I dreamed a family reunion which took place on a magnificent train from a bygone era. All my relatives were there – dead, alive, some I recognized and some who recognized me. Didn’t seem to matter.
The train was a model built to human scale; its dimensions (if not proportions) toy-like but functional, made to serve. No other way to explain it.
It was night. There were orbs of light inside and out and the terrain was a rolling countryside as seen from the track, set firmly on the rim of a long dormant volcano.
Round and round and round we went, making excellent time getting absolutely nowhere.
I noticed. Everyone on the train looked like me, related to me or no.
“What train is this? What train is this?” I asked.
The conductor approached slowly from askance to finally stand before me in all his accustomed glory. A white man with a mustache, impeccable. Red suit, gold buttons that glimmered and shone.
“This is the Oriental Express,” he said, which enraged me.
“Then I want off this train!” Family be damned.
“The only way off this train,” he replied dryly, “is to jump.”
The only way off the racist train was to jump – to throw yourself off – its interminable tracks.
Dreams may be symbolic, but there’s nothing that says they need be subtle.
I woke up angry, somewhat relieved.
But only somewhat.