I'm on campus at UC Santa Cruz at night, and I walk into a huge art studio with a wearhouse-like interior. I watch a woman paint a solid canvas of blue and then decide I want to give it a try. An artist friend appears and gives me a spare canvas on which many paint colors have been tested across the top edge. It looks like a rough-edged stripe of an out-of-order rainbow. I move into a corner and begin work, sticking to an idea of making the minimum number of brushstrokes. Soon after I examine the half-result from far away and I'm taken aback by it's amazing realism--it looks like a pale green hillside covered in pink, feather-like trees hanging under a fantastic multi-hued sky. An art professor approaches me who looks familiar and we begin conversing. Her face reminds of Andrea, the mother of my friend Lianna, and I tell her so. She looks surprised and tells me that she is in fact Andrea. I'm astonished at how young-looking she is and compliment her on it--she looks 20 years younger than when I last saw her.
I decide I'm done with the painting for now and bid farewell to Andrea. As I walk along the forested path I begin to think about my friend Lianna, who I haven't seen in almost a year. I begin to miss her deeply, wishing that I could see her. The thought occurs to me that I'm in a dream and I can make anything happen. Resolving to make Lianna appear by a power of will, I walk into a nearby building. It feels like an office building as I walk up the wide stairway just inside the lobby and the sunlight is now streaming in through the entrance. The floors are black marble and the walls are dark wood. I turn a left when I reach the top of the stairs and approach a doorway. Concentrating deeply I attempt to will Lianna into existence, visualizing her coming out that door. I try over and over but fail on every count. Now distraught, I turn and walk away from the door before sinking to the floor at the top of the stairs, weeping for my ineptitude and for Lianna. A light touch on the back of my shoulder brings my tear-tracked face up out of misery and into the sight of Lianna standing there beside me, having just exited the stubborn doorway. I hug her vigorously and am all-at-once in a state of supreme happiness. I tell her how much I'd been missing her but she, of course, knows the whole story already. We talk for a long while before dissolving into yet another computer screen covered in MIDI music commands and little squares that I incessantly slide around, searching for just the right arrangement.