I assume this one was because I watched Jurassic World recently. It took place in a similar theme park with real dinosaurs, but everything was fantasy themed for some reason. Elfin tree houses, medieval villages, and a beautifully decorated train.
It was made of glass, but surrounded by armor made out of wrought metal. Not iron, too shiny, like chrome. Glittery as well, like there were impurities, or jewels mixed in. The metal was sort of woven in thick strands around the train’s boiler.
I was observing all this from a sort of observation deck just above the trees. Mounted to them, maybe? This world had an artificial ceiling that I descended from with many other guests in a sort of glass-sided hexagonal elevator which extruded downward until it was at ground level.
“You’re wearing the wrong towel” a girl near me said. I only now realized we were wearing towels as our garments. “I think ours got switched.” So we traded towels. She blushed even though with our towels off, I could see we did not have normal human bodies.
They were human shaped, but just looked like space. Like blackness and stars, and nebulas. As we approached the elevated train tracks, some thirty or so feet above the jungle floor (the trees in this jungle were much larger than any in real life that I know of), there was a carnival underneath it.
The carnival owner introduced himself as the king of fools, or the “Fool King”. He welcomed us to play the games, eat the food and have a merry time. I asked what it cost, he told me to worry about that afterwards.
Everything was dingy. The carnival caravans weren’t even painted, just bare rotting wood. “Don’t eat the food” I said. “It’s gross. Something is off about this.” Nobody heard me though, too busy having fun and gorging. The ground became muddier as we proceeded until it was so soupy we dare not continue, at the very rear of the carnival.
The gates here swung open. Up out of the mud, an enormous mass of the stuff arose with a gaping maw and empty holes for eyes. The Fool King introduced it as the mud god, and that the price we must pay was to be absorbed by it. We would not die, per se, but our bodies would become mud, and join its mass.
Only I was able to pull myself free of the mud and escape. It turned out that because I never played any of the games, nor eaten any of the food, he had no power over me. The Fool King first flew into a rage, then once again tried to entice me to partake of the food and games his carnival had to offer.
He shut the gates behind him, concealing the mud god, trying to play it off as if I’d never seen it. But it was too late. I had seen everything. I wanted to help the others as they sank into the mud, but when I attempted it they just grabbed onto me, trying to pull me in with them.
So with a heavy heart, I left them to their fate. I then boarded the hexagonal elevator, and rose up out of that Jurassic swamp. Up, up, up, back up into the layer of technology and civilization I originally descended from.
What does it mean? Fucked if I know. I think the setting came from those movies. Maybe the part with the towels and the galaxy bodies represented the intimacy I want with other people. To bear to them the universe inside of myself so they can explore it, and to explore theirs as well. Maybe trading towels was like putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes?
I would compare the carnival to various scams I have spent much of my life trying to warn people away from participating in. I hope some people have listened, some days it feels like I’ve accomplished nothing but to spin my wheels. “It is easier by far to fool a man”, Mark Twain once wrote, “than to convince him that he has been fooled”.
Maybe the lesson is that it’s not my job? That you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. But their fate wasn’t something they could later emerge from, having learned their lesson. It seemed final, permanent and inescapable.
In a situation like that, shouldn’t I do absolutely anything necessary to stop them? They might hate me in that moment but there is a chance they will look back on it later, realize what I was trying to do and be glad I did it.
That still presumes it’s my job, though. If they just listen to me and don’t learn how to spot stuff like that on their own, what is achieved? It’s like setting lab animals free only to watch bears eat them five seconds later.
What do I do, then? As usual, no answers. Never any answers, just the problems dressed up in metaphorical clothing. It’s hard to believe at times like this that dreams are good for anything except interesting reading material.
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