Dream of: 22 July 1987 "Failure To Protect"

My friend Eloise LaGrone (a woman a few years older than I whom I first met in Dallas in 1987) was visiting me at my Apartment in the Dallas Zen Center. After she left I feel asleep. Suddenly I awoke and looked out the back window. I thought, That's surprising. There's Eloise's gray BMW still sitting out there in the back driveway. Where was Eloise? Could something have happened to her? Could someone have attacked her when she went to her car? Apparently I hadn't even walked outside with her for protection.

It looked as if a trench ran along the inside of the fence which went along the street in the back yard. I suddenly noticed something moving at the far end of the trench and then saw a patch of dark brown hair which I immediately recognized as Eloise's. In a flash it was clear to me what had happened: someone had attacked Eloise and pulled her over to the trench, where she was now being raped.

I was overcome with grief at the thought of what Eloise must be enduring; but at least she was still alive. Almost in a panic, I realized, however, there was also danger that she might be killed. I must act immediately to help her; it seemed the best thing to do would be to start screaming, "Police! Help! Eloise!" to alarm the attacker so he might flee, and hopefully to alert someone else nearby or across the street.

Seeing Eloise in the trench behind my apartment seemed more like a dream than reality, although I was still thoroughly alarmed. But I seemed to be sitting looking out the window thinking about what course of action I would follow if such a thing were to occur. I had no doubt I would try to save her, even if it involved risking my own safety. But how? Since her danger appeared so immediate, and it would take me some time to run down there, it did seem that screaming out and scaring the attacker would be the best thing to do.

Then I could run down there as fast as I could, screaming all the while. Hopefully the attacker would flee. Of course I realized there was always the chance the attacker might kill Eloise before I could reach her; but I saw no way of preventing that.

I was definitely going to try to reach her as fast as I could. I thought the best thing to do would be to pick up a big, long board on my way toward her; it looked as if some boards were lying on the ground between us. I could then use the board to strike at the attacker when I got close enough. If I didn't have a board and I just attacked him with my bare hands, I would be running a grave risk of his having a weapon to use on me, such as a knife. In fact I could vividly see his stabbing me in the stomach with a knife as I ran up and grabbed him. So I must be cautious.

Later, I was talking with Eloise on the phone. I had realized the entire episode of her being attacked in the trench in the back yard had been a dream and I had called to tell her about it. I still felt shook up even after I told her, but Eloise seemed rather calm and her voice had a reassuring tone.

Eloise's doorbell suddenly rang. I immediately became alarmed and emphatically said, "Don't answer it!" I felt as if the dream might have been some kind of premonition and that someone who would attack Eloise might be at the door; but Eloise maintained a calm attitude and told me not to be alarmed and that she was going to answer the door. She ignored my pleas not to go.

As I heard her walking toward the door, I tried to think what I would do if I heard her screaming. I was so far away it would be difficult for me to reach her in time to help her.

She answered the door and I heard friendly voices. Apparently a man and woman, two old friends of Eloise, had dropped in to see her. I glanced at my watch and saw that it was only 10 p.m. It sounded as if Eloise called the man Jeff and I heard him call Eloise, "Annie." It sounded as if the man and the woman hadn't seen Eloise in a while and had simply decided to drop in for a visit.

It occurred to me that Eloise probably frequently had visitors like that. She had a comfortable house where people probably enjoyed coming and she seemed hospitable.

I felt rather foolish and embarrassed about having been so alarmed. I just wanted to hang up without talking with Eloise anymore. My phone was hooked up to my computer, and all I had to do to hang up was press the store function keys, Control K and D. That would be the easiest thing to do. And I felt so embarrassed, I didn't want to talk to Eloise for a while. So if she called back, I just wouldn't answer.

I hesitated, however, to just hang up like that. So I waited a little longer, thinking when she came back to the phone I would simply say good-bye to her and then we could hang up.

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