Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

False Start #31

Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that I saw two acquaintances of mine from high school walking through the crowds of a strange city that was the combination of two places: Shanghai and a high school in Orlando that I played at during a band trip in my freshman year of high school. There were sprawling complexes with towers reaching 40 or 50 stories, giving way to sunny courtyards amongst one floored buildings interconnected with covered walkways. I caught sight of my acquaintances in one of these covered walkways.

I’d like to say that these two people were my friends, but as time as shown, they stand only as acquaintances. Whenever I’m at home I never make an effort to contact them, and they never seem to inquire about my whereabouts. Still we are always happy to see each other when we cross paths, and might spend a few hours doing something if it’s convenient. You seek out your friends; acquaintances find you.

They told me that they were heading home, and that they would like to show me something if I had time. I said okay. We walked through the meandering city – half-Shanghai, half-Orlando – and it quickly petered out into the sparse suburbia of my youth, as if the city had never been there. We entered a small, but pleasant house situated on a hill, isolated from the rest of the community. Inside, one of them took out something and presented it to me.

It was a musical instrument with three sets of two strings each, the way you see strings on a mandolin. However, the fingerboard was fretless and curved slightly, much like that of a violin. As I picked it up, two more sets of strings appeared around what suddenly became a larger fingerboard. It was at this point that I was sure I was dreaming. I tried my hand at playing it, wielding it like a strange guitar and found myself enchanted.

Time passed as I doted on the instrument, and we discussed its merits. Then one of them suddenly became frenzied, as if there were an emergency. I tried to get him to articulate what it was, but he said we had no time and that the two of them had to go. The other one seemed to understand the urgency of the situation without question, and they began to walk out the door. I asked them if I could tag along, and they said yes, albeit with a kind of reluctance that disconcerted me.

We left, walking at such a pace that I couldn’t make sense of my surroundings until I found that we were at the edge of a barren expanse surrounded by an officious looking corner of fence complete with barbed wire and stern warning signs. The two of them approached the fence and began to dig, and I did too. Soon we had dug underneath the fence and found our way to the other side, standing in the great expanse. I could see nothing on the horizon except mountains far off in the distance, nor could I see an end to the fence in either direction I looked. It seemed to radiate from that corner off into infinity, like imaginary 90 degree angles from geometry class.

Suddenly we heard noises far off from the other side of the fence, threatening, undeniably human and approaching. I said to my acquaintances that we should go back and they just looked at me and said, “We can’t go back. It’s too late.”

Then I woke up.

posted by ferret at 11:50 pm  

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