Dreamed 1981/2/2 by Chris Wayan
Our archeological expedition is high up a steep sandstone crag, on steps shaped like footprints (which they are--worn in, over centuries). Wind so fierce I worry we'll be blown off. Through a rectangular window in the rock, our guide points out the main ruin far below. Indian, Andean, Mexican? Pyramids. I can feel veins of power in the ruins. Our leader's been tracing them--and USING them. Dangerous!
Much later. Years later! I'm in the backyard of my parents' house, here in Mexico City. The Archeologist reburied the ancient power sites, and our modern city grew on top. My father hands me an opera glass and points north to downtown. To the naked eye, it looks like San Francisco--hills, bridges, pyramid, fog. But through the glass, I see Tenochtitlan instead! The famous foggy hills are really pyramids, hidden and sealed. I can't get the vision to focus--it stays fuzzy. I compare the skyscrapers in the glass to the naked-eye towers around me. The discrepancies aren't obvious at first--similar heights. But more towers, and yes, taller too, in the glass. Several buildings over 300 meters. This can't be the SF I know, OR Mexico City! Time seems wrong too. Cars zoom around twice as fast as they should. And in the glass I see huge ugly slums hidden to my flesh-eyes.
I fear this monstrous, invisible city.
Time is my road out. I lead the expedition south into a zone of evening. On the road of time, night and day are places--stripes a few hundred miles wide. Time is zebra-colored! It's two or three hundred miles to the next band of day. Distance traveled must be divided by two, since time outside my car is at least twice normal.
Zebra Highway can take you into past or future, but near the crumbling sea-cliffs of Devil's Slide, I turn off onto a little dirt winding road--a sideroad of time. We stop and park by the House of Melinda. I keep thinking she's Sweet Melinda, the Goddess of Gloom, from that old Dylan song. She does live here in perpetual night, and she is sweet, but lower case--just plain Melinda. A bit of an earth-mother, Melinda's always helpful. I hope she can find a certain friendly byway of time I'm hunting, radical yet rural. A time we can live in.
Get out and stretch, intending to knock, but then tell my friends "Rather than disturb her so late at night, let's sleep in the car, and see her in the morning--" I stop confused, as I recall that around here, tomorrow never comes. "When we wake, I mean."
Campfires light up, down in the valley ahead of us. Are they flickering twice normal speed?
When veins of white fire creep out from the red dots, I'm too tired to feel more than surprise. Veins of light, favoring the valleys. Near the horizon, a vast flash of light. Alien, terrifying. The next valley blasts white--it's no explosion, but a silent brilliance like day. Yet sourceless--no core. The nearest valley flashes... and veins start to creep up our valley. I fear we'll go blind when it blazes. Pyramid power turns fierce when repressed! I shout "Get in the car! "and we run for it. But the steep sandy road heaves and slips toward the sea-cliff. The car starts to tilt, a wheel goes over... I see it's doomed.
So... I push it off.
And time splits! On one fork the car's still there, can fall and take us with it, and we must get round it to Melinda's house... Yet the car's gone too--splashed in the sea far below. I split the time-branch!
My friend and I struggle to keep from going over several times, climb up to solid ground at last. He saves my life more than once, I act as an anchor to pull him up to road at the end. I feel guilty for not helping him more, earlier. As if I cheat, I'm lazy, unhelpful. Must save his life more OFTEN!
We never do see Melinda, but in the end, we do find a compromise place to live, a town of about 400,000, with lots of nature around it. Sorry about the weak, trail-off end. But I was grateful for any single end at all. Healed the split.
Because you don't know what confusion means till you've had to live on two timelines at once.
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