I used to travel the country quite a bit while in my twenties, and back in June of 1996 I was getting ready to take a bus ride from Kansas to San Diego. A few days before this trip, I had an odd dream.
In the dream, I was a passenger in some sort of large vehicle and we were traveling through a city. It was dark, and as we went down a hill, I noticed the street was flooded with water, making the lane a sort of raging river. In the water, which our vehicle went through with no problem, were many huge alligators, snapping at the air and swimming along side us down the hill.
As we reached the bottom, I noticed a house on the corner. It was two stories tall, tan, and the lower level living room had an uncurtained window through which the light of a shadeless lamp shone. The lamp sat on a table in the otherwise bare room.
I somehow got out of the bus/van and made my way to the house. Inside, I was met by my sister and, a few minutes later, by my best friend at the time. As I made my way throughout the house, looking through the various rooms, they followed me, trying urgently to tell me something that I either could not understand or now do not remember.
All the rooms were pretty much the same: dark, dank, and with little furniture in them. The downstairs lamp seemed to be the only light source, making shadows dance on the walls as it flickered. I stood at an upstairs window looking out at the city before waking up.
The dream didn't frighten me; I just found it odd and it quickly faded from memory as I was preparing for my trip out West.
The bus trip was nice, if not uneventful, and toward the end of my journey I found myself in Barstow, California around 2-3 in the morning. We stopped at a deserted bus station to drop off some packages and stretch our legs before moving on toward Los Angeles and finally San Diego.
I am not sure why, but this bus station seemed eerie to me, and although it was well lit and clean looking, I was happy when the bus driver, coffee in hand, started the engine up and pulled back out onto the street.
As we made our way through the silent, sleeping city, I was suddenly hit with déjá vu. I had never been to Barstow before or since, but I suddenly knew every turn we would make and what we would see. Then we began to descend a hill. There was no raging river or snapping alligators, but I recognized the stores and buildings we passed and knew what would be at the bottom. Sure enough, there it was... the two story house on the corner.
It looked exactly as in my dream, except there was a curtain covering the window in which I saw the table with the lamp on it. There was still a light on, though, and I could see the shadows of people moving about behind the thin fabric. I often wonder who those shadows belonged to and why I dreamed of that place before having ever seen it. I wonder why I dreamt of it at all.