The other morning, I had a nightmare. It was one of those Armageddon dreams. In it, I was in a city with a lot of big buildings, but they were old and run down. There were people everywhere, but no one I actually know. Dreamstrangers.
At one point, I (and many others out in the streets) looked up to see what we somehow knew was a nuclear missile. It was bright yellow, and flying on its own accord (or maybe remotely) as if it knew where it was going, and accompanied by three or four bright yellow fighter jets. The missile had this white protrusion sticking out of the back that was moving around, almost as if it was alive. I somehow knew this was a propulsion system that turned it into a “smart missile,” and that the technology was extraterrestrial. Everyone was trying to figure out who had launched this thing, and who the planes belong to, as no one recognized the bright yellow colors as belonging to any country on the planet. The planes and missile disappeared into the distance, and everyone was panicking, not knowing what the target was.
I ran into a building where I was apparently living with some other … I guess, refugees. I went through one of those dream sequences where I couldn’t find my room. It was room number 3, and I found several room number 3’s, but they were all on the wrong floor. I was in a panic. Another person asked me what was wrong as they started to rush by me, bags and backpacks in their arms. He said we had to get out of there because they were going to target cities, so we had to “take the underground to the country.” (And yes, I’m already thinking about another danged book I probably won’t finish. This is how they all start….) I told them I couldn’t find my room, but I couldn’t leave without my stuff.
The person said to me, “Your stuff is all packed and waiting for you. Just get out of here!”
I woke up.
And what was it that I obsessed over all that morning?
If “stuff” is synonymous for “things,” why do we treat “stuff” as a singular noun in a sentence (“Your stuff IS all packed”) when it’s obviously plural? I mean, you wouldn’t say, “Your things IS all packed,” now, would you?