Good morning, everybody.
I was in some place like the lobby for a hotel or an apartment building. It was pretty spacious. It probably had red tile floors and white walls. It may have had an old Spanish Mission sort of feel to it.
I sat in a nice chair, maybe a green leather chair, before a long, kind of low coffee table. I sat near one of the ends of the table. Across the table, in another nice chair, sat an old, white man. He looked a little well-off, maybe a tiny bit heavy, with a dignified but irascible face.
The man had a wife who was very meek, at least for show. She handed the man some coffee and walked away. She may have said something to the man about staying calm. She may have sensed, like I did, that the man didn't like me being around, and that he was looking for a reason to annoy me or make me feel like leaving.
But for some reason the man hadn't found any opportunity to annoy me. We'd both finished our coffee. I'd been reading the newspaper. The man may have been reading the paper as well. I put down the paper. It was obvious to the man that I was getting ready to stand up and leave.
But as I was getting ready to stand up, the wife walked up again. She either brought or pointed out a little carton of creamer to the man. I looked down at the table, too. I don't think I saw any use in the creamer. Both the old man and I had finished our coffees.
I noticed that the table was littered with newspapers. There was barely enough open space on the table for the creamer. The carton may actually have been partly obscured by a page of newspaper.
But the man seemed to think that I did want the creamer. He suddenly lurched forward. The creamer carton had been opened. The man grabbed the carton. He folded the carton top closed, then decisively planted the carton back down. He then gave the carton top an imperative flick with his index finger. All of this was a way, I knew of annoying me by making me feel that the man owned the creamer and I had no right to it.
I was annoyed. I didn't need any creamer. I didn't even have any coffee left. But the man acting like he owned the creamer really ticked me off. I stood up calmly to leave. I really wanted to do something annoying back to the man. But I decided to ignore him.
But now the man stood up. He seemed to want to follow me out of the building. Now that he'd annoyed me once, he wanted to keep on annoying me.
I was walking toward a wall. Once I hit the wall, I'd walk left. Following the wall, I'd be led to a larger front lobby area and out of the building. The old man had walked in front of his chair and off to the right. But he quickly looped around and walked back in my direction. It was like he was trying to make a beeline for me, so he could cut me off in my path.
I could see the man out of the corner of my eye, approaching me as I walked toward the wall. I knew he was trying to cut me off. I got really mad. I was going to do something to the man.
Right as I approached the man, I hurried up, to get just a couple steps in front of him. I knew I was going to push him back as he made his attempt to cut me off. But what I ended up doing, actually, was grab him by the arms, lift him up, and shove him back a couple steps.
But as I was doing this, the man was talking to me. It was like he was trying to be friendly. I figured he was just trying to be friendly to me now because he wanted to make me second-guess myself, to make me think that maybe I was wrong, and that maybe he really wasn't trying to annoy me. The man looked different, too. He was smaller and skinnier, and he looked more cheerful.
I felt a little bad for not having listened to anything the man had said. I asked him to repeat what he'd said. He started talking about dinner, about some food like Salisbury steaks.
Something about this annoyed me, and I turned and walked quickly away from the man. I got the feeling the man was only mentioning dinner because he knew that would be his next opportunity for annoying me. He was trying to pry information out of me regarding what I liked about dinnertime. That way he could wreck it for me.
I walked into a bathroom along the wall. The bathroom was lit with drab, green-grey fluorescent lights. The bathroom felt a little too small, humid, and stale. The sinks were kind of boxy. They seemed to be made of some old, stale aluminum or stainless steel. There were two workers doing something like cleaning mops in two of the sinks off to my left.
I washed my hands in a free sink. I was hoping the man wouldn't follow me into the bathroom as well and try to annoy me here. The two workers may have been something like the salisbury steak for dinner as well.
I was out in a Main Street area in a small town, not unlike a little shopping area in my hometown, but with longer, wider streets. It was getting to be early evening. The sun had set, and the light was grey blue.
I was with my mom. My mom's mom had been with us. But now she was walking away. My mom told me something like, "Your grandma thinks you're going back to New York right away. She won't see you again if you don't talk to her right now. Go tell her you aren't going back for a few days."
I ran up to my grandma. She seemed to be getting attached to another group of people. But I managed to turn her around. I gave her a hug and told her that I'd actually be in town for a few more days, if she wanted me to spend time with her at some point. But she told me that she'd have too much to do over the next few days. She wouldn't be able to spend time with me.
I said goodbye to my grandma. I turned around and walked down the sidewalk. The sidewalk was mostly empty. On my right side was a nice, small, but massive building made of some kind of grey stone. I may have thought this building was a theatre building.
The staircase up to the front was massive and steep, even though it was kind of narrow and small. The staircase had some kind of black iron gate in front of it. And all the way up, the staircase was bounded by a tall, black iron fence.
For some reason, passing the left side of the staircase, I decided to turn around and hold onto the black railing of the fence. I grabbed onto a spot at a height where my feet would barely be touching the ground. I then began to use the fence railing as a bar for doing chin-ups.
The first time I wobbled up into a full chin-up, I held myself there and looked down the street as my grandma disappeared with the group of people she was now attached to.
It made me really depressed to think of my grandma going away like that. It made me kind of disappointed to think that maybe my grandma said she couldn't see me. I thought maybe she'd been disappointed in me. It made me want to do more chin-ups.
I suddenly realized, though, that I'd actually done a full chin-up. I had a hard enough time doing that, usually. I was surprised I'd done it without much thought at all. I started to wonder if I'd actually even done a chin-up.
So I let myself down, so I could pull myself up into another chin-up. I wobbled my chin up over the bar again. I let myself down and pulled myself up again, still not quite sure I'd actually done a legitimate chin-up.
But this time, as I wobbled my chin up over the bar, I looked down to the foot of the staircase. Two young, kind of bushy-haired, blonde men sat huddled together on the bottom steps. They were wearing clothes like old soldiers' uniforms from the Revolutionary War: something like dark blue jackets and tight, but thick, white slacks.
It struck me that these young men were something like European guards. They were guarding this building. This building seemed to be something important. Maybe it wasn't a theatre, like I'd thought it had been.
I let myself down and then wobbled myself back up into another full-chin up. Holding my head up over the bar I looked up to the top of the staircase. I saw that there were arched and ruffled fabric banners over the doorways to the building -- three of them, I think. The banners were red white and blue, but in a pattern that reminded me more of France than of America.
I suddenly realized that this building was something like the French Embassy. Sitting here doing chin-ups on the stair railing to the French Embassy was pretty disrespectful. So I let myself down and walked away from the staircase.
I walked through some interesting structure. It was like a short but wide staircase of red stone or red brick. The staircase had two wide balconies on either side. At the top of the staircase was a broad promenade. That ran to the left and the right. Across the way from the staircase was some kind of stone arch structure, and then a red walkway that seemed to span quite a ways. This was all under a grey-white sky.
I really wanted to explore this area. But at the top of the staircase a man sat, barring the way. He held some strange sort of guard's weapon. It was almost like a candelabra made of golden-tipped spears. But it was broad enough to block any movement past the top of the staircase.
But for some reason I thought this was easily surmountable. I would simply fly over the man's spears. I'd have to fly high enough that the man wouldn't detect me. And I'd have to land far enough away from the man that he wouldn't detect me. If he detected me, I knew, he'd fight me. And I probably couldn't beat him.
But I thought it would be easy enough to fly past the man. I lifted myself slowly up into the air. When I got level with the tips of the spears, I came closer to the spears. I noticed it would be a little harder than I'd thought to get over the spears. Coming out of the tips of the spears were lengths of twine. They seemed to be joining the spears to some structure overhead.
I flew up, following the lengths of twine. I figured if I could find the structure the twine was joined to, I could fly over that. Even if it was really high, I could fly over it. As far as I knew, my powers of flight didn't have any height limit.
But as I got higher and higher, I came to realize I wasn't outside at all. I was inside a massive, very tall building, something like the Rose Reading Room of the Schwartzmann branch of the NYPL, except three or four times the size and height. And the room almost had a holy feel to it, like a cathedral.
The lengths of twine, I saw, went all the way up to the ceiling. But, maybe ten or so meters from the ceiling, the vertical lengths of twined joined with a lattice of horizontal and vertical lengths of twine. This lattice of twine was so immense and intricate that I knew there was no way I could get beyond it.
But, looking forward, I saw places where there seemed to be open spots. From there I could, I thought, get up high enough to go past the twine lattice and over the detection system that was, apparently, all connected to the man's spear-candelabra.
But now the massiveness of the enormous room was making me really dizzy. I was starting to get afraid, too. I felt like if I flew any higher, I stood a chance, somehow, of easily falling to my death.
For a little bit, I kept trying to move forward. But I couldn't manage it. The room seemed to begin spinning. Everything seemed more massive than ever. The floor scared me because it was so far below me. The ceiling scared me because it seemed so looming and heavy.
I had to descend. I was descending slowly, too afraid that any quick descent would lead to a falling accident that would kill me. As I got closer and closer to the floor, all I could see were the sparkling-polished, red floor tiles. It was like I was focusing on the floor as a matter of life or death. I may have felt like I was going to throw up.
I could hear the man telling me, almost like an older brother tying to give advice, "Man, don't try to fly."