I suppose it's a consequence of drifting off to sleep on the couch while Laurel checks (or rather attempts to check)her messages. The constant staccato of the mouse builds a sonic framework in which my dream takes shape. Clicks of hands in time -- what time? Is it time? In hours I know it's my turn to check messages. I ask her again, when you're done, may I go? One line in this house, we are not cyber enough. We are not geeks.

We do, however, have a linux box and now a monitor as big as a large tv screen. Some of Laurel's noder friends have sent a picture which she's downloaded onto her desktop. The picture is remarkable for two attributes. The first is the overwhelming veneer of green. The picture virtually vibrates green. The second is that as I watch the scene, I am inside it. Technoreality. What will they think of next? I sit and contemplate the vista.

The hills roll in verdant waves and in the foreground there is a white stone bench like the one they placed on the hill above Kline Commons. Have I sat at that bench and digested these hills? Several pines stand sentry duty on the hillsides and there is a clean circle of wood in the center of the image. The molasses circle from Twin Peaks becomes a composite with a fire circle in some Vermont campground. I know this place. I know it well. I've been here before, though the noders sent it from Washington D.C -- not a former stomping ground.

Being inside the image manifests itself as a funcion of orientation. I can rotate within my vantage point as observer of the image. I can turn and view the vista not only from the perspective from which the photograph was taken, the "front" view as it were, but from behind as well.

As I attempt to posit my memory of this landscape onto the matrix of my past, I realize that there is a text box on the screen and Laurel has set a function so that the text is read aloud by a soothing male voice. It is as though I am in a historical museum and I have those narrative headphones clenched to my ears. Virtual tour guide. The voice of history. And this voice is telling me that we are at a site called "the graves of the children." The conical shapes growing out of the ground (narrow truncated birches) suddenly have meaning -- this is a garden for the young ones. I can hear their singing. Sounds congeal - staccato of mouse, voice of narrator, lilting death. I am lulled.

To my right the sideview mirror of a car is in my range of view. Suddenly, in the mirror I see a hand moving into the frame. I know this landscape is not populated. This is when I understand that the reflection of what is behind me is not what is behind me in the picture, but that an intruder has entered the Funhouse. I turn around, shaking off the eerie green song, wrenching myself into the landscape of my house, and am immediately possessed by the understanding that someone is after Laurel. He is a small man in grey with a misshapen face and he is coming towards me with a can opener -- the double bladed sort used to puncture large cans of juice at functions. Does he intend to release my pressure?. I laugh at this man, small in stature and wielding household objects. Wrenching the can opener from his grasp, I flout his potential authority. Which is when he pulls the gun.

Big and cartoonlike, the gun showers me with bullets. It is a dream; I duck. However, I do fear for my life. Just at the moment which would be the apex of any action sequence in any blockbuster film, a butter knife flies through the air and splits the small man's scalp. ideath to the rescue. The man falls but we are not fools in this dreamscape. Laurel hits the phone to dial 911 but she hasn't wrenched the gun away from her victim and I know, I know he is coming back to life.

And, of course, he wriggles. I straddle the man and begin the strangulation process. As I feel his breathing adjust itself to match the staccato patterns of mouse clicking, as the pressure eases against my palms, I sigh in frustration. Now I'm the one who has committed the actual murder, and how am I going to feel about that?

The dream reverses itself and I am telling Laurel the details. Three more times I dream the sequence of events that brings me to the computer screen. When she finally shakes me to consciousness, Laurel tells me that I've been whimpering.