day #3/4

As I walked, my mind returned to Joseph and his problem. I understood that he was concerned about his friends & wanted to understand what happened to them, but what exactly was he trying to accomplish? Did he think he could save his friends from the mess they’d gotten themselves into? Or was he trying to learn enough to join them on their quest? It didn’t strike me as anything dangerous per se, from what he’d told me, but it also did seem more troubling than just another fad cult. I decided I’d stop by the coffee shop tomorrow. If Joe was there, I’d talk to him about it. If not, I’d just go back to the library. That night I dreamt of dreaming. I walked through a sleeping city, completely silent except for the hum of electricity that never slept. Each and every door and window I walked by was slightly ajar, as if the residents were completely secure knowing that everybody else was asleep as well. My curiosity drew me to enter one of the houses, but I felt that doing so would be betraying the trust that left them open. Eventually my curiosity, though, overcame me and I could no longer merely walk through the quiet streets. I entered an apartment complex whose door was propped open with a telephone book. Inside, the scene was much the same as outside. Every door was left unlocked, opened invitingly. I perceived no sounds of activity. The lights flickered like out of a horror movie, but I felt completely at ease. Even a monster would be sleeping, here. As I made my way down the hallway, I noticed something here that I hadn’t on the street. I could sense – not see, nor hear, but sense on some lower level – things as I walked by each home. I couldn’t understand any of what I felt; I knew they were the dreams of the people I was near, but they were streams of symbols meant for another mind than my own and meant nothing to me. It felt very strange to try and parse this information. I would have an idea – not quite an image – of a person that I knew was supposed to be some long-dead relative but it was no one I knew, nor did I know what the relationship was supposed to be. It could be a grandmother, or a wife. Or even a brother. And then I would remember a party attended, and feel that something very important happened then – but I couldn’t tell if it was that I met my life partner there, or maybe it was the first time my entire family had been together in many years – and it would strike me that I was never even there. I reached the end of the first hallway and took the stairs up. Then I heard the first sound of activity, a couple floors above me. At first I thought I might be picking up more dream-imagery but it felt real. I made my way towards it, anxious to find the source but worried that rushing would spook whoever was above me. At the next floor I was introduced to another hallway identical to the one I traversed on the first floor. But the sound was certainly coming from one of the apartments here. When I reached the source of the noise, I found before me (in typical dream logic) a room that was a blend of elements from my current apartment and my childhood home. The TV was on in the living room. Was that really all it was? But then the channel changed, and I saw sitting across from it a robot. Watching TV. Though I was nowhere near finished with the design, I knew of course it was my robot. It turned its head to me as I noticed it. “Don’t you dream?” it asked me in a reedy, but surprisingly non-mechanical voice. Oddly unsure how to answer, I could only turn the question back at it. “Don’t you?” The sound of my own voice was enough to jolt me out of sleep. I tried to remain in a semi-conscious state long enough to resume the dream. Of course I wanted to hear how my subconscious was going to answer that question, but I also wanted a chance to examine the robot in more detail, before the image slipped out of my short-term memory. But no luck. I was awake. And for the best, I suppose, because I somehow managed to sleep through my alarm which left me rushing to get ready for work. Normally I would spend some time before getting out of bed to write down the dream, but I was in a hurry. So as I scrambled, I replayed the events over and over to transfer the events from my short-term to my long-term memory, trying to recall as many details as I could. I made it to work on time, barely, and the day passed by painfully slowly. Once free, I headed over to the coffee shop where I met Joseph. I really didn't get very much done yesterday, and I forgot to post what I did. I have a lot of catching up to do. this segment: word count:857 words