Strange Violent Times
Dream | February 28, 2013
I'm in New York on a three-day vacation to see some sort of art festival.
New York is alive with lights and people and art. I'm walking in the crowds and having a great time.
Along the way I acquire a bicycle and find myself riding down by the riverside. Across the sky over the river is a light show documentary about an art patron named Jean Reed. Multicolored fishes and beautiful brilliant light patterns describe her life and her contribution to art in New York.
I get to talking to this guy and tell him I'm looking for a hotel. He recommends a place for $299 per night. It's a bit steep but he assures me it's the best deal around.
Sky-rise hotel in the midst of the action. Into the hotel I go, taking the elevator to the 14th floor. On the way I become someone else. I am a Terminator with an execution mission. In my pocket is a device like a flamethrower. I enter a random door and within are smaller houses with porches. On some random door I knock and when a woman comes out I blast the flamethrower at her. The flames engulfed the porch in the house and soon everything is burning furiously. I close the hotel door behind me and take the elevator to the lobby. Whoa – that was like an out-of-body experience. Did anyone see me?
At the front desk I ask for a room. "Anywhere but the 14th floor."
In the new room I unpack my suitcase. A knock on the door and lo and behold a beautiful woman comes in looking exactly like an ex-girlfriend. We get to talking for a while and soon we're touching, holding hands, caressing each other, kissing. She's got a great body. It feels really good.
She says, "look what I can do." In her green eyes an iridescent shine flashes across them and suddenly they're purple. I'm amazed and look closer to see that her eyes are component composed of tiny digital pixels.
"Are you a robot?"
The woman insists that she is not. "That's ridiculous!" She's very beautiful and we've had a great conversation. Her movements are fluid and sexy and real, but now I'm in doubt. I try to think of something that would differentiate a human from a robot, and so I ask her: "what is the most bizarre dream you've ever had?"
She doesn't say anything for a long time. For some reason I'm packing up again, collecting all my belongings. In the dream I had a memory of doing a bunch of laundry, which I began folding and packing neatly into a large plastic bag while all the rest my belongings went to a suitcase.
After a while she says softly, "I'm not a robot."
"Well you don't have to tell me the most bizarre dream you ever had, but tell me any dream you've had." It is interesting that we would be discussing dreams inside a dream.
She is silent for a while. I feel bad for her, like that girl in Blade Runner who didn't realize she was a replicant. I tell her that I am sorry, but I will not date a robot. What a sad scene as I leave the room.
It's a fancy hotel but the lobby opens up into a large sandy area with picnic tables, and the front desk is a disheveled building slapped together from driftwood and cardboard with a trailer trash family living in it. The clerk himself is a fat dumpy man in a wife beater shirt.
I set my bags down. A German Shepherd dog come sniffing up to them and asks me suspiciously, "you're not stealing anything are you?" I say no, but he tears open the plastic bag and all my neatly folded sheets and towels come tumbling out onto the sand. He realizes that none of them are from the hotel and is rather embarrassed. He goes slinking off.
"Just check me out please." I tell the clerk. He eyes me lazily, and drawls "well you’re 45 minutes late so we gotta charge an extra day." I set my mouth firm and say no. "If you charge me an extra day I will write a scathing review on Yelp, tell all my friends on Facebook, and Twitter the hell out of it." A typical modern social media revenge. He looks at me for a while. He is obviously not a technologically minded guy. Then he gives in. "All right.”
So I amble off and the hotel suddenly becomes nice and classy again. The lobby opens up into a cafeteria style restaurant but the clientele is rather trashy. For the first time I notice that some people openly have guns.
A woman passes by pushing a cart full of steam trays loaded with savory entrées. She starts loading them into a counter behind glass. One of them is some delicious shrimp concoction. In real life as I'm sleeping I am very hungry so I think that after I put my bags in the van I should return and eat something.
Now I’m outside looking for my van. It has a high top so it's easy to spot. Parked in front of it is another van and pointing at that van is a truck. The two drivers are engaged in a heated conversation. Suddenly people from the truck open fire on the van with machine guns. The van screeches off but the people in the truck are still firing at my van!
"No! No! No! Don't do that!" I'm yelling and running at them. "What the fuck?!"
The truck screeches off after the van and I see that my van is riddled with bullet holes. “Aw fuck man!” I'm pretty pissed off. Then I look across the parking lot and see an identical van which is mine, and realize my van is okay. In real life my vehicle is in a body shop getting some dents repaired and being painted, so I'm concerned that they're going to do a good job. In this dream, when I approached the van the paint job is horrible; it looks like curdled milk, with chips of paint flaking off and nasty slices everywhere. No body shop in the world would produce such horrible work.
I'm taking pictures with my phone and some homeless guy comes up and starts making weak conversation. "Hey man, what a bummer. Oh wow, that's horrible." I think he wants a ride. I ignore him and put my bags inside, and start driving back towards the cafeteria to get some food, which is a quarter-mile away. He's running along, yelling and banging the side furiously. I stop the van and get out. “What the fuck do you want?!” I scream in his face, shoving him hard. He flails at me wildly but I punch him in the face and knock him down. Then I’m back in the van driving towards the hotel lights in the distance.
Then I have this flashback of that robot girl. She is very pissed off now, and has a plan of revenge for the people who made her. Apparently she is part of the hotel's escort service run by some very brutal men in a small office. She goes in kickboxing and karate-chopping and eventually wallops all of them. As they lay about on the floor, she goes further back and discovers a hidden room through a shower stall, where she confronts the service director. This altercation alerts the hotel security, which suddenly mobilized like a swarm of bees.
Meanwhile, back at the restaurant entrance people are walking around with assault rifles trying to get inside the hotel. The atmosphere is charged with violence. Shouts erupt occasionally from the din. There is some insurgency or anarchy afoot. In a long queue, security is frisking people and forcing them through a metal detector. I figure I just came out of the hotel and slip out of the queue when nobody sees.
But at the door I am stopped by security guard restraining two huge robotic dogs with red glowing eyes and sharp metal teeth! You don't want to fuck with these dogs. Inside I am freaking out, but outside calm, and let the dogs sniff me over. After a while they look at each other and give a nod of approval to their master, who lets me through.
Inside I slide into a booth and order some grub. Some girl suddenly sits down next to me. I tell her that I know she is a robot and I'm not interested, but she says, hey we can still talk, right? So I say okay. Outside it is broad daylight, but inside it is dark and lit.
We’re talking for awhile. At the next table somebody is working on some sort of sabotage, jimmying with something. The girl and I see this and realize that security will soon arrive to take this guy away, so we get up to leave. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very tense and the general activity is ramping up. At the register I’m paying my bill. The total is $14.02, but they are charging me twice. When I contest this, a large nasty-looking woman comes out to confront me.
It is at this point that the robot girl I met in the room has her encounter with the head of security and the alarms go off throughout the hotel and restaurant.
Suddenly armed men are everywhere. People are moving swiftly, yelling and screaming, and shots are fired. Militant groups are clashing with security, and everyone else is scrambling for the door.
It is amidst all this chaos that the dream fades away.