More strange dreams last night/this morning…
I’m working in a hospital. I catch a woman with a scalpel trying to steal something. I knock the scalpel out of her hand and detain her for the authorities. The really odd thing is that she is a dead ringer for another woman at the hospital, so I get them in the same room.
Unfortunately, since I disarmed her of the scalpel, I can no longer tell which of the two women is which—so I have to detain both of them.
As luck would have it, there is another such pair of women (one patient, one thief); though they look totally different from the first two women (short, dark hair and glasses vs shoulder length red hair and light freckles), they look identical to each other.
It becomes my job to take the four of them to the police.
Once I head out, however, I discover that they have become doll-sized—about four inches tall—and are in separate zip-lock plastic bags that have been placed inside a couple of 9 in. x 12 in. manila envelopes.
I have to make a stop—a convenience store or something. I don’t remember what transpires, but it delays me a few minutes.
When I get back to my car, I open one of the envelopes. The two dark-haired figures are not moving. I open the plastic bags to give them some air, but I cannot revive them. Are they real, or are they actually dolls?
Next, I’m passing through what looks to be some sort of staging area. There are building materials, stacks of doors, and piles and piles of manila envelopes full of stuff. Workmen are standing by to do whatever it is they are about to do. I walk through on the way to my destination.
When I am back on clear streets, I realize that I am no longer carrying anything. What did I do with the envelope? Did I put it down somewhere?
I encounter a blonde woman standing halfway up a ladder by a tree. I introduce myself as a student working on a psychology study, and ask if it would be all right to ask her some questions. We talk for a couple of minutes about something, then I start to trace my steps back in search of the envelope.
With so many stacks of envelopes in the area, and the envelope I am looking for being just another unmarked envelope, I don’t know where to start. So, I turn the corner to my right, then head halfway up the block to a pile atop a dense platform in a vacant lot next to a driveway.
I’m heading up the stairs of a building to retrieve my iPod and a few other things. The building is located in what appears to be a rundown section of a town in some tropical or equatorial country where a coup has just taken place. My colleagues and I are among the aid workers attempting to flee before we get taken away and thrown in a labor camp somewhere.
I slide my iPod and a bunch of CDs off of a table and into the carrier bag I have slung over my shoulder, then follow my colleagues back down the stairs, through a small hallway, and out the nearest exit, moving cautiously so that we do not stand out as we join the steady line of evacuees trying to escape the country. (For a second, I think I recognize Michael J. Fox, but he is too far ahead of us for me to verify.)
We are partly aided by some chain-link fencing that has been put up at the next corner. On our side of the fence are uniformed security guards. We pass them, and make our way up a heavily vegetated hill to an abandoned building. We enter cautiously, and climb the stairs.
Entering a loft with thick, cushiony mattresses covering the floor, we are able to rest here for a few minutes to gather our strength (and our wits) before moving out again. Somebody is checking the news on a small portable TV set. I check my iPod, which I’m relieved to find still has an 80% charge.
After making sure we have everything, we again join the line of people heading up what is now a dark, narrow, dingy hallway, lit only by the dimmest of bulbs. Up ahead, there is a doorway, which leads to airplane that will take us out of this place.
A guard at the door groups people in fours, giving them their new fake passports before sending them along. As the group in front of me exits, I find myself momentarily unsure of my place in line—will I be able to leave? And will I be convincing enough for the customs officer to let me through?
Now I’m in a large, square warehouse with cement walls. The place is filled with pillows and papers in all sorts of colors. I look around in panic, wondering how I’m ever going to find that envelope amidst all this stuff.
None of us here can leave, either: the only way out is blocked by armed guard.
Suddenly, through some openings near the ceiling, they shoot fireballs into the warehouse, sending those of us present scrambling to avoid being hit.
Miraculously, none of us are on fire. Instead, we are at the ends of rows and rows of tables, upon which sit thousands upon thousands of boxes.
I am confused. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be doing. I check to make sure my iPod is still in my pocket (it is), then start looking through one of the boxes.
The first thing I pull out is an old, scratchy photograph of three kids in a playground; next is another old family photo. What has happened to these people? Are they already gone? Is this all that’s left of what used to be happy families?
I find a couple of bills. They look sort of like American paper money, but one is a $12 bill; the other is a $1 bill. I fold them up in my hand, but one of the armed guards comes by to check on us before I have a chance to put the money in my pocket.
I quickly learn that it is the money we are looking for; everything else is to be burned. When the guard asks me if I’ve found anything yet, I tell him I found the $13. He has me put the bills in a small, white box, then continues on to the next row of tables.
I notice there are some recessed shelves in the wall behind me. I climb up a ladder to take a look. I push on one of the boxes—and notice that the openings go all the way through the wall. I am starting to consider making my escape, but the guy next to me warns me that there are packets of hot sauce behind the boxes, telling me that they’ll burst if I try to go out that way.
(24 December 2014)