I'm on top of a lighthouse. The sea water around us is very high. In fact, it's so high that the choppy water is lapping at the edges of the railing. The sea is rising, and soon water is splashing into the lighthouse and gushing down the spiral staircase like a drain. We scramble to get down the stairs as water pours around us. I wish the people in front of me would hurry up.
Suddenly, we're in my parents' house, looking out the front windows across a beach at the lighthouse. It's almost entirely engulfed, and I can imagine grey water pouring down the spiral stairs and out the door. I realize that the water gushing out of the lighthouse will soon be flowing this way. I tell everyone to quickly shut the windows in the front of the house. I don't worry about the back, though.
The water is soon lapping up at the house and begins to leak in through the windows. I pile up sand to channel the water into the fireplace and down the ash chute. The water flow increases, though, and keeps overflowing the banks of my little levee.
I'm on a train through the Sierra Nevada. We're just cresting a pass. There's a lake off to the left, but the water level is very low, and what water's left is a sickly green like glacial milk. To the right, the terrain falls off sharply to a lush green valley with white granite poking through the distant stands of trees. The trees are very fuzzy, almost like emerald velour at this distance.
The train starts down the East side of the pass in a long curve to the left around the end of the lake. It's going fairly fast down the hill, and I watch the tracks and switches wiggle by. All of a sudden, my mom gets upset about lunch, throws a switch, and sends the train off the tracks, careening down the steep hill to the right. We all hold on tight, not scared, barely even surprised. The train soon stops at the bottom of the hill, in a dark, moist canyon.
There's a creek in the canyon here, and a set of old train tracks running parallel to it. Behind me, up the hill about fifteen feet, is a hiking trail, also parallel to the creek. I look down over an embankment of damp railroad ties onto the tracks. They're in pretty bad shape and old telegraph lines hang down off their poles into the path of the tracks. I look up the tracks to the left and see that they enter a tube of bright blue plastic. The tube is only half-buried in the hillside, so light filters through the plastic giving the tunnel a blue glow.
I reach down and pick up a handful of soil. There are bright flecks in it and a hunk of yellow. Is it gold? I can tell it's not Fool's Gold, but it seems very crumbly. My boss, Peter, gets very excited and starts searching for more. He shows me a ziploc bag full of soil and lots of the bright flecks. Soon everyone joins in the frantic search for gold.
It's getting dark quickly, though, and I'm getting worried that we won't have time to make camp. I can't convince anyone to give up their search and help me set up, though. Soon it's very dark, and I get a flashlight out of my backpack and use it to fumble for my jacket. I'm having difficulty seeing, even with the flashlight. Are the batteries dead, or is it my eyes? I see a mob of people approaching on the trail.
I'm sitting around my parents' house with my old friend David, when the phone rings. It's Carter's mom calling to ask for help. A pipe has burst and their basement is flooded. I'm not quite sure why she's calling me, since Carter and I were never very close friends, and I certainly haven't talked to his parents in at least 15 years.
In any case, I reply that I'd be happy to help. In fact, I've got my rubber boots with me! David has a pair with him, too, but Carter's mom doesn't know he's visitting. I figure it'll be a nice surprise to show up with David, since he knows them better than I do.
Carter's dad then speaks up, and I realize they've both been on the line the whole time. I'm very enthusiastic about helping out, and I volunteer to come right over. But they start to sound unsure, now. Their voices are fully of worry, sadness, and uncertaintly. Their doubt starts to infect me, and I wonder if I really should go help them dig through their ruined belongings.
I'm having a weekend away by myself. I'm riding my bike up a road through the Sierra foothills. I arrive at a state park that's appeared before in my dreams. The park has two trails leading up the mountain: one that takes a relatively straight path skirting the right side, and one that swings wide to the left and switchbacks down a broad shoulder.
The park is about to close for the night, but they're going to light up the more direct path with floodlights for a special event hike. That doesn't sound very nice to me, so I leave with one of the rangers. He takes me down the road a hundred yards and across it into a lush green field next to a creek. We go into a small building where there is a bluegrass band jamming. They're really good, and I'm very happy.
I look down and notice my red bandana is stuck hanging half way out my fly. I stuff it back in and zip up.
I start playing air guitar along with the music, but in the quiet sections I realize my air guitar is making real noise -- and I'm a really bad air guitar player! I stop playing, embarrassed.
The building is getting crowded, so we all decide to move down the creek to a larger building. As we walk through the cool, still night, I notice some bright blue bio-luminescence in the creek.
We get to the other building, and someone make a phone call to get more equipment: amplifiers, lighting, etc. This is turning into a big concert! The place starts really rocking, and everyone's having a great time.
When the concert ends, everyone starts thanking eachother for the great time. The folks who helped organize it get special thanks. I look down and notice my shoes are wet and my feet are squishing around in them. I don't feel like sleeping in my truck tonight.
There are other folks sleeping in bed with us. I don't want them to see me naked in the morning, so I actually get up out of bed in my sleep and put on underwear.
I'm on an escalator going up in a cave. It's some sort of metaphor for booting a computer, because characters are coming down the rubber handrail as it slides past me. Bad people are rearranging the characters, trying to screw up my boot. They're messing with the string "/usr/X11R6/bin" now.
I frantically try to put the letters right again before they get too far past me, lifting them up like cardboard cutouts and sticking them back down to the rubber. I end up with "/usr/X1", though, and my monitor comes up looking like Windows with goofy fonts.
There's a cobra, and I want to grab it. It's a very small cobra, more like the size of a garter snake. Not considering the danger, I reach down and grab it behind the head. It twists its head around and bites my right index finger: a quick little prick with its fangs trailing goo as it pulls away.
I know in my head that the finger will have to be amputated now, and I regret my rash decision to try to grab the snake. I think about how hard it'll be for me to type or write without that finger.
I keep holding the snake, waiting for someone who can help to show up. I occassionally switch it to my other hand, but fortunately it never bites me again. Someone who knows how to handle cobras shows up and takes the snake from me by pressing its head between his fingers. I see how he holds the snake, and I want to crush its head by squeezing my fingers in that way. The snake-handler opens the snake's mouth and shows me the fangs. We don't kill it.
Last modified: Thu Oct 24 10:21:12 2002
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