It is dark, like in a comic book setting. An open square under the Spanish moonlight with exaggerated lines of perspective that define characters of structure and rigidness. Short buildings afar vaguely form the silhouette of what are beyond the square, that in turn form the perimeter of this image. The main subject is this long line of travellers – all with sharp features, dressed in business suits – waiting to board a bus. I see a line of people so I queue up. “Is this bus heading to Paris,” I ask the gentleman in front of me. And he says in half French, half English: No, take the one from the Regent Hotel. “Regent Hotel you said?” I ask. “Oui, oui,” he replies.
In this foreign country, I don’t know where the Regent Hotel is. It has to be somewhere nearby. So I inquire and find myself inside a hotel. Except it looks more like a museum after closing hour. Inside the dark interior, a young slender white lady dressed in business attire with her back against a set of floor to ceiling windows looks at me with her curious eyes. Faint orange light from the street floods into the interior of a quiet spacious hall illuminates her feature, illuminates the feature of this hall. I take out the map and inquire the location of Regent Hotel. She points somewhere at the map with her slender finger and we converse in half Spanish, half English. “¿Cinco estaciones?” I reconfirm the direction. “Sí, sí, cinco.” And her hand gesture confirms that where I want to go is five stations away from where I am.
She is friendly so we chat. I ask where she stays and she points at the map again, at a far side of the suburb, along the blue rail line. For reason beyond me, my plan of staying a weekend in Paris has been tossed off the balcony and it only seems natural that I accompany her to the train station of her destination. And so I do. We head to a metra station, she buys a ticket for me and another more expensive one for herself as she stays further.
The metro station looks really gloomy, old and dirty. Graffiti everywhere; people laughing everywhere. Millions of commuters must have smoothed the staircases to a level that we have to pay attention in order not to slip and fall. An open top train that looks like a dragon boat on wheels equipped with five or six individual seats so obscurely placed arrives. Passengers in shabby clothing cheer as the train aligns at the platform. My companion and I exchange a look and hastily head out to the exit. As the small shabby door closes behind us, I catch the sign saying, “Amusement Park”. How do we end up here in the first place, I have no clue.
Next, we emerge to a platform with four lift lobbies. The glass wall enables us to see the behind-the scene machinery and I see a staircase leading to the upper level, another one to the lower one. Sunlight leaks into the platform through the glass wall. I observe a digital number displays on top of each lift door. A number that indicates the lift’s destination, not where it is currently at. My companion insists that we have to take the lift heading to the 11th floor with the digits in blue color. Out of curiosity, I take the stairs instead.
I see a large group of people standing inside a perimeter that resembles a train, but there is no train. I join the crowd and on top of us, there is a huge elongated dome shaped metal made of bronze, follows the shape of the perimeter directly below. A man sits near me looking at a small screen and his assistance says to him, “[…] ready to be activated” (did I hear the word ‘teleporter’?). The seated man nodded and I sense shocks on my vision. Everything around me distorts and pulsates to the humming beat of the machine above us. The assistant points at the screen that displays the outline of each of us in various primary colors, zooms into a dog and says, “I don’t think we have tested on animals yet.” I am worried and I jump out of the perimeter. No way am I going to be teleported as some kind of scientific experiment!
The man in his seat – the “driver” I suppose – halts the machine and comforts me, “It is a simple health screening procedure, Sir. Nothing to worry about.” Reluctantly I step back into the perimeter, let the officer to do whatever needs to be done. As the machine stops, the crowd moves away from the perimeter and lines up in front of the driver. When it is my turn, he issues me a 2 pages long handwritten assessment almost immediately. How can he write so fast? I am shocked. And he tells me to follow the rest and head to the medical center.
A doctor comes out of a room and shouts, “Next!” I enter, in a dreamy state, and we chitchat. The doctor is very talkative, talking about people whom he met on the plane, and on the way to work. Suddenly, his tone changes and asks, “So, why do you want to see a doctor?” I stuttered, not sure why I am inside a consultation room in the first place. He frowns and says, “I see. Is it ED?”
Nearly chock on his question and I tell him that I am one hundred percent OK. I apologise for wasting his time, get out of my seat, and leave the room. The doctor follows me to the door and shouts, “Next!”
On my way out, I am stopped by a nurse. A beautiful, slutty with attitude kind of nurse. Like that poster girl for Grand Theft Auto who sucks onto a lollipop. And she says, “We have a mission for you.”
What follows is hard to describe. Imagine I am one of the two goldfish that is inside a plastic bag, underwater. And there are another two groups of goldfish inside two separate plastic bags that want to eat us alive. But they can’t because we are inside the plastic bags. Due to these goldfish’s desire to nimble on us, they propel us forward. What a strange way to travel underwater! Before long, I see a safe in cast iron with a kind of corrosion that you would expect to see from any treasure found inside shipwrecks. All of a sudden, my flesh returns to me and the next thing I see is a burst plastic bag and an unconscious goldfish (did I just kill my partner?). I collect all the goldfish, put them inside my pocket, still underwater, I work on the safe.
I open the tiny safe and find an ice cube inside. I retrieve the ice cube, look closely, and see a small metal object that resembles a small antique chip trapped in ice. Without much thinking, I put the ice cube inside my shirt’s pocket. The key is now safe with me.
Defies physics, I enter into the tiny safe and emerge into a modern decorated apartment of yellow and red. Moving in stealth, I head toward the hallway leading to the front door, which I presume is the exit. Too late, I see light shining from outside and someone is about to enter into the apartment. A man and a woman enter. Shifting from furniture to furniture quietly as I attempt to evade from my enemies. Nonetheless, I am caught when I am just inches away from the door. Expecting a conflict but all they do are pointing at my pocket and say, “Blood”. I look down and see blood oozing out from my shirt. The ice cube has melted and the tiny key is now working its way into my body, into my heart! I gasp and all of a sudden, the door is blast opened and outside stands a group of people – my people – including that slutty nurse. How they neutralize the enemies, I cannot recall. The nurse asks if I have got the key and I point at my blood stained shirt. She frowns and says, “Let’s go! You are now our key. We know where the door is.” The entire pack starts to run down the dark hallway, the one that reminds me of the amusement park that I was in not too long ago.
Uh-oh. I don’t want to go into a keyhole.
PS. This dream was intense and I woke up on a Monday morning of July the sixth feeling exhausted. The images are so vivid. So are the dialogues in different languages. My first time to dream partially in Spanish. And I was inspired to sketch some of my visions onto paper.