Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Dream of Epic Proportions

If you're one of those people who can't abide hearing about other people's dreams, I suggest you skip this post. Move along, nothing to see here.

Last night I dreamt a doozy. It started out unassumingly enough: I was spending Christmas with a fantasy version of my friend Caroline and her family. Caroline and a few of her girlfriends and I were sitting around a tree up in her bedroom, which seems like the sort of thing I'd usually love, except that some of the friends were really irritating. So I got all sorts of snippy and flatly insulted one (and, I believe, the Christmas holiday in general, which is something I, the queen of Christmas, would never do). So they were furious with me and I exiled myself downstairs with Caroline's parents.

This is where it gets creepy. While hanging out with Caroline's parents, a suitcase was delivered for me. It was my old suitcase that had been retrieved from a bus accident I'd been in previously. The bus had gone off a cliff and plunged into the sea. It was full of people, most of whom died. I was one of a few survivors. So I immediately began sorting the contents of the suitcase into piles ("ditch" and "clean/keep"). I somehow knew that not only was it gross to not clean things that had been underwater with corpses for months, but it was also dangerous. It became apparent that the more time you spent around contaminated items, the more likely you were to become obsessed with the wreck and the dead. Someone who looked like Keira Knightley was also one of the survivors, but her boyfriend died on the bus. She became so obsessed that she swam back to the bus to be with her boyfriend and drowned. (Yes, they retrieved our bags, but left the bus full of dead bodies underwater.) So all subsequent appearances in my dream were of ghost Keira.

Undoubtedly the person who became most deranged was Telman, a guy who looked like Kenneth from 30 Rock. First, my company fired him, which he discovered they were planning on doing by accident at a staff meeting—someone left a paper on the table about his firing and Telman noticed it. So he was bitter at the company and then, after spending more time around contaminated items from the bus, became utterly obsessed. The combination was not good. He started trying to infect other people with the obsession (somehow that was possible) and became quite the menace around town. Meanwhile, the company gave me some sort of sorry-you-were-in-a-major-accident stipend of $4,000. Evidently they felt guilty, because, by keeping the two daughters of the bus company owner on staff, they didn't have to get the buses inspected or something. (Yeah, I'm not entirely certain about the logistics here.) Essentially, it boiled down to the fact that my employer was at fault for the bus wreck. I was appalled and felt betrayed. They were trying to buy my silence about their negligence for $4,000. Unfortunately, I don't remember what I did about that. Maybe that part dropped out of my dream.

By this point, Telman had infected tons of people, each of whom could infect more people. The obsessed were like zombies, roaming the streets, looking for more people to contaminate. I'm not sure whether they were alive or ghosts like Keira Knightley. More ghosts—those of the people who died on the bus—had since joined him, too. Noah Bennet from Heroes had been trying to recondition Telman, but I was shocked when I discovered by what means. He attached a pronged metal device (it looked like a very stylized scorpion) to Telman's spine right below the neck and would leave it there, doing its thing (whatever that was), sometimes for two hours at a whack. I don't know exactly what it was supposed to do, but it hurt like hell. I tried it for only a few seconds, and it was agonizing. I made the others who were trying to capture Telman try it, too. Big, burly men were spasming in pain. We were all left with a lot more sympathy for him. Things changed after that. Somehow I reached an accord with Telman and his ghosts: they stopped bothering us and we stopped chasing them, trying to recondition them. Eventually they became quite friendly to those of us who could see them (not everyone could). In fact, my boyfriend (not Afshin, some other random guy who looked a little like a former coworker) ate some crumbs that allowed him to see the ghosts. It seemed very sweet at the time that he wanted to be one of the few who could see and talk to the ghosts.

So it somehow worked out in the end, what with the friendly ghosts and all. There was also some digression about sandwiches and a personable old deli counter guy, but I don't remember where that fit in the arc. I was getting a couple of my friends and myself sandwiches at a rest stop during a bus trip. (In a bus, I should note, shaped like a giant loaf of wheat bread.) Considering my past experience with buses and, well, death, you'd think I'd skip the bus trip. Guess not.

Oh, and I finally apologized to Caroline and her friends for my prior bitchiness. They totally forgave me.