After the Flood and the Pig-eared Baby Alligator
Dreamed 1994-96 by Skiznot
It started in a package-sorting building where I worked for UPS at the Oakland Airport. Inside were three platforms with conveyer belts. Usually, delivery trucks or air cargo containers were parked next to the middle platform but today the building was empty of all vehicles. I saw my crew standing on the middle platform wearing rain gear so I stepped up to ask Mike N. what was going on.
"We're waiting for the boat."
I looked around to find the building was filled with water that wasn't there when I walked in. Mike N. pointed and a flat pale blue plastic boat with enough room for all five of us pulled up to the platform.
We were floating down Main Street in my home town of Benicia. Main Street had become a river with debris-covered land on each side. On the east side I recognized Ann P. from high school, whom I hadn't seen for about seven years. She was cheerfully distributing lunch boxes to victims of the flood. I waved and she stepped away from the group to come talk to me.
"Hey S., long time no see."
"It's good to see you. How's your brother doing?"
"I'm sure he's doing fine."
"I guess we're here to help, where do you need us?"
"Nothing much left to do today, just relax." Ann walked back up to continue her work.
We docked the boat on an elevated grassy area and walked to the top. The other side of the hill descended into another flood-made river starting with a circular pool below us and extending south. A few tall dark buildings loomed in front of us on both sides of the river. The sun came out and we all threw off hooded raincoats and stretched with the satisfaction of hard work.
From behind us a school of strange fist-sized black fish hopped quite efficiently on their bellies past us! Before we could get a good look they splashed in the river. We exchanged looks of wonder. An unspoken agreement came over all our faces as if to say "let's go for it!" Our aches of work left us as we all stripped down nude and jumped in to chase the fish.
The black fish jumped in and out of the water as they swam forward. The dark buildings on each side gave way to shorter light brown buildings. The fish increased their lead as they swam under low bridges. As we swam on, the buildings on each side grew into a single apartment complex linked by the bridges. The architecture was boxy, but constructed from high-quality stained wood in a variety of shades, darkest around the edges. Of the original crew, only Mike N. and I remained. I got the feeling that this was his home; it was a place he had told me about, so I was curious to check it out.
I walked around the internal maze of the complex. It was much like a hospital but not as sterile; all the light was natural sunlight and everything was well crafted out of natural materials. We were in clean comfortable clothes now and Mike's wife, a fit and curvy woman with long brown hair wearing a light purple sun dress, came to take him home. I explored further and found that at regular intervals the hallways opened up into research areas where people worked cheerfully. They treated me as a welcome guest. Most research tables had a single plant on them each with different qualities; one with green bulbs reaching up toward the sun roof, another a dark purple mass contained in a tall square terrarium. It became clear that everyone lived and worked here in cheerful wonder. The end of the next hallway opened into a hub of activity and one exhibit attracted the biggest crowd. I overheard someone say that everyone was here to see the "Pig-eared Baby Alligator." I heard the name a few more times as the crowd parted for me to get a look.
Sitting at the side of a shiny wooden table, was not so much a baby alligator but more like a human baby with alligator qualities. He was about twice the size of a healthy three month old infant but with the same head to body ratio, maybe a bit bigger head. His skin was green and scaly and his ears were large but disappointingly just like human ears. Although he had the look and proportions of an infant, he had no trouble sitting up and looking around at the visitors. The Pig-eared Baby Alligator had large black shiny eyes with no whites at all and his mouth was like the ball shape of a chimpanzee's but less flexible and with fangs on each side of the bottom lip.
There was something terribly charismatic about this creature and everyone around seemed to be enamored with him and eager to hear what he had to say.
He turned those black eyes toward me and in a deep male voice that reverberated in my head and chest said: "You were a seagull in your former life."
I chuckled nervously and spoke to him as if I was humoring a child. "Oh is that so? So what am I in this life?"
"You are nothing."
His words were full of emphasis but it wasn't a shout. It was loud and clear as if he was speaking from inside my head and as the dream vision went black, I felt myself dissolve and expand into dark oblivion.
The next moment I was wide awake.
The dream did seem to appeal to a need for purpose (the disaster relief) and community (the living science complex).
As for the Pig Eared Baby Alligator I can't think of much--though the feeling of spreading into oblivion was something familiar at the time; meditation and certain musics would set it off.
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