Friday, May 22, 2009

The Elevators

Tension consumed me. I must not make a mistake or even waver. If I did, everyone would notice. Everyone knew were to go and I must know as well. Up to room seven hundred something or maybe it was eight or nine? The number was fleeting in my mind and I struggled to grasp on to it more clearly. Into one of the millions of elevators I went, still unsure, still hoping I had chosen wisely. The numbers seemed right, the flow was acceptable, and so I had hope I had chosen correctly. One other was in the elevator beside me and she did not appear alarmed so things seemed to be going well. Like all of us, she was very tall and thin and wore loose clothing with vertical panels of various shades of brown and tan. As was expected, she completely ignored me and did not speak.

Finally, the elevator opened at the same time as dozens of other elevator doors on this floor and people simultaneously poured out into the hall and dodged around each other to reach their locations. I felt I was near, very near, and then one of the rooms felt right and I scurried in. I had found the right room with the right number. No one else was in the room, just a table and a few chairs, all carpeted like the floors and walls in subtle shades of brown with hints of mauve. My tension ebbed substantially. The hardest part was over. Now I could start my work day which involved some kind of relaxed concentration.

At the end of the day, after exactly half the time of our planet's day/night cycle, my shift came to an end and the choreographed dash would repeat itself in reverse, but this time with slightly less tension on my part. Now I would take the route back to my room and I was more familiar with that route. I was less likely to make a mistake. Surely, I could find my own room! I concentrated. What was the number? 168 I think it is. And eventually, I was back. Inside were three of the long rectangular carpeted tables that in this room served as beds. Mine was nearest the window. I did not speak to the others of my room. It would not have been polite. Instead, I gazed out our window at the monstrous sparkling rectangular skyscrapers around us, all that was visible against the grey blue sky.

In the morning, the cycle would repeat, except I had been sitting on my bed day dreaming when the other two of my room left. I hadn't noticed as they passed the others in the hall. Now the lead person of the others was in my room and staring at me in shock. I had not passed them in the hall as I should. I was still here in the room. I had committed a monstrous faux paus. Now standing in front of me, he said, "I will chase you out of here," as which point my attention snapped back and fear coursed through me. I jumped up and ran out of the room.

But it was too late, the damage had already been done. I realized when he said he would chase me out, he meant permanently. And now I was out of sync with my tasks. I struggled to remember my destination but the number would not become clear to me. I passed through halls and into an elevator but then sensed the disturbance of those around me. The flow was not right. I was making the numbers unbalanced. I felt hopeless and scared but did my best to look calm and under control at all times just as society dictated.

Briefly, I considered offering to do a favor for the one who was angry at me, but then I looked at my records. How had I let it get so bad? I realized on my record labeled 168, I had countless transgressions stacked up on the top denoted by rectangles and squares of various sizes and bright garish colors, blue, green, orange, yellow. Another favor would mean yet another transgression and I simply could not afford that. And now I was hopelessly out of sync and could not find my room. The halls around me were empty. Everyone had found their place except me.

My life was over.

Suddenly, I got the idea that I would go to the top, to the special floors on the top. No one had ever been there that I knew of and I had no idea what I would find there. But it seemed the only thing to do. I got onto the elevator and signaled to go to the top section. An overseer behind a small desk in the hall was surprised by my choice and looked up inquiringly. I held myself proudly and told her with a confidence that I did not feel that, "I am going to the top." It was the ultimate act of arrogance that I had now embarked. No one ever went to the top!

To my surprise, the overseer spoke to me again, even though etiquette did not allow for such unnecessary chatter. She muttered low, probably so others would not hear her inappropriate talk, and she mumbled words of encouragement and consolation! What things to say! I was not sure how to respond to such strange statements so I ignored her. What did she mean by that anyway? Not only were they unnecessary statements but such strange ones at that! I turned my mind to what I might find above me.

And then the dream ended.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You are All Evil

I approach the woman behind the counter and she says to me, "Oh I know you! You are evil!"

I am surprised. "What?" I say, as confusion mixes with slowly kindling anger at this insult.

"You are evil and so is your whole group." she says, "That's what they told me. Everyone knows that." And then she stands there watching me as placidly as a glacier in a gentle snow fall.

Vaguely, I am aware of several others who have come in with me and now stand around me and I wonder if perhaps those are the group members she refers to as also being evil. Anger gives way to confusion as I consider this statement. Am I evil? I don't think I ever considered it. So I look inward now at my strengths and weaknesses, at my faults and at my frailties. But no, I am relatively sure I am not evil, certainly not perfect but I think still far from evil. "I think you have gotten some wrong information." I tell her calmly. Too bad she can't look into my mind and see for herself, I think to myself.

The woman continues to regard me for a few moments and then another woman walks up behind her with a huge box in her hands. The two woman hold the box out and offer it to me over the counter, but I am reluctant to take it, as if the perception of greed might only worsen my supposedly already existing reputation of being evil.

But they insist the box is a free and kind gift so I step forward and look warily inside the big box to see a swirly white material on the bottom as if decorative cake topping had been applied directly to the bottom of the box. Colors swirled in on one end of the box make an obscure pattern and I wonder at the nature of the gift.

The women continue to assure me it is a free gift and so, wondering if it will be heavy, I finally reach out to take the box. Then I wake up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dream Lover

Around us is a dorm like environment. We are sitting in this room chatting about this and that. Suddenly, he reaches his hand across to me and begins stroking the bare skin on my outer forearm with the backs of his knuckles. I am surprised because I had not perceived our talk as having been flirtatious. But I decide I like the feeling of his touch and so do not protest. I am in the middle of making a point when he starts and the touch makes me lose my train of thought and stumble in my words, but then I concentrate and continue talking as he continues to stroke my arm.

Later I must have fallen asleep on this small bed or couch. He has snuggled down near my knees in front of me with his back to me and I find this pleasant. Carefully, so as not to disturb him, I flick the end of my blanket so as to cover him better and then I look at his face. He has a slightly long and hooked nose and slight jutting chin with thick black hair, strong eyebrows and bright brown eyes, a European reasonably handsome look, different from my usual type but still quite acceptable. Then I go back to sleep.

I dream that two people are standing above me talking about asthma. One is male and one is female. The table I lay on is like an operating room table of sorts and they stand above me while they work. There are complex instruments set up around my body and the conversation between the two doctors has turned almost angry as they disagree on treatment theories. I remember the woman snapped at the man, "Well you can't even GET any data unless you choose a medication and administer it in the first place!" She seemed to be responding to some kind of statements on his part about the downsides of medications.

A short while later, I wake up slightly and I feel the man sleeping near me also stir from his sleep and slowly withdraw his hand from between my hands as if in an attempt not to disturb me. I had not realized I had taken his hand but now that he is pulling it out, I realize I must have. I do not move and pretend to still be asleep but in my mind I worry. Did I go too fast? Has he changed his mind? But then I tell myself my behavior was a reasonable response to his and so I can not blame myself.

He has withdrawn his hand now and I can feel a jostling as he moves on the bed. Is he trying to sneak off? I hope not and wait to see what he will do next. I hope that he is not leaving.

Then I remember I am in my room in California and the jostling stops and I realize the man must leave because he was never there in the first place. He is gone. I am alone in my bed just as I was when I went to sleep the night before. Or was it me that left him? It's hard to sort out my emotions. I miss the nameless man of the dream. Usually, I do not see faces in my dreams but even now, his face is still clear in my mind. I will have to remember this dream for the blog..

(PS, yes I do have asthma in my waking life)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Russian Psychic

I was what you might call an idiot savant. My mind did not work like the others. It was deficient in some areas, but brilliant in others. They kept me here in the this insane asylum, but I was not part of the general population. Still, I liked to lounge in the hall near a small planted area and watch as the insane people passed by. One of them did not like me and on this one day, he decided to challenge me with rude words. I knew I could easily crush him with my strength. My huge male body was naturally strong and bearlike compared to this thin little spastic man. I knew I should ignore him, but today he had hurt my pride and I got up and spoke words back to him. Suddenly, he jumped on me attacking and biting. But I did not want to fight him.

Guards sprang into action and pulled him off and no one was seriously hurt, but from that day forth, I was banned from that area of the ward. I was too valuable for my life to be risked in that way and so I was disconsolate. I knew in my heart that the incident was my fault. The crazy man had sensed my pride and that had triggered his attack. I could not blame him as he was crazy, after all, and I was not like him. I knew better. If I had controlled my pride, it would not have happened. Now I was no longer allowed to go to the only place I liked, the only place where life throbbed around me. I was disconsolate.

The officials were concerned about my sadness and so they prepared a special room for me to try to make me feel better. The room had many tables and small machines and some tapestries and a nice new expensive grey carpet. They presented it to me with great fanfare, but to me it was dark and dead. Lifeless. I hated the room and continued to be disconsolate.

At times, me and others were expected to gather in the room together. The others were psychics, specially trained and regularly practicing their skills. They were proud of what they did and often spoke of it. I was glad they had this important job and they did seem to like what they did, but I did not consider myself one of them. I did not understand their training and I did not speak with them about what it was like to have this job called 'psychic.' They were different than me, of that I was sure.

We spent most of our time in the building that contained the insane asylum but once in a while, they would take me out in a car, late at night, to visit someone or do something. The streets would be deserted and dead around me as we usually traveled at weird hours. I remember when I would return from these trips, I could see the outside of the facility. It was only about two stories tall and reminded me of a 70s style movie theatre with swooping stylish curves. It seemed an unlikely place for a secret government psychic program.

One time, I was taken to a large factory with many long work tables and workers milling around working hard, and a woman that was one of my overseers led me to a table with some machine parts on it. One was a canister shaped piece of metal and she asked me to pick it up and hold it in my hands. As I held it, I said, "Falls apart after 300 tries." I would say these things with little understanding of how or why. They would just sort of spill out of my mouth unbidden. I didn't even understand what they meant, but the woman was angry now, not at me but at someone else. She snarled to the man near her, "We are NOT buying them! Did you think you could fool me?" And then she led me out. My task was over already. I was glad because I did not like the feeling of anger and tension in that place.

Occasionally, I would linger by a back door in the facility above the insane asylum. I could feel with my mind that the burning life giving sun was behind that door. The door was locked, but I knew I could easily escape if I felt like it. They could not hold me against my will and often I dreamed of being in the outside. But always, I decided against it. They would hunt me and track me and I would have no kind of good life. I would not have food and I did not have the skills to survive on my own out there. I knew I would not succeed. So I allowed them to think they contained me, that they held me captive, and I stayed in their facility, even though I often did not like it.

One day, I was doing something else when something caught at my my mind and I came running as fast as I could towards that door. The door was open and my friend was leaving, the only friend that I really cared about and that really cared for me. I ran through the open door and screamed "Natasha! Natasha!" as anguish oozed from every pore of my soul. How could she leave me!

She was walking away rapidly. They had thought they could have her sneak out but of course I knew. She turned now and looked genuinely sad in her tight grey skirt suit and beautiful blond hair, as she told me in a pinched voice that she would return later. But I knew she was only saying that. In truth she had little knowledge of her future assignments. I might not ever see her again. The sadness overwhelmed me.

End dream.
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