient Rome.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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