And on that note...
Upon returning to my pillow in a cold sweat after having gotten up to pee for the third time last night, I fell immediately into the deep slumber accompanied by psychedelic dreams.
I was late to work, and worried that the last express bus had beaten me to the transit station. How fortunate that when I turned around, there was the last 64 bus approaching a stop fifty feet behind me. I ran. Having waved my arms madly in front of the doors to get the driver's attention, he reluctantly stopped in the middle of a busy intersection to let me board.
If my dreams are typically accompanied by smells and humidity, they are not memorable. What flushed my face as the bus doors closed behind me may stay in my olfactory memory for a week. First of all it was a dirty, sulfur-soaked and muggy atmosphere as one would expect to find on a hot summer day in 'Nam. I sat down in the only empty seat I could find without processing the imagery before me. An entire side of the bus had supplemented stretchers for seats, upon which bodies lay bleeding, stinking and slowly dying. The remaining seats were filled by beaten bodies in bleach-white Tees and trousers, seemingly untouched by the blood that spilt from a melange of man-made orifices. Perhaps it was because I work in a hospital that I did not initially question the new population of my morning commute.
"Isn't this bus going to Marquam Hill?" I finally asked the driver.
"No... this is bus 393..." [NOTE: where the hell did 393 come from?]
"Where are we going?"
Silence from the only body on that bus with a face completely bereft of affect.
I got off the bus at the next stop, which was oddly thousands of miles and years away from the familiar intersection where I had boarded less than two minutes prior. Surveying my questionable surroundings, I could only conclude that I had been dropped into a massive cluster of majestic Medieval buildings so congested that they seemed half maze and half shanty town. The bus made a left onto a half-cobble-half-dirt road, and I was left alone.
Scene 2 --
The stuffy sulfur atmosphere diluted to a cold grayish blue. Frightened out of my mind that I would now never find my way back to Portland, much less make it to work on time, I began to walk backward along what I was sure was the route by which bus 393 from Vietnam had brought me here.
Having walked for several "blocks" through infinitely high and mysteriously bubbly stone buildings, I noticed I was being followed by no less than a dark and handsome but quite creepy young fellow who was about to try to rape me. I ran. I was chased. I tripped. I begged.
"I will pay you twenty dollars to guide me out of this place and to not rape me." [NOTE: where was H.K. during this terror, you ask? sleeping peacefully like a damn baby in the sunshine beside my sweating and probably kicking physical self... thanks for jumping into my dream to save me, jackass.]
He said nothing, but backed off and helped me up. I then followed him in the direction that bus 393 from Vietnam had come from, which had reappeared before me. He ended up leading me in circles through this increasingly gorgeous but eerie and untouchable city, whose frozen blue mists seemed only to bother my nostrils. Everything around me began to smell like moss, which was, for whatever reason a soothing gesture on the part of my psyche. When we reached the "beginning" of the bus route for the last time that I was willing to tolerate, I tried to break from my captor, racing down what had turned into a muddy cobbled hill road. Giant wooden French doors of a massive cathedral appeared before me and I flew against them nearly cracking my now glacial lungs.
I slid on my belly to a marble floor with some religious images that I could not make out. Rolling onto my back to see if I had lost my predator, I looked up to see him standing over me. He sat, out of breath beside me on the floor.
"We had a deal," I said, "I promised to pay you twenty dollars to guide me out and not to rape me. Aren't we friends? Can't I get the money to you later when I find my wallet?"
Unbeknownst to me, but perfectly apparent to the place from which my pleas were originating, I had lost my wallet in the chase... or the walk... or on bus 393 from Vietnam, and could not pay my predator to leave me be.
"We aren't friends," He chided, and then added something whiny and mumbled. The gist was that I had not been a good enough companion to warrant friendship. Perhaps I should have let him rape me to encourage camaraderie. All smells diminished here, and He fled through the open doors of the cathedral as if I had insulted him beyond reparation.
Scene 3 --
(Enter Gregory House, MD)
No sooner does my predator leave than another's presence is observed.
"I found your wallet in the mud," House grunts in typical House fashion. The chastising that followed was primarily confused and inarticulate in a very, very atypical House fashion. "Something is missing from your documents..."
In place of the cathedral's altar there appeared a great digital screen that was supposed to display the contents of my wallet. Oddly, there were no cards or monies -- only pictures. House kept giving his befuddled speech as various images of pictures I kept in my wallet appeared on the screen. Finally, when the screen was full but for a large black gap in the center, House's words became clear again:
"After you dropped your wallet in the mud, I paid 'Him' to follow and try to rape you."
"Why??" I was thinking, horrified, but could not utter because Dream Mode set in and my words were soundless.
Scanning the images in front of me and recognizing none of them, my dream self suddenly realized: "My son? You're jealous of my son, Darren Rosé?!" [NOTE: who the crap is "Darren Rosé", and how/when did I produce a blonde-headed, ice-blue-eyed stuffed animal of a human being?]
Upon uttering or screaming these words (not sure how they came out in Dream Mode), I found myself inside a digital image on the screen, holding a small ice-blue-eyed blonde-headed baby boy and screaming in silence after House, who walked casually out the giant French doors of the Cathedral.
And all the while writing this, I've been humming "Steady as a beating drum" from Pocahontas, a song and movie which have not heard or seen much less thought of in at least six years. Touché, Crohn's.
Hega hega yam-pi-ye-hega...