On the second floor, I have to walk back halfway around the building to get to my office. I am in a big room with no cubicles, my IRL boss is doing something with a CRT TV in a corner by the door, I go over to my desk at the other end of the room. I am the only one in the office besides the boss. On the computer screen is a survey. It is asking about my elevator experience. Did I find the elevator voice to be friendly, hostile, warm or mechanical? Did the elevator respond correctly to my commands? It is clear they have changed the elevator to being voice-activated. Now they tell me.
My boss sets up some cushions in his corner of the room, a comfortable nest from which to watch the TV. There are screams of panic coming from it, and also some expressions of WTF. He is taking notes on his laptop. It's a feed from the elevator.
After a while, he props the TV on a bed which is on wheels, the bed is neatly made with a sky blue blanket and white pillowcases. He tapes a piece of paper over the TV screen, goes out the door as he pulls the bed with the TV to block the door. I go over to the TV and read what is on the paper. "No data access December 24 and 31". I was planning on working those days. I move the bed away from the door and go out into the hallway.
I am at a table in the hallway, sorting some paperwork. Four or five Asian employees whom I do not know (they may have been the ones from the elevator) sit down around the table, ignoring me, chatting away as they clutter the table with their paperwork. It gets to the point where I can't do my work because their papers are all over mine. After not getting any cooperation from them by politely asking them, I put on my THEATER VOICE and they pick up their papers and scurry away.
Leaving the house, I walk naked through downtown streets (I have no idea what city this is) which are empty, go through an alley to the side entrance of the store. It's the right store, and I am encouraged that looking through the window I see clothing on display - hanging from the ceiling. I walk up the one flight of stairs, and even though there are plenty of employees and the distance between the door and the customer service desk is about 20 feet, nobody seems to see me. I walk up to the desk, where a middle-aged black woman is sitting down, looking at her computer screen about 2/3 turned away from me, and say "excuse me". She is startled, but not because I am naked - see can't see that with the counter between us. I ask her where the underwear department is, and she tries to describe all the twists and turns but is making no sense at all. Another middle-aged black woman employee comes up to me from my side of the counter and says she will show me. We walk to a door all the way across from the counter, up a flight of stairs, and the woman leaves me in front of a display of men's underpants hanging on racks, which takes up the whole floor.
There are too many choices, and the sizes are not the standard ones, they are things like HV and B and O. And for a moment I don't know what size I am. I find one which I know is my size, but it is white mesh, fishnet mesh, which would hide nothing. I leave the underwear section and soon I am wearing a full outfit, looking at myself in the mirror in a salmon colored shirt, brown plaid pants which are too tight but I think I'd rather look good than be comfortable, and a jaunty hat which looks like something you might see on a Keebler elf. Or on Gene Kelly playing a Keebler elf. The tags are, of course, still dangling from the clothes.
I go back to the counter downstairs, and someone cuts off the tags, bar code scans them, and I take a credit card out of my wallet, which I am holding because my pants are too tight for it to fit in a pocket.
Soon I am entering the room where the panel is being held, way late, and am glared at by one of the panel members, Ctien I think, and I wonder if he knows I am not wearing any underwear.
I have been sent to a clinic to stop a doctor from performing an unnecessary surgery. He calls the procedure "manga", and it starts with the patient fully clothed, wearing a green apron, like a grocer's apron. When I walk in he his spraying her with water from a plant mister, wetting the front of the apron completely. When he turns away to go to a counter with scalpels and other assorted small medical gear, I grab her hand and pull her out of the room, running with her down the hallway. As we run I ask her what she was going to be operated for, she said she did not know, she felt perfectly healthy. I watch her run out of the building, while I stand at the door. She is still running when I wake up.
I am sitting on a padded stool in the clinic's exam room. A doctor is spraying me with water from a plant mister. I am wearing a green grocer's apron, and he is soaking it completely. I must have been drugged, because I am just coming out of a stupor. I say something like "WTF"? and a nurse out of my field of vision says "manga surgery". I wake up.
*IRL Daina is a superbly talented soprano who has auditioned for many of the same shows as me, and we have both seen each other in a few shows but have never been in one together. As far as I know she does not know who the Maslans are. Linda is a one-time lover from Seattle who looks a bit like Daina, and knows the Maslans well.
Almost immediately, K bought F an airline ticket, and made reservations for some of the places she likes best in the western US. When F arrived they went shopping to get her sturdier clothes, and then it was off to Yosemite. They came back after a week and other friends threw a party for F, which I attended. She seemed fine to me, but K was hinting that it was like having a kid with you. Hard for me to visualize, as F is about my age.
After a trip to Sacramento to see F's relatives, she was sent by herself to a friend's out of the area with whom K had had a falling out (for many years they went to the village together).
The plan was for K to bring F out to Sedona, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, but this morning I was surprised to receive email from K in LA that F had gotten so homesick, and had become such a burden that she flew home today, 12 days early. She said it was a relief, and is on her way to Phoenix later today.
I am the devil, and I am standing around chatting when the ground I am standing on erupts with lava. I am running with the lava flow, downhill slightly. Whoever I was chatting with is way behind me, jumping around in panic. I look like a 2D cartoon devil. The running lasts a long time until I wake up. The scene looked almost exactly like this:
But without the text.
The bus ride is long. Way longer than it ought to be to get to the Greyhound terminal. We are not heading downtown, we are heading away from downtown. I look at the route map up on the wall of the bus, and it says the other end of the route is the airport. I pull out my cell phone, thinking I'll call someone in the class, but decide not to. I know I have localinactivist's number, he's also a Facebook friend, but it's too embarrassing. I put the phone away.
Last stop, airport, and I am in a tiny boarding area, there are only two seats against the wall, but there are two one-person check-in counters. The poster on the wall says this is American Airlines. I go up to one of the counters, the woman behind it tells me what I already know, the next flight to San Jose is in the morning. I sit in one of the two seats pondering what to do next, when I wake up.
I'm home, problem solved.
Flash forward, the box is in the livingroom, I am pulling a padded envelope out which contains the 2nd valve. I look for a note (there's always a note to explain why a part was replaced) and instead pull out a very long fan-folded several sheets of paper stapled at the top, stapled to the padded envelope. Each sheet is about 4 feet long, and there appears to be four or five of them. They don't seem to have real writing on them, but are covered completely with lines of random characters, mostly numbers. As I look, I see the top sheet is a normal piece of stationary paper which begins "Dear Mr. [my surname] and while there appears to be a few paragraphs of writing there, instead of seeing the words I intuit that they had no replacement for the damaged second valve.
Flash forward, I am sitting on the sofa with the baritone in my hands, inspecting the second valve slot. Zoom out to see the whole horn, and this is not my horn. It has a removable bell (mine's is fixed) and it is bell-up (mine is bell-front) and while the body is brass like mine, the bell is some kind of plastic/cardboard amalgamation.
I'm about to look for the repair shop's number to call them when I look at the clock and see it is 11 am, I panic, I am way too late for work, I rush upstairs to take a shower, because I had skipped my shower yesterday. But the tub is a quarter full of green slimy water - the pipes have backed up. What to do? Go back to bed, and call in sick later, I decide.
I wake up, completely panicked, until I look at the clock and it is my normal wake-up time.
The driver does not know how to get across from where we are to downtown, but I have a map, and unfold it. There's a close-up section of downtown on one side and the whole city on the other, but I can't get them to line up. And after maybe 10 minutes of this I show the map to the driver and he says "no wonder you can't find it, we're in New York". Oh. Which is when it dawns on me that we're on our way to the airport because I'm heading home. So I tell the driver to just keep heading for the airport.
I put the map away and the next thing I know I am in a suburban house. The taxi driver has taken me there, it's an alternative to spending the night in a hotel airport. The house looks unoccupied and sparsely furnished, which makes sense because it is being rented out to people like me who want a place to stay overnight away from hotel row. There are cheap wooden shelves on L-brackets on the livingroom wall. One of the boards is missing. I look over at the similar shelves by the door, and the missing board is stacked on top of one of the shelves there. This makes me want to explore the house.
The first thing I see is a door, open to a stairway going to a basement. I hear a dryer working down there, so I go down the stairs, and it is a big basement with a big washer-dryer pair. "I can do my laundry!" I shout, knowing it would normally be a day in a laundromat when I got home. I go back upstairs and discover a bedroom. Someone is sleeping in the bed. I somehow know it is my little sister. There is a second bedroom, and I somehow know the lump under the covers is her husband. Around the corner is a space which might have been for storage, it is long and narrow and has a platform which is about as high and wide as a twin bed, but much longer. The taxi driver is lying on it dead asleep. His shirt is off and he is wearing jeans. He is skinny and Hispanic - I had not noticed that before.
I realize that this is a house my sister and her husband have rented for a short stay, and think to myself but also say under my breath "this must be expensive. I wonder what they are paying for it?"
I start looking for my luggage, so I can do my laundry. The dryer is on but the washer was empty. As I look, through the open front door I see the next door neighbors, whom I know are thinking I am their new neighbor. They are wondering why there is an umbrella holder outside the front door with a bunch of fishing rods in it. I am wondering the same thing.
I can't find my luggage. I try to remember if I even have luggage. I can't remember putting it in the taxi when I got in. Total panic - I forgot to bring my luggage. I am on my way to the airport and I left my luggage in the hotel.
Wait a minute, why would I have luggage? I'm home in Mountain View, CA.
I wake up, Pumpkin is curled up against me, his head is near my shoulder. As I lift my head to look around, he makes his little "you're disturbing me" grumbling noise.
I'm applying for a grad school advisor. This process takes weeks of interviewing with every advisor in the city. Or maybe several cities. I don't see the actual interviews, what I see is me going to various buildings, most of them office buildings, sometimes by car sometimes by bus or light rail, always to a reception area where I wait until I am called, and then the dream segues to me coming home to my girlfriend (whom I never see clearly - I don't know who she is) who does the obligatory thing each time of being sympathetic and patient and "you'll get admitted somewhere, I know you will", but my confidence level is zero.
The process is slowly working its way to a conclusion, as I see friend after friend called in to be assigned an advisor. They get a call or a note in the mail telling them to come see a number - the number represents a particular advisor. Weeks pass and I am getting nothing, no hint that I am even being considered. It's like I'm unemployed and can't find a job no matter ho much I interview.
Finally a courier delivers a slip of paper with the number 59 on it. I go to The Building and up to The Floor and the room is filled with people I know from Peace Corps and theater, and the first one to acknowledge me is Bob, a long-time theater friend who IRL is a lawyer but here he is dressed in a safari outfit. I ask him if he is number 59, and he indicates the whole room and says "We all are. Take your pick." The reason it has taken so long to call me is every advisor wants to be my advisor. This completely takes my breath away. I love all these people, how can I choose?
Halfway across he room there is a slight commotion, and the group somehow has intuited who in this large crowd is my choice. I don't see who the person is exactly, but I know it is a woman, and I know it is someone I used to have a big crush on. It is apparent that she also has a crush on me, and everyone ion the room knows this will be a romantic relationship, and the buzz is that the reason everyone chose me is they know I will be as much an advisor to them as they would be to me.
I wake up to Domino licking the side of my arm and rubbing her face against it - using my arm as a cleaning paw.
The elevator goes up to what would have been the 7th floor had there been one, and then acts like a monorail car, taking us through the air back along the route I had walked. I look out the now-glass sides of the elevator, trying to locate the tracks we must be on but don't see any, even thought it acts like it is on tracks, and everyone else on the elevator is acting as if this is their normal way to get to the 7th floor.
After a scenic flight over this non-Baltimore, we arrive back at the first building's 7th floor through an elevator sky bridge, and I go back to reading the directory, which is even more entertaining than before with many "we claim"s, and "we own"s and one which says "saving the homeless from a world they never made".
I wake up, still reading the memory of the directory. I have not seen my sister.
Not a dream:
Yesterday while I was shopping in Target, my cell phone rang, and it was a friend from the early 70's whom we shall call "Z". She is the daughter of the high school drama teacher in a town where I was the news editor of the weekly paper in 1974-75, and we had a short fling when I visited her in 1977 at the army base where she was stationed. We've kept in touch, especially after she left the army and started a computer training and repair business. She's in Spokane, WA.
She called because she had a dream about me. In the dream, she had flown to Japan for my wedding. I was marrying two Japanese women. She said they were peeved that she was there, because they suspected that I was going to marry all three of them. On waking, she was even more confused because she knows I have never been to Japan, but have lived in Thailand.
a dream tonight:
Z calls, her printer won't print. I psychically see that the USB cable is unplugged. Using telekinesis I plug it back in, and tell her to recycle the power on the printer. She says it's working now, "it's magic" I reply. She thanks me.
Something I said in a conversation prompted me to write an LJ entry about my "typewriter days" in journalism. After a momentary flash where it occurs to me that I never used a typewriter after college (all my pro newspapers had VDTs (video display terminals)) I am holding a couple of typewritten pages which somehow also have color photos on them, and I'm at some sort of outdoor gathering. I am standing, holding these pages, well off to the left of a large crowd (200 or so) seated in folding chairs on the lawn. The crowd is facing to my left, I am facing the crowd, and somehow I know it is time to read them my "typewriter days" memories, but everyone is talking among themselves and there is nothing happening on the stage (which is out of my sight, but the crowd is looking right at it). I launch into it using my best theater voice, the crowd quiets down very quickly and turn their faces toward me and start listening attentively. Almost as soon as I start, the words on the page shrink, change into nonsense characters, and after a sentence or two of trying to ad lib I realize I have no idea what I wrote or was trying to say, and mumble a few words about how I guess the piece wasn't ready to be read out loud, and that's where the dream ended.
I wake up. It is 5:30 am, way too early. I keep thinking of how to get them out of the car. Maybe they are car-jackers? No, they had no weapons and were not threatening. It had the feeling of two guys who thought I was their ride somewhere. Like a tour guide. Kind of a lucid dream, except I was awake, I visualized pushing the alarm button on my car alarm remote. I thought about dialing 911 on my cell phone, except I had no idea where I was (in the dream, that is).
Never did get back to sleep. Pumpkin did.