My Guilty Conscience

I have a confession to make.

I didn’t sleep very well last night, because I robbed a bank.

At least, I dreamed that I did.

It wasn’t your typical heist. Nothing in dream-land ever is. It felt like a Sunday afternoon. There were no people at the bank, except for me and my accomplice. We had opened the doors, walked in, went to the back, effortlessly opened the vault, and began bagging up handfuls of money.

No guns pointed; no notes handed to the teller; no ski masks or Halloween costumes.

When we were done, we walked casually out the front door. The parking lot was empty. There were no police cars around. No one shouted, “Put your hands in the air, we’ve got you surrounded!”

As I walked down the front stairs of the bank, I thought to myself, “They have cameras! They will know what I look like!” I started to sweat as I mentioned this thought to my partner in crime, but my accomplice was calm and collected, and told me to not act nervous or I’ll attract attention. He was an older man who apparently was experienced in this kind of work. I don’t know who he was, or how I had come to be involved with him. Such details didn’t seem important in this particular dream.

What seemed important now was that I was forever a criminal. They had my picture and my prints.

We walked about a half-a-block through a residential neighborhood to where we had parked my wife’s car by the side of the road in the shade of a tree.

I thought how inexperienced I must be at bank robbery, as we entered my car. This car is not suitable for a getaway vehicle! It doesn’t accelerate very fast, and doesn’t have a very large gas tank. We would surely be caught up to, in speed or in distance, if they pursued us.

Except for the fact that no one pursuing us.

As I started the car, I heard the first siren in the distance. I shook with fear, and my partner told me to relax. It was an ambulance.

We drove on, unmolested and unafraid. I dropped him off at his home. He took his bag of cash inside, and I never saw him again.

Next I did the only thing that seemed right. I went to work. After all, I still had my day job to attend to.

As I tried to go about my work, I was consumed with guilt. I couldn’t concentrate. I was sure they were going to catch up to me. They would notice the money was gone, and look at that video tape eventually. They would see my face, and come and cuff me and book me.

What would my wife and children think then?

I was paralyzed with fear, anxiety, and worry. I tried to act like nothing was wrong, but I could not.

In dream land, this particular day at work they sent an email out inviting the entire company to come and eat free pizza. They had purchased enough for everyone to have all they wanted.

And I was so sick to my stomach that I couldn’t even look at it.

A couple of times I tried to confess to coworkers what I had done. Each time, I couldn’t say the words.

I was hopelessly trapped.

Finally, I heard an alarm. I was done for!

Fortunately, it was my real-life alarm clock, and I was saved from this torture. The dream was over.

I felt like I had slept on top of a pile of bricks. Unrestful. Uncomfortable.

The moral of the story: I’ll never make a good bank robber. Not even in my wildest dreams.

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