I dreamed I was in the back seat of a car driving north along the Mississippi. It was late afternoon. I remember looking eastward and seeing the broad water glare suddenly with fiery light and there was a roar unlike thunder. The sky was clear, but marked with something like jet contrails. It happened again and again: the light and the earth-shaking noise.
“Are those meteors?” I asked finally.
There was an embarrassed silence. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on, and no one else seemed to think it unusual.
“I guess so,” someone up front said finally.
Someone beside me suggested that we leave the car and go down by the river’s edge. The theory seemed to be that the river bluffs would give shelter from the meteor impacts. It sounded pretty naive.
Nobody else said anything. The meteors continued to fall.
We were deep in the city now, still going north. It was strangely empty.
We passed an intersection where a woman stood, an infant in her arms, next to a stalled car. A cop in a Ramsey County sheriff’s uniform was walking indifferently away from her toward his own vehicle, talking on his radio. I met the woman’s gaze as we passed; her eyes were darkly ringed, despairing.
“Shouldn’t we go back and give that woman a ride?” I asked.
Nobody else said anything. The meteors continued to fall. We drove on north through the gathering dark.