Dream of: 19 April 1995 "Overwhelming Sadness"

My father and I were outfitted as hunters – we both had rifles. Another man who was either my father's father or my father's father-in-law was also with us. My father looked if he were only in his mid 30s and the other man as if he were in his 50s.

We were inside a large building, which appeared to be an abandoned office building. Apparently some bears were living in the building and we had come to hunt them. I was rather ambivalent about the hunt; it seemed that I had been thrust into the hunt without any forethought or preparation, and I was unsure I really wanted to participate. However, I did know that I was afraid that a bear might attack me, and I knew I would shoot it if it did.

My fear was compounded by the sound of the bear: I could hear its low growl emanating from somewhere inside the building. I was afraid it would jump out at me at any minute. My father and I cautiously moved through the trashed and abandoned rooms, coming ever closer to the sound of the growl. When we reached one room, I pointed to a door on the other side from where the sound was coming – I was sure the bear was just beyond that door.

Without hesitation my father walked through the door. I watched as he raised his rifle to his shoulder, aimed and fired. I was surprised that the sound of the gun was so muffled, hardly the loud explosion I had expected.

I ran to my father to see if he had hit the bear. Once I reached him, I saw that my father was standing at the top of a flight of eight or nine steps. At the bottom of the stairs was a rather strange sight: indeed, the bear was there, still standing on its hind legs, but severely wounded, ready to fall over. My father had shot it right between the eyes. The bear was dark brown, almost black, and stood about two meters tall.

The strange part was that a man was standing next to the bear. The bear and the man had been facing each other, and the man had been touching the bear with his hands. The man was dressed all in black and had a black mask over his face. As the man looked up toward me, he pulled the mask away and showed his face. He was only about 20 years old, white, with blond hair. He was strikingly innocent and handsome looking.

From the look of shock and sadness on his face I quickly surmised that the man had been a friend of the bear. In fact, he was devoted to the bear, and took care of it. By now the bear was lying on its back, either dead or about to die. I feared the man might try to take revenge, but I quickly saw that the man had no such intention, that he merely looked at my father and me as deranged fools; he only intended to try to escape from us. I would have liked to have talked to him, to try to explain, but in an instant he was gone.

Now it was all clear to me. Yes, there were still some bears which lived in this building, but they didn't hurt anyone. In fact there were a few men who lived with the bears, who loved them and took care of them. Only cruel people like my father came to hunt the bears for sport. I was beside myself with rage at my father for having killed the bear, and for bringing me along as a party to the crime. I turned to him, fired a barrage of profanities at him, and ended by screaming, "You fucking bastard!"

I turned to our other companion, who was no longer a male, but a female: a woman who was my father's mother. She also looked as if she were only about 50 years old. I screamed at her, telling her what her demented son had done. Both she and my father seemed completely surprised by my outburst, and they couldn't seem to understand why I would care if they killed a bear. I ran from them through the labyrinthine rooms and halls.

When I finally stopped, I had a better picture of the building: a high-rise office building in London. Part of the building had been abandoned and perhaps 50-60 bears lived in the abandoned part. Even though there were so few bears, they were allowed to be killed because we were right in the middle of a huge metropolis and the authorities were afraid the bears would hurt someone.

Parts of the building were still in use; I finally came out in a section which was used as a department store. People were hustling about and shopping just as they would in any department store. Looking around, I noticed Ringo Starr standing not far away. I thought I might go over and talk with him about the bears. For some reason, at first, I thought that he spoke Spanish and that I should speak with him in Spanish. But then I realized that of course he was from England and he spoke English. However I decided not to approach him.

Instead I simply slid down onto the floor and sat next to a counter. A woman was looking at something next to me. I wished I had someone to talk to about the bears. But mostly I just felt an overwhelming sadness. Before I had even realized it, I had begun crying, slowly at first, then quite loudly. I was crying both for the bear, and for the young man who had lost his close friend. It was uncharacteristic for me to be crying and sobbing like that, but I couldn't seem to help myself. Would the woman shopping next to me notice and say something?

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