Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Last night I dreamed ...

... that I lived in a crumbling but still glamorous brownstone high-rise in the city. The name of the building, spelled out in stained glass over the front door, was The Oasis. My large, high-ceilinged apartment, like all the other apartments, was thronged with people, with refugees. Each room was a jumble of mismatched beds and furniture and stacks of suitcases, trunks and boxes bound with twine. All the beds were occupied by people sleeping, eating, playing cards, visiting with one another, dressed and undressed. Very narrow crooked aisles separated the beds, so that in trying to walk across the room, I kept stumbling into people and apologizing. Everyone was a stranger to me except Ted Chiang, whose bed was several beds over from mine. I couldn't find the exit, but I did find my way to the kitchen, which was as crowded as the other rooms with beds and junk. I marveled: "I didn't know we had a kitchen!" Then I was on the street outside, looking up at the building, waiting in line to board the airplane that would take me back to my apartment. It was a 1930s prop plane, like the one in Lost Horizon. I strapped myself in, and the plane took off nearly vertically, pressing me back into the seat and cutting off my breath. Then I woke up.

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