• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. One Hundred Thirty

      by , 12-14-2020 at 11:11 PM
      In which Lucy and I see aliens attack...

      We're upstairs at night. Lucy is looking out her side window. She barks and bounces for my attention. I come and sit on the ottoman to see. Over the strait, I see what looks like a falling star. When it gets close to the water, the sky lights up with a series of flash bombs. Then I see the silhouette of a stealth bomber, back lit from the explosions; a sonic boom from above shakes my house. The aliens have invaded, and the US military is at war with them. Finally, I tell Lucy, something is happening which will end all of this and allow for the possibility of an afterwards.
    2. One Hundred Twenty Nine

      by , 12-02-2020 at 07:21 PM
      In which we attend R's dad's wake...

      R and I drive a white van up a treeless green hill with mountains in distance. We arrive at a Swiss chalet style building with a large parking lot. A man in a suit greets us and takes us into a foyer where a clerk behind a counter has us sign a registry. She asks us some questions and places a neon green visitor's sticker on our shirts.

      We walk down the hall towards a glass partition with a sliding door that leads out to a terrace. Outside, there are several raised rectangular platforms, and R's dad's shrouded body rests on one of them. There are no benches or chairs. We see V sitting on the ground beside their dad's body. Their dad is also there. He's healthy. He's wearing his glasses and a green and brown woolen sweater with his collar cuffed neatly over the neckline. He smiles at us and waves us over. We sit next to V but their dad continues to stand. All four of us look at the shrouded body.

      More people arrive. People walk around and chat with each other. I don't know most of the people. After some time, I exit the terrace through the glass wall and walk back down the foyer. I run into a blonde man who knows me but I don't know him. He is just finishing with the clerk and placing his visitor's sticker on his shirt.

      He greets me and asks about the wake. I tell him that everything is very peaceful and that R's dad is also there. He tells me that this happens sometimes, that some people believe if you attend your own wake, you must be a ghost, but he's not sure what he believes. This surprises me since I had not thought about R's dad being a ghost. I tell him that I am surprised by this though it makes sense. He says that it might not be true, no one knows for sure. He asks me what R or V thought about it, and I realized I didn't mention it to them.

      Updated 12-02-2020 at 07:29 PM by 38879

    3. One Hundred Twenty Eight

      by , 12-02-2020 at 07:02 PM
      In which I have a tiny man in a matchbox...

      I'm screwing a hanging hook into the dry wall. I miss the stud so the hook falls out, leaving a dusty hole in the wall. A beam of light shines through, and I put my eye up to the hole to peer in. I see a man running desperately towards me as a large orb of light moves across the sky chasing him, like the plane after Cary Grant in North By Northwest. I cup my palm beneath the hole and the man leaps into it. I slam my other hand against the hole, blocking the orb. The tiny man is safe!

      I place him in a matchbox with some tissue paper and bread crumbs. I bend down close to him to hear his story, but his voice is too small. I speak to him, but the sound waves blow him backwards off his feet. He puts his hands over his ears and doubles over in pain. I must figure out how to feed him, water him, keep him warm, communicate with him. Suddenly it all seems like such a chore. I consider squishing him like an ant and then remind myself that though he's ant-sized, he's still actually a human being. What a burden!

      In which I have a new job as a nanny...

      I'm wearing baggy pants. The kids are elementary aged and we are in a large stylish upper middle class house. They are in a basement playroom, chasing each another around a faux bamboo bar that looks like it hasn't been used in years for anything other than storing Amazon boxes. I'm bored with the game but attempting to appear engaged. I'm aware of the nanny cams watching me. I must seem patient and friendly.

      My pants keep falling down. I hide behind the bar out of sight of the camera and pull them up. I try to tuck them into my underwear to make them stay. Every time I take a step, they fall again. I reach for a blanket on the play room couch and wrap it around my body like it's a toga. My pants fall to my ankles, but I'm covered now in the blanket. The kids' mom comes down the stairs and sees me. "We're playing frat house," I tell her. She disapproves. But here we are, basement bar, bratty kids, toga...
    4. One Hundred Twenty Seven

      by , 07-09-2020 at 07:05 PM
      In which I have several short dreams...

      One - Lucy has turned into a sun bear. She doesn't seem to mind.

      Two - Lucy and I are walking down the ramp into town. There is a small black bear picking blackberries off the vines growing over the railing. We must edge past it without scaring it. I'm more than a little scared, but it does not occur to me to turn around. I drag Lucy past.

      Three - I'm on a visit. N is there. We argue about the upcoming election. It's tedious. She's smug and infuriating. I feel rage.
    5. One Hundred Twenty Six

      by , 02-02-2020 at 08:42 PM

      In which I mustn't interfere with the horrors of nature...

      There's a discarded porcelain basin sitting among tall grass in an abandoned lot, frequently used for dumping, near my house. From afar, I can see that it's heavy with a deep sink and a large ribbed area for drying dishes. I move closer to inspect if it's cracked. And I see a bundle wrapped in a blanket.

      I pull on the edge of a blanket and reveal an infant inside, dead, with a dog leash wrapped around its neck. I untie the leash, toss it aside and pick up the body.

      Back in my own house, I show it to my mother. She already knows about it, she explained, and if I don't want to get wrapped up in this, I best return the body to where I found it and replace the leash in exactly the same way.

      I return to the empty lot, walk over to the basin again, only this time the leash is now wrapped around the neck of a second swaddled infant. This time the baby is still alive, but struggling, gasping for air.

      I know that I'm not supposed to intervene. I'm like a nature photographer, filming a hyena eating a struggling gazelle. This is just how things are. I shouldn't have come here in the first place. I shouldn't have interfered. I need to put things back exactly as they were.

      I set the struggling baby aside in the grass. I replace the dead one in the basin where I found it. Only I realize that the leash is now on the struggling baby's neck. I reach into my pocket and pull out one of Lucy's leashes and I wrap it around the dead baby's neck.

      I walk away, leaving both of them in the field.

      When I get home, I tell my mother what I've done. She says I'm a fool for using Lucy's leash- now it can be traced back to me. The authorities will think that I strangled the dead baby. I realize she is correct.

      I return to the field a third time. I remove Lucy's leash from the neck of the dead baby in the basin neck. I remove the first leash from the neck of the struggling baby in the grass. Now relieved, the baby starts to cry. I replace the first leash around the neck of the dead baby, wrapping it tight. Then I wrap the body back up in the blanket and place its in the basin.

      Then I turn to look at the struggling baby, crying and gasping in the grass. I turn around and start to walk back home, leaving the baby there. The baby will die, probably in the night, and that will be it.

      All I can think of is what each moment must feel like. The baby is cold. The baby is suffering, second by second, gasping for air, hungry. I think of the gazelle, feeling the hyena rip its flesh.

      I go back to the field a fourth time. The infant is now a few months old. I see it's a little girl. I pick her up, and she stops crying. I can see the marks on her neck from the leash that strangled her, but she appears fine. She has curly strawberry hair. I take her home.

      I wonder if she'll be brain damaged. I give her a glass of milk and string cheese. She smiles. I feel immensely guilty, horrified with myself. How could I have left her there in the first place?

      I'm suddenly incredibly stressed by this question. How did I leave a struggling infant alone in a field? I try to think of the logic behind it. There was some reason. I can't think of what it is. I'm suddenly terrified. How will I explain this to anyone? What will I do with this child? Could I really be such a terrible person as to go home and leave her there alone to die?

      The anxiety wakes me up.

      Updated 02-02-2020 at 08:46 PM by 38879

    6. One Hundred Twenty Five

      by , 02-02-2020 at 08:18 PM
      In which R is an animated Wolverine action figure...

      I'm standing in front of a plantation house in what appears to be a dry forest of Indochina. A boy in saffron robes sleeps in a hammock hanging from the heavy columns of the shaded front porch. A student monk? Why is he here? I'm about to wake him when I'm called inside to lunch.

      I sit at a long table with R's family as a servant places plates in front in front of us, dishes in the center. R is there, also his parents and his brother who has brought a visibly pregnant white woman with him, who he introduces as his girlfriend. My father is there as well. Conversation is strained and awkward.

      The girlfriend is nervous. If she is to be either my sister-in-law or the mother of my niece or nephew then I should attempt to build some affection or ease between us. I smile at her. I tell her I'm sure we'll become good friends.

      She leans forward to take a bite then spills a spoonful of dal in her lap. To show solidarity, I tilt my glass of wine and spill a few drops on my chest. We laugh and laugh.

      She announces that she's carrying twins. A hush around the table. I break the silence.

      "Wow V, that means you'll have four children soon."

      "Six," he clarifies. "K and S are also pregnant, one more from each."

      I turn up my wine glass, drink it all in one gulp dramatically. No one says anything. Six children from four different moms. Four of the children will be infants at the same time, the other two are already teenagers.

      There's a pounding on the front door. I know who it is. A monster, come to get us. I know how to defeat it too. But it means exposing our secret in front of my father, in front of V's girlfriend.

      A few more pounds, then wood smashing. The monster has broken through. He runs into the dining room, so fast he's just a streak of purple. He's tiny but stocky, maybe a foot high, and he leaps up into the air to attack us.

      R jumps from his chair, into the air as well. On his way up, he transform himself, pulsating and shrinking until he is also a stocky foot high action figure. He is Wolverine. Blades extend from his knuckles.

      Wolverine/R and the monster crash into each other, chests bumping together, midair. Then they fight. The tumult upsets the table, smashes into the chandelier, breaks through window, continues along the front porch. We all run outside and watch them as they tumble together down the hill of the front lawn, towards the forest.

      My father is shocked. "Yes," I tell him. "R is also a Wolverine action figure. I didn't know how to tell you."

      The boy monk wakes up from his nap. He steps out of the hammock and waves me over. He spreads the nylon netting open wide between his hands, then pops it out in front of him as if it were a bedsheet. It transforms into a vending cart. The boy steps behind it, ducks down, then reappears as a mustachioed paan wallah. He arranges tins and betel leaves on his cart. I notice the red spit stains dotting the porch.
    7. One Hundred Twenty Four

      by , 10-04-2019 at 08:20 PM
      In which Pete Buttigieg is a dwarf...

      I'm sleeping downstairs in the magic room. Slow jazz wakes me. I look towards the cracked open door, and light streams in. A small hand pushes it open

      Dwarf Pete Boot Edge Edge steps in, slowly dancing, turning, spinning, snapping his fingers, stepping in time, bouncing his knees, twirling across my room, passing my bed. I sit up and stare at him. He's maybe three feet tall and wearing nothing but a diaper.

      After several minutes, he dances his way to my window then climbs up my curtains like a koala up a tree. He jumps out the window and runs off into the moonlight.

      In which I keep throwing up small metal balls...

      I'm at an airport, coughing. There are small metal balls stuck in my throat, coming up from my stomach. I keep throwing them up. I collect them in my hands, so many I can't hold them all. I look for a bathroom. So many are spewing out now that I'm trailing them behind me. They come up with foam and bile. My hands and chin is dripping. People stare at me, and I vomit more balls.

      I follow a sign that points RESTROOM. I push open swinging doors and I'm in a public pool. I must cross a dividing rope in the pool to get to the other side. I rinse my foamy hands in the pool water, spilling the balls. They float. People are disgusted. I take off my shoes and start to swim, but I vomit in the water, more bile, more balls, floating around, bubbly.

      I make it to the other side and enter the door marked RESTROOM. There are women working out on weight machines. There is one toilet in the middle of the room, no sink. People line up to use the toilet. A woman sits on it, shitting in front of everyone.

      Updated 10-04-2019 at 08:22 PM by 38879

    8. One Hundred Twenty Three

      by , 05-15-2019 at 06:56 AM
      In which I am married to Micheal Corleone...

      I'm married to Micheal Corleone. He's young, but he does not look like young Al Pacino. I tell him so. He tells me that he's aged poorly. I agree, but I say this does not explain the discrepancy. Then I tell him I know he's been having an affair. I tell him I found out because Sonny, also, is sleeping with the same woman. Sonny is also aging poorly. This is odd, I think, since I thought he should not age at all.

      I discover the identity of the woman having an affair with both my husband and his brother. I invite her to my house for a drink. When she arrives, I'm amused to see that it's Elizabeth Warren. I laugh and offer her a drink.

      How does she have the time to carry off an affair with two men and run for president? She's nonchalant about it. She says one must learn to multitask if one wishes to get anything done.
    9. One Hundred Twenty-Two

      by , 12-13-2018 at 07:42 PM
      In which Kanye and I are Christmas giants in the Tiny World...

      I was a worker at the South Pole where we prepare Christmas for Tiny People who live among us in Tiny World. To them, we are giants.

      I had the magic to remove the front face of the Tiny People's tiny houses so I could reach inside and change the decor just like you might do with a dollhouse. My job was to hang tiny wreathes and stockings on tiny doors and mantels.

      After some time, my manager told me I had a new assistant. I turned around to find Kanye, reporting to work. He told me he needed to make a little extra money for the holidays, and anyway he thought he should learn a backup trade just in case. All was well at first, but then he insisted that we also change the Tiny People's wallpaper. "You're not thinking big enough," he told me. "We aren't going to stop with wreathes. We are going to redecorate the entire Tiny World!"

      We started on the first tiny house. We pasted a Victorian floral print on the walls, put a complete body of armor beside the front door, ripped out the kitchen and replaced it with a brick fire place, and filled a cabinet with tiny ceramic dishes- so small they kept sticking to my fingertips. Then Kanye said, "What we need now is a street urchin." And he ran away to find one.

      By then, Christmas was almost over and I had not delivered any of my wreathes and stockings. For the rest of the dream, I ran about the Tiny World frantically trying to hang all the wreathes without knocking things over, but my arms and legs wouldn't move properly. I fell on tiny houses, crushed tiny trees, ruined tiny Christmas. "Damn you, Kanye!" I shouted, shaking my fist at the sky.
    10. One Hundred Twenty-One

      by , 01-04-2018 at 04:45 PM
      In which I'm working in a restaurant...

      I'm working in a restaurant kitchen, frying bacon. Strips of frozen bacon are stuck together on wax paper. I pick up the entire block and throw it in a skillet, then try to fry it as if it were scrambled eggs. Some of the bacon burns; most of it remains frozen and fatty.

      In which I'm searching for property...

      I'm walking through downtown Houston with a realtor. There are small 100-year-old wooden and brick single-family homes scattered between the sky scrapers. The agent tells me that Houston is one of the few cities in the world where developers built around existing homes. The houses are mostly hollowed out shells needing tons of work. I keep telling the realtor that they are out of my price range. She responds by telling me how cheap they are- 450K to 500K for prime real estate in downtown is a steal. That may be, I tell her, but I don't have that kind of money. I shrug and think that realtors are never helpful.
    11. One Hundred Twenty

      by , 12-12-2017 at 04:18 AM
      In which I visited SR, who lives in an astronaut training tower...

      SR had just moved into an apartment skyscraper that poked up into the clouds like on The Jetsons. The tower was spherical and hollow in the middle, a giant tube with floors that spiral up and around rather than stack on top of one another. SR had a nice view of the stratosphere from the windows of the exterior wall, and on the other side, she could look down into the empty ring of the tower interior. The tower was built this way so would-be space dwellers could train to live in zero gravity. We all understood that apartment units wrapped around a hollow tube stretching up into the sky are not subject to gravity. Obviously.

      SR was a part of the research team, committed to live in weightlessness among the astronauts and engineers who invent all the Really Important Stuff that humans will need for a comfortable life on Mars. She floated around the laboratories with a clip board and a stack of post-it notes, observing the experiments and asking questions. When she saw something she liked, SR wrote a few words on a brightly colored post-it, pulled the note from her clip board, and released it to float about the zero gravity like confetti. These were her patents.

      I was there to visit SR, and it wasn’t easy. The living units were closed to the public, though anyone was allowed inside the tower’s center where the laws of gravity functioned normally. Most people were content to just gather at the bottom of the inner ring and look up; it was like standing at the bottom of a well. But we’d planned a face-to-face meeting so I grabbed my backpack, strapped on my crampons, and started to scale the wall. There were grips and footholds all along the way, and by the magic of dream time, I was soon standing on SR's window ledge, miles up the interior of the tower, without much exertion. I knocked on her window.

      We talked through the glass with an attached telephone as if we were in a prison, only she levitated in zero gravity on one side while I perched on the increasingly small ledge on the other. Something wasn’t right. I told her that I thought the windowsill was shrinking. I looked down to the ground, miles beneath me, and had an attack of vertigo. When I looked back to her window, it was a small round ship’s porthole. Then the ledge beneath my feet completely disappeared, and I fell. I managed to catch the tip of my ice axe on the brass rim of her porthole window, and I dangled there by one arm.

      Luckily for me, SR owned a pair of boots with rocket boosters built into the heels, post-note patented Really Important Stuff, no doubt. Even in my subconscious, she needed a room just for her shoes. She zoomed out of a nearby window, fire blazing from her feet and smoke trailing behind her, and she grabbed my arm and rescued me. We flew up, up, up out of the tunnel until we broke out of the atmosphere altogether and looked back down on the planet.

      I said “That was as badass as when Leia and Han rescue Luke from Cloud City”. SR said “We’re like Superman and Lois flying above the earth.” The laws of physics are flexible in my dreamworld but pop culture is pretty stable, apparently.
    12. One Hundred Nineteen

      by , 12-03-2017 at 02:59 PM
      In which Jeremy Corbyn is my grandpa...

      I'm baking cookies in the yellow kitchen at my grandmother's old house on LW. It's a winter evening, and there's a fire in the living room. Jeremy Corbyn is sitting in an armchair in the living room, wearing a sweater and reading a newspaper. I bring him a cup of spiced tea, then return to the kitchen to check on the cookies.
    13. One Hundred Eighteen

      by , 11-11-2017 at 07:50 AM
      (more jetlag dreaming)

      In which I show off in front of people I knew as a teenager, then turn into a child...

      I'm in my childhood home once again. The dining room is a giant swimming pool. The only light in the room comes up through the water, a greenish glowing light that casts wave patterns on the dark walls. The room echoes with a bubbling sound, as if we are listening to an aquarium filter.

      S is sitting at one edge of the pool, leading a meeting about something very important. A couple dozen people are sitting on underwater benches as if they were all in a hot tub. They have clip boards and are taking notes. S is making a presentation. I should be in attendance. I feel guilty for arriving late. There are a few other stragglers and she calls us over without naming any of us individually. I know she's done this so that I'm not singled out. I walk around the perimeter of the pool, but I don't see a place for me to sit. I will have to join someone else. I look at the people gathered, hoping to find someone who will let me sit with them. I don't know or trust any of the gathered people very well; I have not seen most of them since I was a child. S has stayed in touch with more people from our home town than I have.

      After walking most of the way around the pool, I finally settle on DWG. The alternative is to draw attention to myself by acknowledging that there is no place for me to sit and causing a scene by making others move. Even though S is a very close friend and the meeting is important to her, I feel like I can't do this, so I take my chances that DWG will accept me. I haven't seen him since we were teenagers, but he's still looking hip and attractive. Most of the other men present have a frumpy middle-aged look about them. I dive into the pool, swim over to DWG and slide up to rest in his lap. I lean back so that my head is against his chest and my arms are draped across his legs. From the outside, I look casual and confident, as if DWG and I have an existing relationship. Internally I'm hoping he won't reject me. I'd be humiliated.

      He plays along. He accepts me as casually as I approach him. He puts his hand on my chin and turns my face up to kiss him. It's electrifying. I'm happy that we still have so much chemistry decades later. I know that the public display is inappropriate, but I'm also enjoying the attention. Of course the mature part of my personality knows that no one cares what we've been up to since high school and that making out in a meeting is annoying and selfish, but the sneering and self-absorbed side is satisfied to show off. We are beautiful. Our lives are interesting. High school was worse for us than the rest of them, but we've made it well into adulthood without their dullness. And now we're alive with sexual electricity.

      Everyone else disappears and the dream just becomes a typical sex dream except we're in the water so my body feels light in his lap. I'm facing him now and his hands are on my hips. But when I look down at his penis, I see that there are feathers sticking up, like a comb, on the head. He notices that I'm surprised. He says, "that's why it's called a cock".

      Now we are on a school bus. We are younger. DWG pulls up his pants and I sit next to him on a bus seat. I look out the window at a cow pasture and see a bull mount a heifer. I look back at DWG, but now he is JAB. This makes sense because we are children. I look down at my shoes with delight- they dangle above the bus floor. JAB tells me that I've missed my stop.

      I grab my backpack and walk towards the front of the bus. The driver is Ms. L, as obese and brash as ever. She's smoking a cigarette and thumping her hands on the steering wheel to Don't Mess With My TuTu, blaring with static from the portable radio sitting on the dash. I tell her that she's passed my house without letting me out. She responds that it's my own fault. If I hadn't been sucking on a boy's face, I would've noticed.

      She stops the bus right there in the cow pasture and tells me to get out. It's only a mile or so home, and I know the way. I climb over the barbed wire, but my skirt gets hung and tears. I slosh through the muddy field with a torn skirt, kicking the crawdaddy mounds along the way.
    14. One Hundred Seventeen

      by , 11-11-2017 at 07:26 AM
      In which I help a dead girl find her remains and lead two living girls to a seance...

      We're in the main hallway of my childhood home. A young girl is with me. Her blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail and held with a scrunchy. She's leading me around the corner from the foyer and into the carpeted hall to the bathroom where she will show me where her remains are hidden. She can't touch anything herself since she's dead already. I open the bathroom door as she directs, and she points at the base of the tub which is made up of two porcelain squares, caulked together. I've never noticed that they are walls to hollow compartments. The girl insists that I push on the square to the right, and the compartment opens, revealing a baking tray with rectangular pieces of pizza. I look more closely and see that these pieces of pizza are her bones.

      I walk into my parents' room where there are two other girls, but these are alive. The dead girl insists that these two living girls are key witnesses to her murder. We must only convince them to walk down the main hall and into the dark living where a medium is holding a conference of ghosts where they must testify. The girls are reluctant to trust me, and they are terrified of the dead girl. As I'm trying to persuade them, Buster runs into the room with the pizza-bones in his mouth. I wrestle the remains from him, but they are already destroyed. The dead girl and I rush to the bathroom to see if there are any remains to salvage. Most of the evidence is destroyed. The dead girl starts to cry, and I feel guilty and foolish for leaving the door open. Since the dead girl is a ghost with no material substance, I can't comfort her. I just watch her cry. I'm useless.

      Then the two living girls peer around the corner into the bathroom. Seeing the dead girl cry, they feel less scared. She is their age, and they are compassionate. The bolder of the two enters the bathroom, and I explain the situation. She gets down on her hands and knees and looks into the empty tub compartment. She reaches her hand deep inside and pulls out a small human jaw bone, intact with a complete set of teeth. It's more than enough remains to both identify the dead girl and to use as evidence at the ghost conference. Now I've only got to convince the girls to follow us into the living room.

      The thrill of the mystery motivates them now, but they are still afraid of what awaits us in the living room. It's dark, so all we can see are the candles and swaying figures. We can't tell who is living or dead. I assure the girls that it doesn't matter which are the ghosts and which are the living as they are all harmless people who only wish to work for justice. But as I'm saying it, I realize that I have no idea if this is true or not. I could be leading these two girls into danger. I'm surprised at myself for being so reckless with young children. It doesn't seem right, and I pause at the front door of the main hall. I realize that the responsible adult thing to do would be to grab the hands of the two living girls, throw open the front door, and run- leaving the poor dead girl to the ghosts where she belongs now. But the two girls now are excited by the thrill. Rather than being terrified, they are now tantalized. They've fallen into a pattern in which the bolder girl claims that she is not afraid and will go ahead. The more timid girl urges her on but stays behind herself. The bolder girl, though she's just as scared, refuses to lose face and so steps forward. The more timid girl follows, holding her hand. And like this, the two girls step into the dark living room. I should have taken control of the situation like a grownup but instead I stand with the dead girl and just watch them.

      A medium is holding a seance. The room is full of ghosts. It's cold and dark. The two girls start to tell their story. Immediately, the house starts to shake. I hear a bell ringing and my heart jumps.

      I get out of bed and walk into the dining room. The bell rings again. I pause in front of the table and look around. I'm disoriented. I try to assess where I am and what is ringing. I think to myself, I'm alone. I don't know anything else. I don't know where I am.

      Suddenly, my mother-in-law steps past me. I recognize her, but I'm still disoriented. She tells me that she'll get the door. I still stand there, disoriented. I understand the words. I realize that the ringing is the door bell. But I don't really understand what is going on. My husband walks in. I realize I look foolish. I try to explain that I'm so sleepy that I was confused about the sound. The words feel heavy in my mouth. I can tell by the looks on their faces that I'm not making sense. I decide to shut up before I talk in my sleep. I turn around and walk back to the bedroom.

      Updated 11-11-2017 at 07:49 AM by 38879

    15. One Hundred Sixteen

      by , 07-06-2016 at 03:27 PM
      In which I chat about free will with a woman from Wenatchee, Thailand...

      I'm sitting in the living room of my childhood home. It is a Heathrow waiting room. A Thai woman, about my age, sits with me. She looks a lot like G's wife- short and cute with black bangs framing her smiling face. We chit-chat about our travels.

      She is returning to Thailand for the first time in twenty years. She has repeatedly overstayed her visa but has managed to get extensions each time so that she's never been illegal in the UK but she will be illegal from the point of view of the authorities in Bangkok. She's not terribly worried about this; she'll just have to pay a fine to enter. She's far more concerned with how Thailand has changed in the years she's been away. She feels she's more British now than Thai, but with the Brexit vote, she'll have to return home.

      I've been to Bangkok more recently than she has, and she asks my impressions. We talk a little about the city, and she tells me she's from a lakeside village in the south. She says it's the most perfect place in the world.

      What's your village called? I ask her.

      Wenatchee, she says.

      Wenatche? Like the town in Washington?

      Yes, the same. Not too far from Lake Chelan, she answers.

      But that's not in Thailand, that's in the US. I'm very confused.

      No, it's in Thailand, she insists.

      I tell her that my best friend lives in Seattle and that we've visited Lake Chelan. It's definitely in Washington state. She maintains that Washington state is actually in Thailand, and she points out that my best friend is married to a man from Bangkok. I'm astounded that she knows this, and I'm suddenly confused. Perhaps Thailand and Washington are connected somehow? No, that makes no sense.

      I'm pretty sure that Thailand and Washington are two different places. I've been to each.

      Americans are always trying to explain things to me about my own culture, she responds. I grew up there after all. I know a little more about it than a tourist.

      Well, that had to be true. Still, it just didn't settle well with me. I tell her that I don't mean to be a know-it-all but I'm really confused. She asks if it would be helpful for me to look at a map?

      We walk over to the center of the room where a dozen featureless two-inch tall figures stand around. They are round and lack any anatomy at all- just blobs of people. They have large faceless spherical heads connected to cartoonish limbs that look like gobs of play-dough rolled into cylinders and stuck onto round torsos. These clay men are shell white and animated.

      They don't have to worry about anything because everything is going to happen exactly as it always was, she says. She balls her fist and smashes one of the figures into a flat lump of clay. It was his time.

      Are you saying we can't escape our destinies? I ask.

      There is nothing any of them can do about it. It's just a fact that at some point, they are going to each be squished into a giant featureless mound of clay.

      I can't argue with the logic of that. Of course it's true. That's exactly what is going to happen, eventually.

      So we have no free will? I ask.

      She laughs at me. Everything is going to happen in a certain way. No escaping that. The only thing you can do is decide how you feel about it.

      The little men run around the floor of the airport. The Thai lady and I stand up to go back to our seats, and on her way, she steps on one of the clay figures. It sticks to the bottom of her shoe. She scrapes it off, and there is now dirt in the clay. Bits of it sticks to the airport carpet.
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