By JAMES A. BOUCHERET, Associated Press WriterIn his latest article, author James A. Boucher chronicles the strange and sometimes surreal experiences that have left him convinced he is dreaming.
He recounts his experience in a series of stories in which he describes a series to be published by Random House in 2018, titled “The Strange, Unpleasant and Unlucky Dream of a Man Who Is Not Me.”
Here are some of the tales he shared.
When I was 14 years old, I was sitting at home with a friend of mine who had just graduated from college.
We had both been studying abroad.
I was taking classes in a different part of the world.
He was taking the same classes, and we were both interested in studying abroad in different parts of the globe.
So he told me about the dream he had of going to Europe and spending some time with some of his friends there.
I said to him, ‘Okay, that’s fine.
That’s a dream.
But we can’t just come back to your house and tell you that we went to Europe.’
He said, ‘Well, we could.
But that’s a little too risky.
I mean, we have to be careful because we could be taken.
“The dream ended up being a lot of fun and we ended up going to the same places and we became friends.
We were in Paris for two months and stayed at the same hotel.
I went to visit him for a while.
But the next day he told us that he was going back to Europe.
And I said, well, okay, that sounds really risky.
And he said, yeah, well we don’t know.
But he said he was afraid that we would go back to his hotel room.
We talked for a bit and we decided that we’d better not go to Europe because we didn’t want to do anything crazy and then he disappeared for two weeks.
And we never heard from him again.
A few months later, we were living in London, where we were on vacation.
I had just finished college and was studying for my Master’s degree.
My friend had been working as a bartender at the bar where I worked, and the next morning I was out at the beach and saw him coming out of a hotel room on the other side of the river, and I went out and got a flashlight and started looking for him.
He didn’t come out.
I got out and called my friend and told him to take me to his place.
I put my hands on his shoulders and said, okay.
He said no.
I looked down at my shoes and realized that he had worn his sneakers, which were the same color as my shoes.
I remember saying to him in French, I can’t do this.
And then I remembered that he said no, and he said to me, I told you not to worry.
So I asked him to look at his shoes.
He put his shoes on and we walked over and I said he’s not here.
He looked at me and I was confused.
And the next thing I knew, he was gone.
I was really scared.
And in the same place where I was, I met another friend of the same age, and she said, this is a good dream.
This is a dream, and you’ve been dreaming about this person for a long time.
She was a very good friend of my friend’s.
But then I thought to myself, I don’t want this guy to be a bad dream.
I want to have a good, safe, wonderful dream.
And that’s when I was able to go back and see him.
I woke up the next night in my bed in a room with two other friends, who had been there two months before, and that night we had a conversation about this guy.
And so I decided that I would go over to his house and try to convince him to come over and have a drink with me.
I took off my shoes, put on my shirt and gloves, put my hair up in a bun and my sunglasses on, and tried to convince my friend to come with me and have coffee with me on a Tuesday afternoon.
He came, and after we were done, I said hello to him and we sat down on the sofa together and had a beer.
And all of a sudden, all of this went away.
He went to sleep and when I woke him up, he had gone into a trance, he said the same things that I said the first time, like he was in the dream and I wasn’t awake.
And a minute later, he just came out of it.
I thought, OK, I’m not doing this again.
It’s not going to work.
So it was really hard to tell anybody that I was seeing this guy in the real world and not just in the dreams.
I really did not want to be the one to be blamed.