I had a dream today I was conscripted. Then I had the most peaceful morning with my son.

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readOct 1, 2022

I dreamt I was in Moscow. I don’t miss Russia at all. I’m not nostalgic, nor sentimental. I haven’t been back in almost a decade. But I have this recurring dream. I’m in Moscow. It’s the summer season. Sometimes I’m walking, sometimes riding in a car, and sometimes travelling by Metro. I’m always in the center of the city. I can’t tell the exact street but I’m on one of the avenues that radiate away from the center. Maybe Leningradsky Prospect, maybe Kutuzovsky where I used to live, or maybe near the Moscow State University where my Mom used to live. The dreams are peaceful, overall. In most of them, I’m not aware of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Or maybe I am but it’s all very subconscious. So while the dreams are peaceful, there is always a moment when I start worrying and questioning my presence in Russia. Why am I here? Will I be let out? Where are my kids? What’s the status of my immigration in America? I have my greed card with me, don’t I? I shouldn’t worry but I worry. There is some uncertainty. Will I be able to reunite with my family in America?

Today’s dream was less peaceful. Two police officers were trying to approach me to hand the conscription notice. I escaped them somehow. Maybe I got lost in the crowd, maybe I ran away. I don’t remember every detail of my dream.

The next moment I’m at my childhood home on the outskirts of eastern Moscow. I lived there till my early teen years. Our apartment was on the twelfth floor, the very top one.

They’re knocking on the door. They know where I am. They are determined to hand me that conscription notice, and maybe to take me with them right away. I hide in the closet in my room while one of my relatives — strangely it’s not my dad — talks to them and explains that I’m not there. Will they demand to enter the apartment and search for me?

The dream ended there.

I then had a lovely morning here in Irvine. My younger teenage son Valentin flew to California from Florida last night. While his older brother was at his morning running practice, Val and I took a walk to a local shopping plaza. It was a lovely morning, it still is as I’m writing this. Cloudy! Cloudy in California can feel uniquely cozy. It was warm and there was no risk of “warm” turning into “hot”, as it often does in Southern California late in the summer or early fall. There were joggers and bikers all around us. It was lively, peaceful, and cozy at the same time.

We talked about exercising and injuries. We talked about our relatives. We stopped at a grocery store to get a box of protein bars which we all consume quite a lot in between our meals.

We walked.

It was so peaceful.

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. More here: https://linktr.ee/alexei.sorokin