I used to drive a paratransit van, and I worked odd hours that made me feel like the job was taking over my life. One night I dreamed that while I was at work, I parked the van on a two-lane one-way street to get something from the store, and for some reason I left the keys in the ignition of the van.
When I came out of the store, I heard the van’s engine starting and got scared, knowing that if anyone saw the keys in the ignition and got in I’d have no defense if they took the van. I could see from where I was standing, though, that there was no one in the driver’s seat!
I ran to the open passenger door and stared at the empty seat. Then I looked up at the gearshift and the thing shifted into reverse and started backing up! It was a tight fit, and so the van backed slowly out of the space. I didn’t want to be in trouble over a runaway van, so I jumped inside the open passenger door. As far as I could tell no one seemed to be driving, but I felt responsible for anything that might happen and wanted to be sure that I’d at least know about
anything that I might be blamed for.
As soon as I got in, the door closed behind me, as if it (or someone) was waiting for me to get in. Then it shifted into drive and pulled slowly out of the space. The street was wide, but there were many double-parked cars, so the van had to constantly switch from one lane to the other. The street ended at the next intersection, so the van shifted to the left lane, slowed to a stop, and signaled for a left turn.
Once the way was clear, the van made the turn and slowly approached the car in front of it. The car was stopped for a red light, and the street was at the bottom of a slight incline, so the van had to roll slowly. This thing was obviously under someone’s (or something’s) control, braking and signaling and doing everything a driver is supposed to do. Yet I was standing right next to the driver’s seat and could see for myself that no one was there.
In confusion I screamed at the top of my lungs, “WHO’S DRIVING THIS THING?”
And then I woke up.