This one started out with a picnic. I was lounging on the lush green grass of some sort of nature/park style artificial terrace, many many stories up off the ground. It was part of a megastructure of some kind which integrated residential, commercial, and every other zone.
Mixed use developments are an ongoing fascination of mine due to the energy efficiency of heating and cooling a single large structure instead of lots of little ones, as well as how much simpler it is to supply with utilities. Accordingly I have many dreams inside of giant structures, basically indoor cities with many architectural qualities seen today in airports and malls.
Soon I noticed some sort of drone spying on us. It was shaped like a horizontally extruded teardrop, and hovered silently, having no obvious moving parts to account for how it levitated. I grabbed it, then pinned it down with a rock facing away from us assuming that would be the end of it.
Of course it wasn’t. Some management stooge appeared with security guards, pointing at me. They told me I’d committed an infraction and could either pay a steep fine or work it off. I chose to work it off. Apparently in this future the work still available is limited to some pretty frivolous stuff, as the community service they assigned me was to be the personal shopper for some rich asshole.
My friends were allowed to tag along, pointing out the stuff the woman I was shopping for specified. Then, inexplicably, it began to rain. Indoors. I don’t know why or how, only that it did. Why build an indoor city to escape the elements, only to bring them inside with you?
All but one of my friends departed for their homes. The one that stuck with me directed me to a door, then the two of us went up a staircase. She then opened a wall panel to reveal a passage behind it. Through there, we found some sort of cozy little hidden room off the main corridor.
It had quaint comfy furniture, a bookshelf packed with books, a little tea table, thick plush carpeting, a chandelier and a window looking out on the thoroughfare that was a one-way mirror such that we could observe foot traffic below without anybody seeing us. The sort of spot a cat would probably appreciate.
I asked how she found this room and what it’s for. She confessed she didn’t know, just that she’s never seen anybody else use it. Just then a boisterous pudgy man with a bald head and grey mustache came in with a folded up projector screen under one arm and a projector under the other.
He demanded to know what we were doing here. I explained we’d simply come in here to get out of the rain. That cooled him down somewhat. He said he’d booked the room to give a private presentation and we could stay while he set it all up, but we had to leave before his guests arrived.
He set up the projector screen at one end of the room and the projector at the other, then tested out the projector. It cast a black and white movie of an old WW2 era airplane, I think a B2 bomber, onto the white pull-down projection screen. I asked what his presentation was about, but got no answer.
The dream ended here. A tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Almost like a “slice of life” dream? It didn’t really “go” anywhere. It was just like a snippet of some hypothetical day in the life of a future person. I think my favorite part was the cozy, quaint little secret room.
Secret rooms are another long standing fascination of mine. Chrysalism at work. Someplace I can retreat to and spectate the outside world but also be insulated from it. Of course replete with reading material so that while I listen to the rain coming down outside I can crack open a good book and vanish into it.
There’s also the recurring theme of being afraid I am doing something wrong unwittingly, and will get in trouble. This time it was security guards but there’s often been some sort of “dream cops” before who have invaded what was a pleasant, leisurely time I was having until then.
I remember the first time I got pulled over. I was like 26 and the cop didn’t believe me when I told him I didn’t pull over right away because I didn’t immediately realize what the lights meant. Not that I don’t know pulsing red and blue lights mean pull over in an academic sense, I just didn’t make the connection that the cop was following me in particular as it had never happened until then.
He laughed it off as a lie until he went back to call in my plate. Then came back with a somber face having discovered that, unbelievably, it really was my first time being stopped by a police officer. That happens to me frequently and I always take it personally even though probably he deals with so many casual liars in the span of the day that it’s unreasonable to hold it against him for not somehow telepathically knowing right away that I’m not one of them.
I think my unease with authority figures comes from many, many conflicts with teachers when I was much younger. They often did the same thing, assuming right off the bat that anything that came out of my mouth was a lie/excuse. I recall telling one I didn’t hear her yell to come in from recess because of a hearing loss.
She scolded me for lying even though I do have a hearing loss and really didn’t hear her. When she was later informed by the principal, who knew about the condition from talking with my parents, that I did in fact have a hearing loss the most I got out of her was “Oh. Well, I didn’t know.”
That’s a pretty good way to teach a kid that adults are fallible, that authority figures are just adults in special costumes, and that they’re liable to assume the worst of you because they’re jaded by day to day dealings with unrepentant ne’er do wells.
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