Surely somehow this can be blamed on the media

I don't think I hung on to this dream in its entirety, so I'll have to pick up where my memory allows:

I am in the passenger seat of a car. We are sitting in a street and there are lots of people and cars around. It's either a parade or a mass gathering of some sort. It seems vaguely celebratory, but in a politically tense way. I don't know who had been driving the car — or whose car it was (I want to say I kept thinking that I was just trying to get to my grandmother's) — but the driver's side door was ajar and suddenly there's commotion outside and Vladimir Putin hops into the car, throws it into gear, and we take off to the back roads of rural Russia, presumably.

There is the constant cacophony of machine-gun fire behind our speeding car. I am hunched down and overtaken by both excitement — something is happening! — and fear — something horrible is happening!

I try to appeal to Putin — I am not a part of whatever is happening here, sir! — but he has morphed into a young Tom Cruise, very handsome and manic with an ever-spreading grin that glints with mischief. We are going so, so fact, and he's trying to talk to me and see what my story is. I'm only able to speak in broken sentences — the roads are winding and it's dark out and the machine guns, which way are they pointing, anyway? It's to my great relief that he tells me that they are on our side, keeping other cars and people away from us. It seems like we drive and have a stilted, stressful conversation for longer than I can bear. I am star-struck and quite confused. I ask him if I can take his picture, and then I realize all I have with me is my busted-ass point-and-shoot, so I don't even bother. A blurry pic of Tom Cruise is as useful as a half-obscured pic of Bigfoot. No one's gonna buy it. He finally decides to quickly pull over and let me out to stand with a police officer up on a hill, and the chase continues — car after car after car after car — without me.

I'm relieved, and kind of stupidly sad to see the action go on past.

Funny that my anxiety in that dream — about political intrigue, Tom Cruise, and machine guns — was so much lower than my anxiety in most of my other dreams, which tend to be mundane and much less violent. Hell, the tick dream stressed me out more.

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