Last night I had a peculiarly vivid dream.
What a way to begin a story, huh?
I found myself in a long, dim corridor. Well, I suppose dim isn't quite the right word. The lighting was cozy. There were plain, but elegant lamps at regular intervals down the hallway. Between these fixtures were dark, oak doors—pretty heavy ones by the looks of it.
I stuck my hands in the pockets of my grungy levis and meandered down the length of the corridor looking at the doors as I passed. The floor was made up of old looking wooden planks, well worn, but not a creak sounded as I placed my weight on them. I thought this was odd, but it didn't worry me too much. I felt uncharacteristically relaxed walking down the musty hall.
On each of the doors was a cheap looking gold plaque, at about eye level—like you would see in an old office building. I looked at the first door I passed and read the sign.
I looked at the ornate brass handle below the sign (strangely it was at the center of the door) and thought about turning it. But the rising tension in my shoulders made me feel differently—decisions always seem to make me tense up. So I continued my walk.
I read the sign of each door I passed
TALENT, INHERITANCE PROPERTY, OPTIMAL FITNESS, CAPITAL GAINS, ENLIGHTENMENT, BEAUTY, REVOLUTION
Those are a few that I can remember. I recall reaching the end of the corridor where the last, heavy door stood. This one merely displayed a large question mark. Of all the doors I had seen, this was the most tempting. But I didn't feel bored, so I turned away. Before proceeding back down the hallway, I paused and looked at the door to the left.
CLEAN SOCKS & UNDERWEAR
Without hesitation I entered.
Inside, the room was much like the hall I had just left. Except it was large and square. Two lamps upon each of the four walls lit the room rather well and in the center was a well worn wooden table. Upon this was a neatly folded set of Hanes tag-less boxer briefs and a pair of socks. I was disproportionately delighted.
I immediately striped off my garments and replaced my stretched and worn underwear with the fresh cotton boxers on the table. A perfect fit. I quickly did the same with my socks—which were riddled with holes and sweat and dirt.
That's when I woke up.
The first thing I noticed was a neatly folded set of socks and underwear sitting on my bedside dresser. At first I was astonished. Who could have put these here? I wondered. Had a breach between the dream world and reality been created? Was this one of those times where you think you've woken up, but you are actually still dreaming?
Then I remembered that I had put them there the previous evening—like I always do. I laughed it off and pulled on the clean, though somewhat worn, undergarments.
Looking out the window facing the foot of my bed, I saw the morning light playing through the branches of a tree standing just outside. For a moment I was startled, the shadows on the pane looked exactly like a gigantic question mark. I closed my eyes and shook my head like an old cartoon character. When I lifted my lids, the illusion was gone.
Just my imagination.