25 June 2010

Falling Buildings and Skeletons

In the last year, I've had extremely vivid dreams, the kind that leave a residue throughout your waking day. Some have been pleasant, some have been terrifying, but most of them have been anxious and absurd. Chaotically disconnected scenes.

Last night, I dreamed about falling buildings, marriage, and skeletons.

The falling building scene happened three times, each time with a different ending, like a choose-your-own adventure book.

In the first version, I was sitting in a lobby of an old residential high rise, from the turn of the century. The interior of the lobby was quite modern, but in the second version, as I saw the building fall from far away, I saw that the building was quite old, made of stone, built in a Romanesque Revival style. But back to the first version. We - me and a few other people who were connected to me in some way but I could not recognize - were sitting in this lobby when the earth undulated two or three times.  At first, we thought it might be an earthquake, but then it registered to everyone that the building was about to collapse.  Everyone started to run out of the building.  Except for me.  My body was frozen.  I was glued to chair.  I called out to someone to please take my hand and take me with them.  But I had the feeling no one would come back, and I was doomed to die.

In the second version, we were all sitting in the lobby once again. It started just like the first version. But I had the knowledge of the first version in my dreaming memory. So, before we actually felt the earth undulate, I sprang from my chair and I told everyone to run out with me.  Only one girl heeded my advice, following right behind me, and I urged her to run with me far, far, far away from the building.  It wasn't enough to get out of the building, or far from the building, but it was necessary to get extremely far from the building, so as to avoid being crushed by the collapsing debris.

When we were far enough to be safe, we turned around and watched the building lurch forward, then backward, and finally crumble into pieces.  I asked the girl who'd followed me, with great anguish, whether she thought everyone had gotten out in time.  She said she didn't believe they had, as they'd all been intent on running back into their apartments to take out their belongings.  I found this to be ridiculous - who wants to save personal belongings when a building is about to fall?  I had a sad feeling overcome me, because I knew there were family members in that building.

Then, as if the dream were a movie, the camera zoomed into the rubble and showed some of the people in a room on the first floor, who were sitting around conferences tables, as if in the middle of a meeting.  For a few seconds, some appeared alive, but after a few seconds, they collapsed like deflating dummies.  The ones who seemed dead, sprang to life, as if waking from a dream. This part of the dream seemed almost comical, exaggerated, like a cartoon.

Before the third version of the collapsing building, the scene cuts to preparations for a wedding. My wedding.  I am getting married to Shand.  We are having a very small wedding, outside, in a tent.  But it happens very suddenly, with very little planning, and we gather whatever family members and friends who are able to attend on short notice.  I'm dressed in white, but it's not really a wedding dress.  My hair is a mess, and I haven't put on any make up.  I excuse myself, as we're still waiting for some of the musicians, to run to the bathroom and freshen up.

In a hurry, I put on my makeup, but I accidentally applied pink lip gloss on instead of eye shadow, and in a frenzy, I try to wipe it off and cover it up with eye shadow.  I try to trim my hair, flying off in many directions.  Before I'm done, someone is sent to me from the wedding party to let me know I am holding up the wedding, and that the guests are starting to believe I decided not to show up.  My grandmother, who has been dead for nearly three years but is somehow present at the wedding, delivers the message that she feels something is wrong, wrong because I'm not there on time.  I deliver a message back, assuring that I am fine, that everything will be fine, and I'm simply trying to make myself look pretty for the wedding.

Shortly after, I make it back to the tent. The trumpeter has left, but it's no worry, there are still two or three other musicians to make the band.  And the wedding continues.  The groom and I kiss in a fairy-tale romance way, and I start to think it perhaps is a fairy-tale, that it's not real.  But the reception room is being set up with plates and glasses and food and drink, in the meeting room in the lobby of the building that collapses, where dead people come to life and live people die.

The scene cuts to the lobby, and this time, the groom and I are there, waiting for the reception to begin. But he now has the knowledge, in his dream memory, of the building about to collapse, and he takes my hand, and we fly out of the building.

Then I am logging on to something like Facebook

I watch the video, at first from the point of view of me watching it on the computer. My friend, the musician, is jumping off a cactus, making a tumbling pirouette into the air - and then I start to see it from his point of view.  I see sky, sand and rocks, then sky, and then I am sucked back out of his point of view, watching it from the desert, as if I am standing there with him, and I see him land on his face onto  a pile of rocks.  He is disoriented, seemingly in pain, terrified, and I run to help him up the hill where his girlfriend is waiting.

As I help him along, I see a young woman come up behind me from the bottom of the hill.  She looks like she might be from Haiti.  She has pamphlets in her hand, and I sense she is trying to sell me something, so I hurry faster helping my friend to the top of the hill.  But I've made eye contact with the woman, and she catches up to us.  She is trying to tell me if I've heard about what she is about to tell me.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see photographs of dead people, half turned to skeletons.  I tell her I cannot look, I am not interested, and my friend just had a terrible accident, and he will be mortified to see these photos.

My friend seems to be losing his mind, as I push him into the back seat of the car and slam the door. The young Haitian woman tells me if I know about the monster that has visited these parts of the desert.  I tell her I haven't, and I run to the other side of the car, and jump into the front passenger seat, telling my friend she needs to hurry up and drive out of here as fast as possible, into town.  She slams on the gas, and we drive out of this area, on a gravelly dirt road, and just up ahead, I see a blue pick up truck pull into the road ahead of us, and the Haitian girl is sitting in the back in the bed of the truck, watching us.  And I have this realization that we cannot escape death.  It's waiting for us, ahead.

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