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Impossible Ships

Dreamed late 1966? by Wayan

I was 11 or 12, living in a house in the hills with a view of San Francisco Bay. I liked to watch the freighters on the Bay, and planes slanting in to land at San Francisco International Airport. I'd seen hundreds; I knew their average & maximum size.


Dark overcast with drifting mist-curtains. Can see miles much of the time, right across the Bay, to Mount Diablo. But not always. Clarity comes and goes.

A huge ship, THRICE as big as any I've seen before, sails out of a fogbank and crosses beneath the San Mateo Bridge heading south. Another... They're just SO big I doubt myself. Am I dreaming?

An impossibly huge freighter appears out of mist on San Francisco Bay; sketch of childhood dream by Wayan. Click to enlarge.
Then a four-prop floatplane, also huge, emerges from the fogbank and settles on the Bay. Turns and taxis toward Oakland or SF Airport. To look that big from five miles off, a plane'd have to be a quarter-mile long (400m). Now I'm certain: I must be dreaming...

And wake.


As I type up this half-century-old dream, I look out the window here on Bernal Hill in San Francisco, and what I see is: the Bay, Mount Diablo and freighters EXACTLY the apparent size in my dream 50 years ago. It's partly that freighters are bigger now, but also, I'm just 3 km from the Bay, not 8 as I was then.

Were my dreams just prompting me to go lucid, with an absurdity I couldn't ignore? Or did the fog-banks line up just right to give a rare long view? Was I glimpsing my adult life, decades ahead?

Clarity comes and goes.

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