Forty minutes of nonstop typing relating an afternoon dream
My father had moved into a new house, it was a rancher, an old one near the sea. It was nice; dark, stained wood, kind of like the sort you would find at an old fisherman’s wharf, but it was done tastefully and well cared for. From walking in the front door you could turn left down some shallow steps onto the polished hardwood floor, and move into the den. There were comfortable sofas you would sink down into, and a thick rug on the floor. It felt cozy.
Earlier in the day I had written down some notes to myself about a Christmas or birthday gift, something I had really wanted, and left them in small colored envelopes just inside the front door. They were for Mom and Dad eventually, but I wasn’t going to give them to them just yet.
I went out to go to dinner, because I was quite hungry. I turned left out of the front of the short yard onto a small stone path covered with brown pine needles that had fallen from scores of evergreens that grew up along the cliffs where the house stood, overlooking the ocean. Down the path and around a corner to the left, a short ways, there was a restaurant, another similarly constructed building, a lot of well-cared for wood and things that reminded you of the sea. It had saloon-type swinging doors, and moving through the restaurant, back a short ways to the right I came to sit down with some friend. It felt like Brandon Chang, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure. We had a two seat booth that presses up against a low wall on the right, splitting into an aisle that the service staff travelled heavily. My friend sat across from me, and I had my laptop for some reason. We ordered our food, and the sun was setting over the sea, so it must have been somewhere on a western coast. The room was full of that rich, orange, light that comes in late in the day, and is magnified by wood finishing and dark furniture, the kind you can see dust motes suspended in light streaming from a window.
I remembered something, and ran back to the house, since it wasn’t far away. My parents were there then, and my mother got really upset about what I had said in the note, I’m not sure why. I told them I hadn’t meant for it to be seen just yet, even though it was just be saying something about a dictionary I could use. In any case, my mother was upset. I defended my actions to my father, who seemed more angry as my mother was sad. There was some talk of a mailing address, and I reminded him that I lived there and paid rent, or something. I meant to get back to dinner, so I ran back out and around the corner to the restaurant. My friend was still there, and he had eaten most of the popcorn that initially comes out (but then I asked why the popcorn hadn’t come yet, I’m not sure). And the table was kind of messy.
I noticed that my laptop looked strange and I asked him about it, and he said that one of the managers had walked by and said it was too bright, and asked why was it playing a movie with no one watching. It hadn’t been playing a movie actually, I’m not sure why he said that, so I restored the settings that my friend had changed. 16 bit color, 640×480, large icons… like after a crash? I noticed that there was a photograph of a man on the background of the computer. He was standing looking at the camera, balding, with a beer gut and a tracksuit. I suppose he could have resembled the video director from Vice City, but he looked more evil with a scraggly beard and wild eyes. That’s when I remember my dream shifting…
I got up and left the restaurant because something was wrong. I felt like I was being chased, or I had to stop someone. Farther down past the restaurant the village thinned, and the evergreens blocked out more and more of the sky. The path must have snaked around some bluffs, because I remember being a corner again, a part where the stony cliffs jutted out, and the path cut down before continuing on.
There was a house behind a blocky stone fence, a garden and path inside twisting up over some uneven ground. I was being chased, or in danger, or… I can’t remember as it’s been about twenty five minutes since I started typed my dream chronologically, but the man I had seen in the background of my computer lived here.
There were hired men, assassins. And I fought with them and won, or lost and restarted. The events and challenges overlapped and melded together… each another attempt or a scenario rehearsed in my mind to see how it would play out. I had to find one that led me all through the encounter alive in one shot, like hunting for the path through a maze with no mistakes.
There was a knife thrown at me, I dodged. I was trying to make it through the house in the fading sun and find something, or complete something, and then get back out. A housemaid… a man in worn tennis shoes… (damn, it’s fading so fast now, why can’t I hold onto the end in the same detail as the beginning?)
I fought, and escaped, and was heading through the front garden, and I crossed back over the path and started down the cliffs. Not straight down, but over some small drops, through more trees, to the ocean.
Then the man was there, the one from my computer. I thought I was going to be able to escape without confronting him, but I couldn’t avoid it. I think I stabbed him in the neck as he lunged at me… maybe.
I went back up the cliffs to the path and ran into the toughest hitman. I wasn’t going to make it. Poison? Shot in the dark? A broken neck? He was going to keep coming after me and I’d live in fear my whole life if I couldn’t finish this now.
We struggled, and…part of the decorations and fences in the yard collapsed… I can’t… remember details anymore.
But somehow it ended, and I thought I felt relieved. I started to go back towards the village. But then it skipped, the picture jumped, and it was another time later, or earlier, and I remembered with desperation that I had to go back. There was something in that house I needed, one last thing to claim.
I went into the house and got whatever it was I needed, and began to find my way out. But I saw some girl that startled me, and I thought she was coming for me. I tried to grab her and we pitched headfirst over some furniture, and she ended up getting shot. I was shaking in shock at the surprise and the adrenaline, and the primal cries for defence beating in my blood.
She trembled and coughed, the life leaving her body, and she asked me why, and I remembered… remembered I had seen her before, remembered that she was the mad man’s daughter, remembered that we met a long time ago near the start, in the past, at a diner on one road through the desert. A large part of me died quickly as the relationship between us took form in my mind, the relationship driving a mortar of ice and stone into my heart.
I’d made a mistake in the heat of the moment, a reaction to defend myself had destroyed my true dreams, the ones I’d encased in concrete and pushed off the pier. I didn’t say anything, but let her gently down as her body grew still. It was a long, empty walk back into the dying sun.
That’s about all I can remember. there is more, but they are all flashes of pictures I can’t sort out with clarity anymore.
Her face…the deep water in her eyes, the sound of gravel slipping out from under me as I lost my footing. The ways I cheated death, the reasons for my actions. How I defeated my adversaries so completely, but without any kind of control or direction. It was a cold series of machines and plots bent on my destruction, and I was a wild-eyed animal, sprung from a cage, fighting for my life.
How torn and ragged my clothes became through it all. Shredded, like my control over the world.