I had to go to a family reunion but I was far off in a strange place with strange people. One of them lent me her motorcycle. I have never had a ride on a motorcycle, let alone driven one, but they let me take it.

It turned out to be a very long trip, at night, down unlit backstreets. I was constantly in danger of running down pedestrians: since there were no sidewalks, everyone walked in the street; the streets were narrow and cars were parked on either side.

I tried turning the highbeams on, but it either didn't have highbeams or they didn't work or didn't make a difference.

It was really not so bad driving at high speed in nearly utter darkness, but I was surprised how much energy it took from me.

At last I arrived, nearly crashing into a tall hedge. Some teenage girl called out, "Did you see that? Did you see what she almost did?" I called back, "I wish I had seen it!" and I opened my eyes (in the dream). At some point, I had begun driving with my eyes closed, not that it made any difference.

The sun was shining, it was a breakfast place by the sea, and I went to sit by my mother (who is dead irl), and made a quip to my sister about Martians: a joke she didn't get. (It was a pun based on the brand name of the motorcycle.)

Christ what a friggin' nightmare.

I was going to participate in a wedding for a relative on my mother's side. (Let me just mention that my mother's side of the family make me extremely uncomfortable because I find them very judgmental and reserved.) It was a huge, ridiculously extravagant wedding for rich people with lots of servants with lower class British accents and extremely ornate everything. I was still a little punk, with bad manners and spiky hair, but I was expected to let someone's servant put a hand-embroidered brocade cape on me and three layers of petticoats under a white dress and white tights and white Aurora shoes on me and I was to walk ahead of the bride as some sort of absurd 20-year-old flower girl. It didn't help that the bride, the relative I barely knew, was marrying John Ashcroft.

I was angry the entire time.

Right before the ceremony I came inside from playing in the dirt wearing an old skirt, and this servant woman tried to help me get dressed for the ceremony, but my dress was missing and my stockings were ripped and my hair was a mess. As the woman tried to curl the short ends of my hair they either burned or grew so long they wouldn't curl. She teased me that she'd use the curling iron to make it stand straight on end, but the fact was she couldn't do anything with it at all. We were sitting in what amounted to a costume shop with all this beautiful clothing on hangers and it felt like a theater costume shop so I felt okay, but when I peeked out the door I saw the wedding party arranged and I was filled with dread and fear because they were impeccably dressed and ready and waiting for me (they reminded me of the 'court of Queen Elizabeth' at a renaissance fair, with full- skirted dignity. Everything was white, because it was a wedding) and I knew they didn't even really like me.

I ran away when the maid told me to go out in the petticoats and the cape but without the dress because we couldn't find it. For some reason the 'costume shop' was right next to a train station, and I took a train (don't remember the trip so I guess I could have followed the tracks) away from there.

My mother found me on the other side of town, and she took me out to breakfast by way of trying to convince me to go back to the wedding. We sat outside at a table in a nice cafe where I felt safe and un-self-conscious even though it was a similar environment to the wedding itself. She read to me from Newsweek: "John Ashcroft has a secret lover... (name of my relative), and the two of them have agreed that they will not marry unless the military is ready to unleash tactical nuclear missiles as part of the war on terrorism...". At once, I thought of how beautifully sick it was to have these two misguided rich people playing with the world like it was a toy but still clinging to each other amid their insanity with something that must be like love, but also how horrible it was that this wedding precipitated a war, perhaps even the end of the world. I jumped up from the table, noting that there were two other couples at our table minding their own business, and I shouted at my mother "how could you do this to me? these are YOUR relatives, not mine, I don't even know these people, and you're making me participate in an empty ceremony that will only bring the world closer to destruction, how dare you?" and I ran away again.

I ran to a flower shop, which was deserted, so I picked up the phone behind the counter. I called the wedding, expecting the bride to tell me that I had ruined the most important (and one of the last) day of her life, but I don't remember my conversation with her. I took notes on the conversation on the back of a sheet of labels. At one point the young man who was running the shop came out of the back office and was all upset because I wasn't supposed to be behind the counter using his phone, but I just waved him away with "I'm on the phone". Who ever I was talking to started treating me like I was insane, and they asked if I was alone where I was. I explained thickly that there was a young man there who appeared to be doing important things in a back office and who I didn't know and I didn't expect him to be of much use. At this point in the dream I felt like I was drunk, and that's one of my last coherent memories.

My lasting impressions are of the 'costume shop', being alone surrounded by these dresses that were all beautiful and fine, but either someone else's or too big or the wrong color or ugly.

I remember the cafe scene with my mother, especially the confused faces of the other people at the table when I started to cuss her out.

And telling the voice on the other end of the phone in the flower shop that I didn't need to participate in the wedding because 'the essence of contract is agreement, not coercion or obedience'. I told the voice that I hadn't agreed to be in this wedding and no one there liked me anyway and it was mutual and I felt that they had asked me to do this as a way of getting control over me, of making me complicit in their plan to drop nukes.

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