Emily Anne Zalasky – The Man in the Brown Hat in Lucid Dreaming

I’ve never had a lucid dream before this one, but my older brother talked about them a bit when I was in high school so I knew what they were. It occurred on August 29, 2016.

My memory of the dream starts as I’m flying through the sky on a flat, rectangular object, with my long-time boyfriend and father of my son, Donte, sitting behind me smiling. I turned to him in excitement and said, “Whoa. This is crazy. I’ve never had a dream where I knew I was dreaming”.

He continued smiling but didn‘t respond. I pondered it for a few moments as we shot through the air. Then I turned to him again and shouted above the sound of the air whipping all around us, “Look what I can do!”

With a smile plastered across my face I dove our flying object soaring downward at the most extraordinary speed, drinking in every last beautiful detail of the birdseye world around me. Having developed a fear of heights after my son was born, it was honestly one of the most profound, magical and powerful moments of my life.

Once ground-level [lucidity fading] I found myself walking through a university campus holding hands with my 2-year old son, Isaiah. I‘ve been planning the start of a PhD program with a persistent fear of leaving him in daycare without a strong grasp on speech. In my dream he still struggled with forming sentences. After I dropped him off at the daycare on campus, I came to what seemed to be an old house turned library, among a vast crowd of young college kids. One man stood out. Extremely old with intricate, deep wrinkles pressed into his tanned skin, he was dressed in peculiar, dingy clothes and wore a brown hat tipped over his eyes. I couldn‘t take my eyes off him.

As I pulled out my pink cell phone from the same handmade, quilted cross-shoulder bag I wear today, a girl I was friends with in elementary school, Kate, brushed my shoulder, glanced downward and yelled, “What is THAT?”

Everybody in the room started crowding around us. I hurriedly threw it back in my bag, angrily thinking I shouldn’t have let anyone see it. I glanced at the man in the brown hat one last time before walking to the daycare to pick up my son.

When I arrived, the teachers told me he wasn’t there. Everything started moving in slow motion. ―What do you mean he‘s not here?‖ Panicked and screaming for what seemed like hours, I felt the earth had been ripped from underneath me.

Eventually a teacher informed me that he was at the university hospital next door, but she didn’t know why. I sprinted there and found him sitting up in a hospital bed, smiling, covered in burns and bruises. “What happened, Isaiah?” Still smiling, he shrugged sheepishly. “Did you have a good day?” I asked him before waking up.