I was at the grocery store last night. Well, it was more of a "artisan pasta and cheese store", but there were other stores in the area selling other kinds of food so the whole parking lot may as well have been a grocery store.
My next door neighbor was there, and, after buying herself a couple large blocks of cheese, asked me if I had a ride home.
"It's okay" I told her. "I biked." It was all downhill to my house, I knew, and wouldn't be hard.
"Well how do you expect to stick a bike on my bike?" She asked me, a statement I found confusing. But I figured we could bike back together: she biked here often, and it was my first time, so I didn't know exactly how to get back. So we walked back to our bikes, which were not in the same place that I remembered leaving my bike. I figured maintenance had moved it, since both bikes were upside-down on top of the bike rack.
As we started biking down the road, I finally figured out where I was. I had a better idea of how to get back, but I followed my neighbor anyways, because I figured she would know a better route. She seemed to think she did, but it led us into a blocked off construction zone and then a bar (where I had to ride my bike up stairs, which surprisingly wasn't that big of a deal). However, after two people in the bar got shot, I begged her to turn back. She relented, and we ended up at a house with a bunch of people we knew.
"Isn't there a better way to get home?" I basically begged them. "Can't we just cross 85th and then take the footbridge into our neighborhood?"
"You could," one responded, "but that way is really dangerous."
"Yeah," said another. "My mom had a piece of pipe hit her head going that route. You wouldn't want that to happen to you, would you?"
Fed up, I left and grabbed my bike. It didn't appear to have anywhere to sit, but somehow I found somewhere. I couldn't pedal it either, but that was okay because I had gravity on my side. "I can find my way" I thought. "The roads might not all be where I expect them to be, because this is a dream, but I can find my way."
When I woke up, I realized how strange this thought was. I've realized in the middle of dreams before that I'm dreaming - lucid dreams, they call them. Usually, I use this new-found knowledge to fly away from whatever scary situation I happen to be in at the moment. But it's even more rare that I realize I'm in a dream and fail to take advantage of it, or even change the course of my actions because of it. (Of course, in this case, I wouldn't have been able to get home by flying or anything, since my destination never exists in my dreams.)
So apparently what I need isn't to keep reading about how to induce lucid dreams (there are way), but how to know, when I realize I'm in a dream, that I can control my dreams in ways I can't control real life.
Also: somewhere in the middle of my dream, my bike turned into a shopping cart. Which is why I couldn't pedal it, or figure out how to sit on it.