Skimming toward Freedom
Dreamed 2002/1/18 by Chris Wayan
I'm hunting for a day job! A friend told me to call the school she teaches at--Treasure Island School, a middle school that really is out on an island south of Alcatraz. What a strange place to work that'd be! Halfway over the Bay Bridge every day... I call the principal, talk a bit, like her, and mail her a resume.
Then I go get my hair cut near the beach--a place called, without irony, Harry's.
Email my friend Melinda the retouched photos for her brochure.
Start sketching a portrait of Mozdoc, an art collector who's commissioned a self-portrait of his online self. A challenging assignment--even in San Francisco, you don't see many three-eyed, winged uni-centaur-millipede stallions. Yeah, 500 pairs of legs. And, presumably, 500 penises. A lotta testosterone for one painting. And me into femme! Still, if the patron wants butch...
Sex aside, that's gonna be one crowded composition! Sketch sketch sketch.
Bike over the hill, buy food, lug it back... tires me out. In the evening, just read and watch TV. A British mystery show, "Lovejoy." He gets bullied into tracking down a painter who seduced the wife of a general. She has no intention of returning to her jerk of a husband. But he didn't really want her, he wanted some incriminating documents about a colonial massacre. What interests me is how this politician and general both use their power to blackmail and bully Lovejoy--and everyone else. By the end, that painter's little scams and lies look positively innocent.
I'm in a college. Stanford? UC Santa Cruz? On the grass of the quad, dozens of huge, weird dogs with slender bodies up to 2-3 meters long are mating. A megadog orgy! The males have equally long, oversize penises--quite horselike. Grotesque, and familiar somehow. But where would I have seen anything like this before?
A bunch of us gawkers pull ourselves away from the spectacle and head for lunch. But we step through the wrong door--not a shortcut to the cafeteria, but an interdimensional gate! We find ourselves in a rock-walled valley echoing the faint far roar of a dozen waterfalls. Looks much like Yosemite, but without any sign of humans. Is this on an alien planet or an alternate Earth?
It's not just a depopulated Yosemite--it's much smaller, as we discover when one of our group sets out to climb the wall, and reaches the pines near the top in just a few minutes.
Only they're not pines. Twisted things. Creepy. I fear giants will appear among the strange trees.
We find a skull-like rock, with cavemouths. The others cheer "Safe shelter! This is great!" I'm not so sure. Climb a low bank to a shelf at the cave-mouths, like a front porch. To my shock it's covered in gray lifesize statues of human beings and... others. My unease focuses. How do we know they're statues, not other travelers turned to stone? One looks like Gollum--little, rounded, balding, but sinister.
Now I drift into deep sleep...
When I re-emerge to the dreamworld, I find myself at a party in a large apartment complex in Santa Cruz, down near the beaches of Monterey Bay. A friend at the party warns me some cop or detective's been asking everyone about my girlfriend and me, hoping we'll lead them to a low-profile local group for psychics or shamans. A secret school? It's true--we are in such a group and we're all developing odd abilities. My girlfriend and I can even fly! But we don't misuse our powers--why are they investigating us?
Knowing our every move is watched spoils the party for me...
I explain to my girlfriend. She whispers "Let's leave. But let's not make it easy for them to track us." I grin and suggest a plan...
Holding hands we rise into the air and out over the balcony, openly, knowing they'll be alerted. But we want to look innocent. We skim down to the beach, and light on the sand. Walk along it hand in hand by the water's edge. It's a mild night. They undoubtedly have outdoor watchers but they can't come close without being obvious--and streets atop the cliffs are slow, narrow, winding and broken by many streams and lagoons. The beaches, though, are relatively continuous--a highway for runners! So we jog along the beach, staying on the ground--just two of many runners on the sand. But we're discreetly using our powers to make ourselves light. We run effortlessly for miles, skimming east through Soquel toward Freedom and Aptos and on around the bay, heading for Monterey. Each leg of the journey could be local, and their agents can follow, for a while--but those on foot will tire, and those in cars get forced inland sooner or later.
Despite being literally on the run, I feel happy. We're together, in love, and making progress toward Freedom.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
I was so happy in the dream! Despite being spied on. I loved my girlfriend, and felt sad when I woke and realized she wasn't there...
But maybe she will. She wasn't a memory--when I lived in Santa Cruz I never really found love. She might be... a promise.
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