I was on an airplane, a huge airplane. It was probably 20 seats across, and i was sitting in one of the middle sections towards the left side. We were ascending, and the flight crew was babbling away all their airplane babble to us, but in a very theatrical manner. They were dancing and joking and inserting dramatic pauses. The captain told us we were reaching our cruising altitude, and that the flight attendants were now allowed to perform research—and more, better research than that other airline, mind you! Soon the flight attendants starting doing this little musical number à la Time Warp about how they were going to give us these little cough syrup cups full of liquid and we were going to sleep through the entire flight. I looked to my left, and the shades over the windows opened to a view of the highway that we were driving, er, flying? along.
Soon i was sitting in a room watching television, and this highway was on television. It was Lexington Avenue, in New York City, except it was a ten-lane freeway. One direction, downtown, was chock full of traffic, while the uptown direction was completely empty. It was a TV show about the aftermath of September 11. In the wake of the attacks, a number of people had decided to run uptown along Lexington. This turned into a marathon. They all wanted to reach the park at the very northern tip of Manhattan, which was named “God’s End Mountain”, or “Endeberg des Gottes”. It hadn’t been a major tourist destination since the 1970’s when the park was turned into a landfill. People in some sort of uniform climbed out of the East River and started joining those running along Lexington.
The screen then showed the new New York skyline. Elijah the Chimpanzee and i whimpered and embraced each other.
I was arriving in New York, and was at a hotel somewhere in midtown or uptown Manhattan. Except it wasn’t a hotel, it was the apartment of someone i knew—a noder? But it sure looked like a hotel. I went and talked to my host, and put by bag down. I wanted to go online and /msg people in the Compound, but they all wanted to watch a movie, and i felt bad because last time they were watching a movie together, i was online. So i went to watch with them, but then i decided to call my friend Kris on my cell phone.
Kris explained to me that he and his mother were mad at his father and not speaking to him. See, Kris needed oral surgery, and he didn’t want anaesthesia. His mother supported him, but his father thought this was a crazy idea. So he up and gave them both anaesthesia, right there in the dining room. They fell asleep and slept for a long time, and they were mighty pissed. Kris then went on to do nothing but mournfully repeat, “Buaaaah, buaaaaaaagh...” over and over again.
I had wandered downstairs, and was in a little area between the back door of the building and the sidewalk. There was a metal fence separating the area from the sidewalk. There were dumpsters there. There was a gate in the fence. I went out the gate, and it locked behind me. I was in a strange neighborhood. It was primarily residential, and it was relatively dark, and it was silent. It was on a big hill. I could see the skyline of the City, but it consisted of just a few scattered tall buildings. I walked around the block, listening to this “Buaaaah, buaaaaaaagh...”, except now it was Kalin, not Kris. I tried to interrupt him, but he insisted. I got halfway around the block and i could see the Capitol. I thought that was a little odd; New York and Washington, D.C. are relatively close to each other in the eyes of someone from the West Coast, but i didn’t remember them being that close. The Capitol was huge and white and illuminated and beautiful. I told Kalin, “I just wanted to call and say, “Hi,” and let you know i was in New York and as we’re speaking i can see the Capitol. Bye.” And then i hung up on him. I went back into my host’s apartment. They were all watching television. Flamingweasel was there, and he was doing nothing but saying, “Buaaaah, buaaaaaaagh...” They told me that he had just quit smoking (even though he never smoked) and that he wanted a cigarette and that was why he was making the noise. There were a bunch of stock noders there, and Jerry Pitzl, a retired geography professor at Macalester College and my advisor last year. I saw “everything2.org” flash on the TV screen as part of a bad commercial, and i glanced over at Pitzl. He looked confused and out of place.