Monday, April 04, 2005

A dream

Last night I had a vivid dream, the kind where I'm shocked to wake and discover I'm dreaming.

As part of the mystery school I attend, I was participating in a game. The game took place in a large, multi-storied building with labyrinthine corridors and many rooms. The rooms and corridors were marked for navigation using a system I couldn't understand. I was assigned to a team with three others: a brown-haired woman, a fat man, and a thin man - all young. We were competing against other teams. We were each given a plastic spiral-bound notebook to explain the rules of the game, to write exercises as we moved through the game, and to record the results of our problem solving.

The game began. I tried to read the notebook to learn how to begin, but my team raced on without me. I was having trouble understanding the notebook, so I went in search of my team. When I found them, they were seated around a table, engaged in an exercise that had to do with a map of the U.S. They had filled in large portions of the map already, and the brown-haired woman was figuring the puzzle out loud, explaining her work to the men as they all filled in their notebooks. I looked at the blank map in my notebook and tried to follow what she was saying, tried to understand the exercise. But they were too far ahead of me, and although I wanted to copy their answers, that seemed like cheating, since I hadn't been there since the beginning, so I didn't write anything. I moved on, or they did, and I realized that I was going to have to move through the game by myself and catch up with the team later.

I didn't understand how to move through the game, so I just wandered the corridors and passed windows looking into the rooms where others were working puzzles. There were a lot of brightly-colored lights. I felt the pressure of time. It occurred to me that the point of the game, with regard to the mystery school, was to move us into the present moment, so we couldn't think about anything but the task at hand.

I came to a large room where there was a slide of sorts; it wound back on itself like an intestine, and it was inflated so that when I sat down in the slide, I was nearly concealed by the blue, pneumatic rubber sides of the slide pressing in on me. I was being chased, and I needed to get through the slide before I was caught. The key to moving quickly was to catch hold of ropes while rounding corners and pull myself up and over the slide's walls, thus taking a short cut through the air and landing around the bend from where I'd lifted myself out. This proved to be easy and fun; the momentum of sliding allowed me to lift myself and swoop back down. The game would have been fun if no one was chasing me. Still, I made it to the end of the slide before I was caught.

Next I sat in a moving car, like a ride at Disneyworld, through a series of rooms where I being made over in the image of the "real me." I flashed through rooms, and my appearance was changed. I could feel fabric working around me and creams being applied to my face. When my "make-over" was complete, I was asked if I wanted to see my friend Jenna. I said yes, with some relief, and I met her in a snack bar, where she was talking with a man. She didn't have much to say to me.

Then it was time for a break, so I went home for lunch to show Adonis how I looked and felt. I was floating along rather than walking. The air was cool on my face. I had set up a figure on our porch - a cloth wizard body topped with a carved jack o'lantern face - but when I got to our house, the figure was gone. I went next door and saw a cat gnawing on the jack o'lantern. Then I saw the cloth body in the yard, discarded by the cat. I went inside our house - which was a ranch-style house, very different from our actual house - and floated down the long corridors. I came to Adonis, who was working at a desk with his back to me. He said he'd look at me in a moment. I looked into a long mirror and saw myself with a pale green face, short light hair, and wearing a diaphanous blue dress. I tried not to float because I didn't want Adonis to be too shocked by all the changes. There was a TV playing somewhere.

End of dream.