I had a weird dream last night... it has been a long time since I've had a dream this vivid, which is rather odd because these kinds of dreams always seem to have a lot of things that actually happen in real life. I'm not sure if that's just causality, though: I think it so I make it happen -- sort of like how you don't notice some type of car until you get one, and suddenly it seems like they're everywhere. In this sense, I dream about things that I subconsciously know will happen anyway -- so when they occur I think "hey wow I dreampt about that".
Basically, it took place in a house which I somehow knew to be in New York. It was an old house -- about 100 years old -- which was similar in design to the East Falls neighborhood in Philly, out near Penn Charter. Fitting, as the first two floors were nearly identical to the first two floors of my grandparent's house in East Falls (as shown in the attached image). The kitchen and hallway were the same and the staircase was there, though I can't recall much of the living room or porch or too many specifics of the 2nd floor.
It was a dark night and windy, but otherwise dry out with a relatively clear sky. For some reason there was a war on and I was dressed in military fatigues. The house was host to my platoon of about 25 people -- as far as we were aware, the home's owners were not around, so we occupied the house as a base. The commanding officer was reviewing documents in the kitchen and asked me to go upstairs to track down another officer whom was needed. I don't remember much of the CO, but I somehow knew what the officer I was supposed to track down looked like -- he was a fellow CE from Penn State whom specialised in hydrology.
Going up the staircase -- again almost identical to my Grandparent's, I was heading up to the third floor when I called out the soldier's name. I didn't hear a response, but I somehow knew that he would be in the bedroom at the far-left end of the hall. I kept going up the stairs, wrapped around the banister, and here the 3rd floor was a bit different from my grandparent's house.
There were two doors on the right and a bathroom straight ahead -- the same as our house in Philly, but the left side was altered a bit. Here, there was a small nook just above the stairs which went to a door to the outside; and the bedroom was now down an elongated hall. The door to the outside had an odd look: not your typical house sort of door, but more like some mechanical contraption, albeit with a small window right at head-height. Outside was a small ledge, with an even smaller ledge leading along the right side (alongside the bedroom).
In the floorplan image I have here, the left is the 3rd floor of my grandparent's house; the right is the layout in my dream. The two doors at right lead off to other rooms, the door at the top is the bathroom, and the door at mid-left (in the dream) is the door to the outside ledge.
I went to the bedroom and walked in on the soldier and a woman both sound asleep in bed. Yes, sleeping -- this isn't that kind of dream. I make some wise crack to wake them up, at which point the soldier leaps up -- dressed in boxers & an undershirt (I'm glad, too: I wouldn't know what to think of myself if I had a dream where a male was wearing anything less).
The woman, wearing nil, ran off like lightening into a closet or bathroom or something on the other side of the room. I can only assume it was a bathroom, as I know it had a window... not many closets have windows. Somehow in that fleeting second of blazing nudity, I recognised the woman as the "Baroness". Not sure why I called her that... and I'm also not sure how exactly I knew that her family was the true owner of the house which we were occupying.
The soldier was throwing on his fatigues and I made some joke about how he shouldn't bother to stop what he was doing, as by the time he got to see the CO, the CO would probably forget why he wanted the soldier in the first place. I forget how exactly I phrased it, but we both had a good laugh... it must have been funnier than how I typed it above, or maybe it was just the nature of the embarrassing moment which made any outlet of humor seem funnier. My duty done, I turned around and walked back down the hall, where I am confronted by the Baroness right by the stair -- near the door to the outside. Apparently when she ran into the side room, she hopped out a window, went along a ledge, and came back in through the door to the outside.
Now fully dressed, she apologised for meeting me in such a manner and formally introduced herself. She was in her mid-20's, fair skinned, dark brown hair, and had wavy hair that made me think of the style from around the 1940's. She wore a black dress with a white sash, with a gray wool overcoat -- also all in a 1940's fashion. I might best compare her to a young Jennifer Garner, but a bit different. At this point the soldier, dressed, showed up behind me and briefly got between me and the Baroness before (as if protecting his interest), but a second later stepped back to free up some space and let me chat to the Baroness.
There was a bit of idle chatter which I can't quite recall, but it was just a couple lines lasting maybe 30 seconds. I then pointed at the door to the outside and asked if it was a retractable bridge. How did I know it was that? Don't know. Why would I suddenly ask that, of all things? Not sure... but somehow I thought I knew what it was and curiosity got the best of me.
The Baroness was surprised that I would have known what it was, saying how no one knew what it was outside of her family. I said that I had seen the house in a photo once and that our families used to be friends a long time ago, so I remembered once learning about the bridge. I have no idea where this info all came from... I certainly can't recall such a photo or learning of such a bridge.
Excited, she opened a panel beside the door (it looked like a fuse box), flipped a switch, opened the door, and walked out onto a narrow bridge which was now emerging from the house -- apparently hidden within the floor directly beneath us. It extended out about 30 feet before the wind really started pushing it back and forth. The Baroness became worried and I yelled for her to bring the bridge back in before it got damaged, to which she complied and retracted the bridge.
The three of us stared across the way -- the yard below gave way to a wood fence (again: just like my grandparent's yard). Beyond the yard was a small, narrow street with crumbling pavement -- I assume it was crumbling because of whatever war it was that was occurring. Just beyond the street was the bank leading down to a river. The riverbanks were just like the Salzach in Salzburg -- moderately-steep slopes covered with bare grass.
On the other bank was the first floor of what used to be a building. It was in ruins, with many of the walls still generally standing, but they were several gaping holes in the walls and one wall facing us was indeed gone entirely. Much of the rear walls (actually the front of the house, facing away from us) were also gone. The ceiling was completely caved in -- nothing at all was left of it. The house was generally blue-ish in color and much of it appeared to be relatively recent construction.
Through all the holes I could see waifs running all over the place in the ruined house on the other side of the river. They all ran off about a minute later, chasing some critter that ran outside and away from the building. Somehow I knew that this side of the river was the defacto "no man's land" between my side's army and whomever we were fighting. The only people left were the children whom lacked both supervision and an understanding of what exactly was happening.
After staring at the ruins a bit, I came to realise that the ruined modern building had actually been constructed on the foundation of an older building which had apparently been demolished. This original building's foundation led me to think that it was likely of a similar design as the house that I was in. Then I followed the thought process and realised that the retractable bridge used to connect with a receiving building on the other side of the river.
Somehow the three of us knew this to be important... but just as I was starting to make the connections as to how exactly it was so important to me, my bloody alarm clock woke me up: it was 7:50 and time to go to work. However, in that first split-second where you cross from being nearly unconscious to being awake, a thought flashed through my head: I have to go to New York.
This thought wasn't a "I have to go right NOW" sort of thought, but just that I need to get myself there within the next couple years. Now the trick is that I have no idea where in New York. It kind of felt like I was in Upstate or Western New York, but I have no connections there so that just doesn't seem right. I do have connections on Long Island... but since I've never been there, I don't know what it looks like to be sure. So I guess now I need to explore and chase down my dream... might sound weird, but I've done it before and have found places I've never been to, but have dreampt about. Causality, perhaps?