Last night, I dreamt of Tuulia.

Tuulia was an online friend of mine from Oulu, Finland who I met on IRC during my freshman year of college. We chatted and e-mailed often, and even exchanged the odd letter and phone call for a few years between 1994 and 1997. In the summer of 1995, I even reserved an airline ticket to go visit her -- a visit that was ulitmately canceled after I was laid off from my summer job. After the split of IRC's EFNet into separate European and non-European entities, we contacted each other with increasingly less frequency. I don't think I've spoken with her for perhaps two years.

I'm confused why I waited until now to feature her in one of my dreams.

We had decided on cornflower blue for our t-shirt color. Although Russ was a Norwegian tradition, a bunch of horny Finnish teenagers led by an equally horny Canadian university student shouldn't be too out of place. We decided to paradrop into Norway, and to sieze upon some shopping center as our first act of random chaos.

In the confusion of the low-altitude insertion and the novelty of retail chain from another country, our party was scattered throughout the mall. I was alone and searching for the group, in particular Tuulia. I was somewhat hampered by my inability to speak either Norwegian or Finnish, but I wasn't about to let that deter me from finally telling Tuulia how I cared for her. (In wakened retrospect, waiting until we went on an adolescent sex-romp through Norway may not have been the best timing.)

I finally tracked Tuulia down in a store that reminded me of a Mountain Equipment Co-op or an American Eagle location. All the while we were there, I tried to engage her in conversation, asking her about previous trips to Norway, and if Finland had a festival similar to Russ. She seemed distracted, and failed to answer my questions. Eventually, she needed to leave the store, but I remained behind to purchase my own cornflower blue shirt, which I inexplicably hadn't done yet.

After she left, I started talking to Myra, a seventy-something lady with whom I work in Texas (in 2003, not contemporaneous with the setting of the dream). I can't remember what Myra and I talked about, but I'm sure she gave Tuulia her stamp of approval. For some reason, Myra was wearing a cornflower blue t-shirt, marking her as part of our group.

I pursued Tuulia in the mall, happening across a lunch buffet counter that serpentined its way through the food court. I woke up without seeing her again.

It was a long, hot summer. A heat wave. In a swirl of heat fever and love of the glorious revolution two friends and I joined a black liberation army.

For long hot days we wandered the streets, tested our weapons, and assembled our uniforms. We did no fighting. We were political, we were protesters with a name.

* * *

Storm clouds gathered. Rain began to fall, cutting through the burning air. I turned to my friend, and said

“The dream is about to end.”

* * *

I woke up.

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