Dreamed 1984/11/13 by Chris Wayan
It's our last day in Hawaii. I feel sad. I love Kauai, I could spend weeks exploring. Still, my sister and I are both sick and exhausted--in poor health to start with, and the stress of travel hasn't helped.
A dark morning, and it gets darker. Storm! Try to drive to Haena but turn around--can't see a thing but gales of glassy rain. Go to the local mall. Look at coral and shells in glass cases instead of the sea. Spend the afternoon in, reading, writing, watching TV...
But late in the day, the storm lulls, and I decide to try again. I want to see Haena and Na Pali coast, with an urgency I don't really understand. Miriel's depressed and sick and sullen, as she has been the last couple of days... She says "Why even try, it'll just be raining. I say "Okay, then, I'll go alone."
In the parking lot, hear a yell. "WAIT FOR ME!" Miriel gets in. Glad I pushed her, now.
North! Tattered clouds, fast-flying. Flashes of sun. Lush green forests, pretty bays. Caves.
Miriel lies on the Haena beach. I hike alone up the trailhead to Na Pali. At sunset I climb to the stone terraces where the ancient Hawaiians had a hula dancing school.
At dusk a magical swim--the water crystalline, despite the recent storm. The fish and coral glow maroon, yellow, purple, midnight, parrot-green, in polarized light bounced off huge cumulus clouds. The lights come on around the cove, till it looks like an elven city, no mortal realm...
And then I realize the magical feeling is no mere trick of the light. Deja vu. And no illusion. I HAVE been here before! Two weeks ago, in my dreams, the very first night we came to Hawaii, I dreamed this moment--my last here. My tiny victory of willpower over our family's legacy of illness and pessimism.
When I get back to our room, I look in my journal--and there it is. It was real. At the start of our journey, I dreamed of the end.
I'm in a little scout ship, orbiting a ringed world. See a spiral nebula, a fetal star.
But I've been gone a long, long time... Our sun's huge, streaked orange and shocking pink like some tropical shell, from wisps of gas that shroud and dim it.
I land on Earth to find most of humanity gone. They'd built an energy-field to collect solar power and replace the ruined ozone layer. It regulated rainfall too... and with the sun shrouded, the web failed.
All I find is a huge White Hotel, long and low and cold. No wonder: it's built of slabs of ice. A few survivors camp out in the lobby. They look and talk like World War Two soldiers. They tell me "All the rooms are sealed."
I propose we melt our way in one. It's hard; my little ship has limited power, can only melt one seal at a time. But we can do it, slowly.
And the rooms do have tenants! Cryogenic tenants. One in each room. Entombed alone, in hope of a warmer day. We thaw out the ones we free... slow and exhausting work, with our limited supply of warmth. But we owe it to them.
We the living gather on the San Francisco Peninsula. Almost all the transportation system is dead, but an engineering genius leads us onto an Inertial Train--its track is designed like a roller coaster so that after an initial boost at each station, gravity pulls it to the next; if you don't stop, you can glide all around the Bay on very little power. This, we can use!
But our genius-guide brakes the train at a midway station. I worry aloud "Can we really find the energy to get moving again?" But he insists "There's something essential here. Come see." He's talking to two of us: me, and the Feathered Rainbow Snake. The snake was once worshiped as the rain-god Balolokong by the Hopi and as Balalakona by the Aztecs. She's an old friend of mine; she drapes over my shoulders affectionately.
One face sticks its tongue out, and the genius stops and points. "This is what we came for. The Einstein Memorial."
I say "Memorial? But--"
"Shhh. We need to summon the spirit of Einstein to help us out of this."
"But... we thawed Einstein last week. You helped. He's on the train right now!"
The Genius says "No, no, your grief is clouding your memory. It's understandable, after humanity died."
Rain-snake pats me affectionately with her tail and whispers "Nah, I saw him too."
And then Einstein walks up from the train, wild hair and all. Alive, alive, alive.
To view his own memorial with us!
Our brilliant leader's wrong. With no energy and the sheltering field down, our plight may be grave...
But at least we're not in one.
A NOTE NEXT MORNING, ON THE PLANE HOME
So I'm thawing out my frozen aspects one by one, with my limited energy. I even have a friendly goddess riding on my shoulders, advising me. But I'm over-pessimistic, like my sister--I think I must free my intellect, when I've already DONE it!
Still, I overcame our family pessimism yesterday--followed my urge, and was rewarded with a magical journey. Literally magical! Had I not reached Haena, I'd never have known that dream two weeks ago was psychic--of a real place.
How many of our dreams are real, unknown to us? Because we don't go see?
I think this dream was influenced by D.M. Thomas's classic book "The White Hotel"--Freud analyzes a patient with mysterious pains and recurring nightmares of a white hotel. Of course he sees it as hysteria, but her dreams echo her own future--in the Holocaust.
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