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The Ice Express

Dreamed 1982/5/19 by Chris Wayan

I'm in the cockpit of a huge bird-plane, on the Polar route. I'm the radio man. A call comes in. "Captain, the train below us reports they're iced up. They can move, but they can't see well. They blame us."

"Us! Why?"

"Our bird is pissing on them."

So we argue with the bird, but it insists it has a biological right to, and goes right on peeing on the train's windshield.

The camera cuts to the train. It's the Trans-Arctic Express, from Ottawa to Moscow over the ice. Half-blind, they hurtle on stubbornly... but blinded by frozen bird-plane pee, they've lost the tracks. The going gets slow and hummocky, though at least the ice still bears their weight.

But then they're blocked by something unexpected. Great stacks of white flat plates... a crushed floe? But they're curiously squarish, and all the same size. Gigantic artifacts!

And the giants are ahead. Looking down from above, the Ice Express seems like a toy train on a cold white formica table. A train-length ahead, two huge ice-giants loom, sitting at the table, looking at a vast collection of 35 millimeter slides. They're my parents, sorting all their memories by year, and into stacks of losers and keepers. Piles of memories, so thick and high the Express can't pass!

And I'm not innocent; I'm a contributor. They're not all slides. A few yellow-green pictures were clearly drawn by children. Me and my sisters!

So being pissed may get you off track, but it's old memories that halt the Express.

NOTES IN THE MORNING



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