I am on an expedition to build a pyramid; my group, when finished with the salmon stones, returns to school...in order to do so, I must journey through...Hong Kong? on a bicycle or wheeled leather suitcase. One girl and I return together, and the cab first drops her off; I follow her to her meeting place with her mother. After that, I work my way across the city, down slopes and steps and by an alley with dimly lighted displays of drawings—why are there no pornographic ones? I wonder—until I come to a main street, many people using it to get home.

School is a little ways away, and so although I pass members of my family on the way, I am not going home with them but to school. Once on campus, I come across a new building, the biology MIT science building addition, a round space with large, heavy, wood-framed, spotlessly clean glass doors. Through them I can see a large meeting table; my advisor is there, heading a meeting, as well as some people I recognize from school, and somewhere in there, I know, is my boyfriend, but I don’t bother to look for him.

However, seeing as I dropped science this last year, I am not allowed in.

I walk away to an empty hallway some ways away from the building so that I won’t bother anyone and sing a song from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. However, some woman from the meeting does come and say that they can hear me even in that room, and could I stop? So I do. I wander into the auditorium, which is dark but has an odd filled sound to it, as though many people were whispering, and indeed, the lights suddenly, blindingly come on to reveal that the room is about two-thirds filled with people. I see the drama teachers sitting among them. I also see the group of girls with whom I worked on the pyramid, and so go to them. Someone holds up a camera to take a picture of them, and I stand up so that I can be in the picture (they are in the row above mine), but as I do, I sense that I am losing my balance and am about to fall down.

It's 4 am, but I'm not going back to bed. Here's why:

The perspective character, we'll call him Jeremy, went to a supermarket and climbed down a long ladder through various levels of underground strata until he reached the level where the Opponent was. The game was played on a mechanical chessboard, and was similar to chess but slightly different.

Jeremy's perspective switches to that of a chess piece.

Jeremy, like the other pieces, is pyramidal. He is one of the smallest pieces on the board. A pawn. His mother is encouraging him to take the king.

Instead, Jeremy is taken. But the Opponent seems to be secretly helping him out, and due to an obscure rule, he is brought back into the game.

The Jeremy piece is now the tallest piece on the board; this makes him something like a bishop.

Jeremy is afraid he will be instantly taken again. It is not his turn to move, and he feels helpless. But a flurry of action surrounds him, and suddenly the action has moved away, downhill and in front of him. Pieces flicker in and out of existence, being taken and duplicated in rapid succession.

Suddenly, it's Jeremy's turn. He's confused, and looks with trepidation at the field. Again, the Opponent helps him: he points to a spot. Yes! This is the way!

The Jeremy piece runs to the square pointed out. Lights flash. Photographers hurry to take pictures of the wonderful scenario before the computer resets the chessboard.

The game ended in a tie. The press seems to be amazed. Ties must be very rare in this game.

The Opponent and Jeremy shake off the paparazzi and climb down another ladder alone together to lower levels. The Opponent is talking about the chessboard computer's superintelligence.

"We told it the police had taken one of its pieces. Within the hour, every station in the city had been brought to its knees."

They have reached the lowest level. The impression of the place is that it is being painted by the computer.

There are uneven swaths of black paint along the dimly lit tunnel wall, intermittently covering a black-and-white checkerboard pattern. The Opponent walks him down the tunnel, talking more to him about the computer's history, and tracing out patterns on the wall.

An invisible tension builds. They reach a section of wall still unpainted. On the level of the floor someone has written:


noT YOu

Jeremy sees the inscription, and on inspection sees that it wasn't written in paint. It is, of course, blood. He looks again. The whole checker pattern has been painted in the same material.

The Opponent pulls out a knife.

And that's the last thing Jeremy ever saw.

UU & Indian Betrothal

  • I'm in my father's house smoking pot with Tish, who's visiting me from up North. I have a little trouble using the small bong she hands me, but I get it working with her help. The building transforms into the Unitarian Universalist church I went to as a young child. I'm surrounded by elderly faces that I haven't seen in more than a decade. We're having a festive gathering with a potluck dinner and I call my friend Adam to invite him over. He had come here with his parents when we were 4 years old (a true memory which resurfaced because of this dream), so it's been a long time for him as well. I meet him outside and see the white powder snow covering everything under the scene lit only by stars and an amber streetlamp. Back inside, we are children again, darting among the forest of adults and grabbing cookies from glass dishes. There is another seamless transformation and now I am browsing along an old-fashioned line of shops during the day. The sidewalks and stores are all made of dark wood, reminiscent of old American Western towns. All the shops I am browsing sell hundreds of finely carved wooden figurines, icons and idols from every culture and religion imaginable. The scene fades gently back to the church and I am somehow now betrothed to a beautiful Indian girl. Now we are back inside one of the shops and my fiancee now combs through the shelves, taking every figure which features a man and woman in any kind of love act. One by one, she empties the store of love symbols while I watch unobtrusively. When she is through, she steps through a small portal between this store and its neighbor. I follow and observe as she continues the process in this store and next, never speaking a word but giving my shy smiles every once in a while.

I had a weird and long dream. In fact, the length was probably the weirdest part. The dream felt like it covered a couple entire DAYS. I have trouble remembering details, of course.

A female friend of mine lived here in Calgary. (She actually does not). For some reason, she had joined me and my family in going out for dinner during some celebration. My dad tended to be thinking we were like, you know, together. (This was not the truth. My friend is actually a lesbian. But to be honest, I'm really attracted to her at times.) And both of us (in the dream) understood his confusion because we /almost/ acted like it, but also with this strange barrier in our behaviour. It's almost like whenever we were talking it felt like we were constantly flirting with each other, except it was just our normal natural behaviour (even vaugely in real life). I dunno how to explain that. It was strange.

Anyways, we were going to be heading home from this celebration and we were walking home from downtown Calgary. No, this isn't really normal. But then again, for some weird reason my friend was carrying me on a mattress. Well, not really.. it's hard to explain. It was dark and I never figured out what was going on. But I was sitting or laying on something that was vaugely unstable, and I could look over the edge and stuff. We were walking towards the 'Riley bridge' (Riley Park is a park here in Calgary, but there is no such bridge), and we walked past a car salesman and there were fires all over his lot.. since I was on a matress I was looking back and pointing them out to him. (They were caused by all the fireworks from whatever celebration we were having). Right around then my dad suggested we should go sit under a tree and watch the fireworks and not hurry home so much. My friend claimed she was tired and wanted to get home, so we kept going. Then we got to the bridge. The bridge was like a massive set of little platforms with wooden bridges between them, going upwards a few hundred feet and crossing some sort of deep cliff or something.. I dunno. It looked like a grueling walk, anyways. Oh, there were lots of people behind us too. I took the lead and started walking up the stair-bridge-thing, carrying my friend who had fallen asleep (somehow, fallen asleep walking while carrying me on a mattress? huh?) and my cat was curled up on top of her. So I carried both of them and we went slowly up the stairs, with lots of people behind us, but they didn't seem in a big rush. The stairs were kinda falling apart and really quite steep, so nobody minded going slowly. It was supposed to be like an hour later but it was only like an instant in my dream, when the cat started turning over and trying to be cute and get my friend's attention, which caused her to wake up. Eventually she woke up and pointed out something she had been telling me about this bridge earlier in the dream (an earlier part not mentioned here, because I don't remember it). There was a part of the bridge, she said, that looked like a christmas tree. Somehow she got everyone who was following us.. oh, by the way, they were the cast of The Simpsons at this point in the dream, for some reason.. she got them to pull apart a tree that was part of a bridge and put it up against another tree in some kinda of weird musical fashion, and thereby illustrating to me that it did look like a tree. And then I fell off part of the bridge, none of the simpsons would help me back up, and I fell into a dungeon from a computer game (it seemed kinda like Zelda: A Link To The Past). At this point I realized I should wake up because my dream has turned too weird. (Alright, really, I hated that dungeon. I remembered dying in it so many times that I decided to just wake up, and that it was not worthwhile trying to find my friend again.)

Pseudo_Intellectual and I are leaning against his car, having a couple of beers and shooting the breeze. He looks nothing like I'd expected -- like a tattooed teenage hipster garage mechanic in a bowling shirt. He tells me an story about hanging out with his buddies in the parking lot at Goofy's the other night (which I understand to be a popular drive-in fast food place in whatever town we're in) when a rival gang of teenagers drove up and hurled insults at them. "We jumped in the car and totally took off after them," Pseudo says, chuckling. "Dude, it was awesome."

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