I'm parking a 4Runner on the street outside my parents' house in Berkeley. The edge of the street drops off sharply down a slope into my parents' yard. I look out the passenger-side window to see how close I am to this edge. I'm very close -- the car's right wheels are just about on the edge of the pavement. The 4Runner begins to slip. I jump out and it rolls over and down the hill about 10 feet, crushing vegetation and landing on its side. Me and some other people wedge ourselves on the down-side of the car and push it up and over, back onto the street. I'm feeling very bad for my mistake. I realize that Rachel E. was inside the car when it tumbled, and I feel worse. Someone then tells me that she was pregnant and the crash caused her to miscarry. I feel awful.
I'm riding in the back of Laura's car with Marjie. Mark is driving and Laura is in the passenger seat. She turns around and tells us happily that she's been turning tricks lately. I look to my right and see a full-page driving log stuck to the outside of the window next to me. Backwards, through the translucent sticker, I can read the dates and times of the drives they've taken. Mark says that the ones with P's next to them are the tricks. I realize that she's been doing it while Mark drives. In the back seat. Where I'm sitting.
I'm at my parents' house in Berkeley. David, Marjorie, and I are going to go on a sunset bike ride with some other people. I suggest one route down the hill through some bushes, but David suggests we ride up Grizzly Peak Blvd. It doesn't sound too exciting to me, but we take his route anyway.
After riding for a little while, we come upon an immense Holocaust memorial which none of us have ever seen before. It's a giant stone temple, carved intricately like a Balinese stupa. Many people are there visiting it -- perhaps there is a festival going on. Next to it is an even larger building, also carved stone, and also full of people. This building is an arena of sorts: a series of open spaces, each on a different level, each surrounded by tiers of seats, each connected by passages through the intricately carved walls, and each covered with a heavy, stone roof.
Hundreds of people fill the stands and mill in the halls. There is definitely a festive and ritualistic atmosphere. I manage to find a spot in a dark hallway with a view down to one of the dance floors. The floor is full of dancers arranged in a grid matching its checkerboard pattern. They remind me of the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey.
By this time, David, Marjorie and I have lost the others in the surging crowd. We decide to continue on our journey. It is night now. We walk through a forest to a lookout over a bay. Low ridges of pine trees descend into the rippling, dark water, patchy bone with the full moonlight. There is a tree just below us with a parachute hanging splayed out from its branches. There are several teenagers lounging in it and others swinging on a rope in an attempt to arc themselves up and in. It looks like a fun place to hang out and be delinquent. The kids seems a little rowdy for my tastes, though, and soon I see one of them pull out a pistol and play hot shot by twirling it around his finger. We leave quickly.
We climb through a small space under a roadway. The tunnel is about five inches deep in water and we emerge on the other side muddy and soaking wet, but not cold. We walk on a path up a wide, shallow canyon. The vegetation is sparse now, and a deep gully incises the middle of the canyon to our left. I see some wolves in the moonlight on the other side of the gully. Something looks strange about them, though. Is it just the moonlight tricking my eyes, or do they really have gigantic, beavertail ears sticking straight up? I get a little scared. I look forward and see more of them on our side of the gully. These are closer, and I can see that they definitely do have the ears. Their bodies are more like shaggy bears, though, with large, wide feet. The beasts approach us warily, and we try to stay relaxed. One comes forward. It has a large, wrinkled face of shiny black skin, somewhat like a gorilla but also resembling an ogre. It stands in front of me and says, "We are the LopLop."
I'm not me, I'm someone else. My sister has gone camping with some of her party friends. While camping at a lake, a large airplane crashes nearby. My sister comes home with a four-year-old boy and some large jars of condiments from Price Club: ketchup, relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. She asks me if I'll take the boy and the condiments to their home. The boy and I start up the path of steps near my Parents' house. I ask him if it's OK if he carries the ketchup and the relish, and he says yes. I warn him that the walk is very long.
After climbing the steps for a few miles, we reach the top and turn left down another set of steps towards a lake. Near the bottom of the steps, he drops the relish. It bounces down a series of concrete slabs by the side of the steps and finally breaks open with a wet crash, leaving a large pile of relish and broken glass. I turn towards the boy and he lets the jar of ketchup fall from his hand. It, too, smashes open into a wet and dangerous mess. I could tell he let this one fall on purpose and I get mad at him. He feels bad and borders on tears.
I climb down the steps to clean up the relish. I find the jar's remains in the bedroom of a house by the lake. Broken glass strewn with relish is everywhere and I begin carefully placing pieces into my left hand. At one point I enter a side room. It is an elementary school computer lab. I find an extra data port in use and make a mental note to check its patch later.
I take off my clothes and continue searching. There are pieces all throughout the bed, and I end up partially stripping the sheets to get at them. I become more and more frantic as I search every cranny of the bedroom for glass. Soon, I am tangled up in the sheets and covered with relish and broken glass. I see the couple who live in the house drive up outside.
I begin calling out "Hello!" so as not to surprise them. I open a door on the way to the front of the house and surprise the woman who is on her way in. She screams and punches me in the stomach. I can feel her bony knuckles dig into my abdomen. I frantically try to explain myself and begin crying. We all sit down on a couch as I tell them the whole story of the plane crash, the hike, and the broken condiment jars. Eventually, they begin laughing at the situation and recall that they vaguely know one of the campers. We all leave together to help out at the crash site.
I'm in an electronics store. A salesman approaches me and leads me over to a display of laptops and PDAs. He picks one up and demonstrates it to me. It's about the size of a checkbook and has a large LCD screen. The screen is scrolling through a maze of garbage characters. The salesman then takes me back to another computer. This one is a cube about three feet on a side and is crammed with old-fashioned dials and switches on every surface -- including the bottom! It has a screen about the size of a credit card mounted in the top.
The salesman flips a few levers and turns a few knobs and shows me how to control it. The screen shows a view of a landscape from the point of view of a plane skimming across it. I can control the course of the plane with two joysticks mounted on either side of the screen. Given the size of the screen, I am unimpressed.
Suddenly, however, I am inside the computer, flying without the aid of a plane over a very real and beautiful landscape. The forest floor drops away beneath me and I glide out over the Grand Canyon. It's near sunset and the Canyon is vivid red rock and deep purple shadows capped with clouds like electric cotton candy. There are futuristic cities built onto the walls of the Canyon in places and their lights twinkle brilliantly. I swoop left past a thin finger of sandstone jutting into the air and enter a swarm of other flying beings.
As I exit the other side of the swarm, I get an emergency telepathic page -- someone needs me right away! I climb up to the rim of the Canyon and set down near a promontory. I walk out to the tip and sit down cross-legged, looking out over the Canyon. I concentrate and tune in to telepath channel Beta Wave 3.
A beautiful woman is there in my mind. She comes towards me and we instantly embrace. Her allure is overpowering and we squeeze and rub each other vigorously. She turns her back to me, her wavy black hair sliding across my chest, and as I hold her hips against me I can see her erect nipple through the arm of her loose tank top. We fall back on the rock and I reach my hand into her shirt and squeeze her breast.
Suddenly, the connection is broken and I find myself laying on a cobblestone street in Europe, still squirming, with my hand down my own pants. Passers-by and those waiting busses stare at me. I sit up quickly and catch a glimpse of my psi-lover jump off a nearby rooftop and run away down the street. It was a trap, but I'm OK. I laugh at the thought of a man writhing, groaning, and masturbating in the middle of the street in 20th century Europe -- shocking, no doubt!
I'm up in an attic with a couple friends. There's a small monkey under a glass bell on the floor. Someone lifts the bell and the monkey flies at me, biting into my left arm. It doesn't hurt too much, but I shake my arm vigorously and the monkey wont let go. My friends rush over and hold the monkey belly-up. It looks more like a squirrel at this point. I flick at the monkey's penis with my finger, hoping to make it let go of my arm.
The owner of the house, a short, middle-aged woman with gray hair, storms in and yells at us for letting the monkey out. She admonishes us for not knowing the proper way to handle a monkey. She pulls it off my arm and slams it face-down into the wood floor. She pulls a key out from her pocket and jabs it into the monkeys spine, pinning it painfully to the floor.
I'm with a group of friends, trying to decide what to do. I suggest a nearby hike I know about, one that I've taken before with friends and really enjoyed. They agree, and we head out through the bay trees and scrub.
I round a corner and glance up. A thick branch has fallen onto the tree next to it, and sitting on its bare bark is a huge chameleon -- four feet long and bright blue against the sky. It has three or four normal-sized and -colored chameleons holding onto it with their mouths in various places. I stop and point and everybody watches. It walks forward, out of the sun, and its skin ripples with the green of the bay trees. Its skin shimmers and changes again, this time to a pure white.
We continue on our walk. At one point, we have to decide whether to continue up the trail along the side of the mountain or to detour into a nearby cafe. We decide to go to the cafe first, and walk out onto a cobblestone square. There are crafts carts set up and we browse for a little while. I find a beautiful glass sphere shimmering with color. Its outermost layer is clear, giving the sphere indistinct edges but letting the pink splotches below shine through.
We walk into the cafe and out to a patio behind it. I've been here many times before. Coming out from the cafe, the patio is up against a rock face on the right side, and the far left corner hangs about ten feet in the air. From that corner you get a great view of old buildings and streets full of pedestrians, cars, and bright orange busses. Just in front of you is a large building with a street-level passageway underneath it. A constant stream of people is always entering the passage. Above their heads, you can see that the passage slopes down and away from the patio for a hundred yards or so, ending in a light spot. Along the way are a couple of landings with cross passages. Each cross passage is also teaming with people.
I look around me a realize that, although I know I'm in San Francisco, this view looks a lot like many European cities. It strikes me that I've never noticed this before and I begin to walk over to a table against the rock where my friends are sitting. Immediately, the impression disappears and it looks like the U.S. again. Returning to the corner, it again looks like Europe. I get the attention of my friends and wave them over to show them my observation. They agree with my impression, but want to get back to hiking. I'm upset: I've wanted to explore the passage every time I've been here, and the desire is even stronger now. But I can't figure out how to get down off the patio and don't know how I'd go around, either. It looks like there are train tracks in the passage now, and I think I see some grass on the other side.
Marjie and I are looking for an apartment to rent, and a friend of ours has offered to show us one in her building. We enter the building and wait in a small foyer. We start to throw a small rubber ball back and forth, occasionally bouncing it off the white walls. The door behind me opens and and old woman steps out and scolds us for making so much noise. We're being very apologetic and trying to smooth things over when another door opens and our friend steps out. She whisks us away to show us the apartment that's for rent. She makes a face to indicate the old woman complains too often.
We exit the building, cross a narrow driveway and start up a flight of stairs. The stairs climb without a railing up the left side of a tall hallway, leaving an increasing drop to our right as we ascend. As the stairs approach a doorway set high in the far end of the hallway it becomes clear that the doorway is not normal size, and the stairs are getting closer to the level ceiling of the hallway. We continue to climb in a crouched position and eventually reach the door, which is about three feet tall and blood red.
We squeeze through the door and find ourselves in a dark basement. To our left, suspended a few feet above the rough dirt floor and abutting the corner of the basement, is the frame of a room. It looks like a normal studio apartment room, with furniture, rugs, maybe even a sink -- certainly lived-in -- but the walls have no drywall on them -- they're just wood frames, skeletons like you see in houses under construction, supporting the room from the ceiling. I think to myself about having to pass this apartment every day if we rented in this building.
We continue back into the basement, and our friend starts to show us the apartment that's for rent. Everything goes white and our friend's disembodied voice narrates the features of the apartment as icons for the various rooms and fixtures appear before me. An idealized sink, a simple ladder, a cartoonish bed...this is all I see of the apartment.
Our friend leads us back, out of the apartment and into a dark nightclub. The club is long and narrow, more of a wide hallway really, with tables set up along the right wall that stretches back at least 50 yards. The club seems to be some sort of sex club, and strippers and sex shows perform on small stages along the left wall, opposite the tables. The stages are seperated by thin dividers, breaking up the long room into a series of compartments. One of the stages we pass as we walk down the length of the room has a Princess Diana look-alike playing reluctant seducee to a male seducer. I catch a glimpse of her bare shoulder and bra strap as he pushes her dress aside with his finger, but then we're past them. We sit down at a table across from one of the stages where a couple is starting to have sex. As we watch, Marjie reaches over and grabs my penis through my pants. She stops almost immediately, though, and we leave the club.
Outside in the bright sunlight, Marjie pulls out a notebook and starts to write in it. She's writing very slowly in what looks like a cross between tagalog and greek, talking out the words as she writes them. She writes: "Some Phillipinos took us to a sex club where we...". At this point she draws a complex character, more of a small scribble that could mean she doesn't know how to write the rest of the sentance, and says, "...watched people have a lot of sex."
Last modified: Tue Jan 27 10:10:52 1998
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