Good morning, everybody.
I was in a small room, like the concession stand of a movie theater, but in its own little room. There were a lot of mirrors in the room, and the room had a mostly blue color scheme, with strings of clear incandescent lights flashing everywhere.
I was sitting up on one of the counters, talking with somebody else in the room, probably a young woman. The woman was asking me about my old careers. She asked me something about the work I did in New York for Americorps. She asked me something like, "Didn't they really respect you and look up to you there?"
I replied something about how it definitely seemed that I was looked at as one of the best performers in the programs I worked in, but how, when it came to living situations, I still got stratified out. I said how, when it came to living situations, the whites went with the whites, the browns went with the browns, and the blacks went with the blacks.
"Except me," I said. "For some reason, when I lived in New York, I mostly lived in West Indian neighborhoods."
A man now came walking in through the door. He was a young, good looking business man. He was blonde and tan with blue eyes. He wore a business suit with a tan or pea-colored trench coat over it. He said he'd heard what I'd been speaking about. He wondered if I could come somewhere with him and speak with him a little bit more.
I was out with my sister in some residential neighborhood. My sister was leaving me here to take care of something. But I may have been set to meet her somewhere else later on.
My first task, apparently, was to take a shower. So I walked a couple blocks down the road, to a big, classical looking fountain that just stood in the middle of the street, and took a shower.
When I got out of the shower, I put on an orange t-shirt. I started walking along the road, when two teenage girls standing in a front yard began laughing at me. I looked down to see that I wasn't wearing any pants or underwear -- just my t-shirt!
I knew I had brought some clothes with me when I'd left my sister. They were probably in a backpack. But where had I put that backpack? I thought I'd brought it with me when I'd walked over to the shower. But maybe I'd left it at the point where my sister and I had split ways.
I tried running back to that point. But I couldn't remember exactly where it was. The neighborhood now looked different, too. The houses were all small and cheap, and the yards were barren and full of garbage. I looked to my left down one block to see a couple of guys moving some stuff out of a house. The whole block seemed to be full of cellophane and packing foam.
I may have begun to think that my sister was getting revenge on me for something by having taken my backpack back home with her. Maybe she thought I'd done something perverted to her. So now she was making me feel perverted by leaving me out on the street with no clothes.
But I finally found the block where I thought I'd departed from my sister. I was certain I could find the yard my sister and I had been standing in, and that the backpack would be right there. But there were two old men standing out and talking in one of the yards. I had to sneak past them. I knew if they saw me in this neighborhood they'd think I was a thief.
I walked into a movie theater. The theater was big, and I was the only one in there so far. I had a backpack with me. I sat it down on the left side of the center aisle, a few rows forward from the back row.
I then felt like I needed to leave the theater for a moment. So I left the theater. But standing out in the hallway, I realized I'd left my backpack. I needed to go grab it. I couldn't let it sit in there. Somebody would steal it.
So I ran back into the theater to grab the backpack. But now I couldn't find it. I couldn't remember exactly what row I'd been sitting in. I went through a number of the rows, but I couldn't find the right row. Now a few more people were filtering into the theater. I told myself that it was odd I'd chosen a back row, anyway. Usually I choose a front row.
I was on a thin, wooden platform with my two oldest nephews. The platform was suspended over some kind of dirty body of water. The platform was long. But something about it felt very uncertain, and it was hard for my nephews to stay on it.
My second oldest nephew actually fell off the platform. But I managed to grab hold of him as he fell off. He was now just hanging by my hands. Then my oldest nephew fell off the platform. Somehow both of my nephews were holding onto me. I had slipped off the platform, too, and was just holding on by one hand.
We were now all three in the water. Now it was like it had just been a game. But I was really upset. I was yelling at my second oldest nephew, telling him that if he'd just paid attention to something and done it the way I'd told him to, that we wouldn't have had any problems staying up on the platform.
Now we were involved in some kind of speed-swimming game. Our bodies sped through the water, as if we were boats, or as if we were actually gliding just above the surface of the water. We had to swim through a big body of water, then through a smaller, adjoining body of water, and finally into a small pool of water. The small pool of water was divided, by muddy walls, into two sections. Then we had to turn back and return to the starting point in the big body of water. This whole circuit somehow described a figure eight.
I went through once by myself and managed to get some time like eighteen seconds. I next went through with my oldest nephew. It now appeared that in the two small pools of water there were fish-like zombie creatures. My oldest nephew somehow got injured by one and had to go to the doctor.
I went through the circuit again with my second oldest nephew. We got to the small pools as well. But as my nephew was coming out of the second small pool, he got stabbed in the left arm by one of the zombie fish. He showed me the stab wound. It looked like it had been made by a straight, tubular device, almost like an old TV antenna.
My nephew was wearing a white t-shirt, which now had pinkish lines of blood flowing down it. My nephew was worried. He knew that once you got injured by a zombie, you were most likely going to become a zombie.
My nephew was now gone, most likely getting medical help. I now floated around in the second body of water, looking back toward the small pools of water. I knew that there were zombies in every part of these waters. They could attack you anywhere. But they seemed to be really nasty in the small pools. And, even though this was just a game, if a zombie attacked you, you could really die or become a zombie.
I now had a vision like a high-score screen on an arcade wildlife shooting game. I heard some guys talking in the background, not like they were talking, but like they'd typed out comments on some online forum, and now they were being read back to me, in narration, in the guys' voices.
One guy said he had given up on the game because it was truly impossible, and that the game was just made to cheat people. Another guy said he'd also given up on the game. But he was trying to point out some secret tips that are given to you in the game.
The main tip had to do with the color scheme of some segmented pattern that surrounded some words at the top of the high-score screen. The guy said that if you look at how each color is distributed through the segments, you'll have a good idea of how many of each kind of zombie there are in the game.
I now turned around and looked over my left shoulder. Beyond a window, I saw my little niece playing around in a set of trees in a small garden. I realized that I was at some sports center. I had been here with my family, playing in the pool. Everybody else had gone to take a shower. But I was still in the pool, for some reason.
My family was all getting ready to leave. My niece and her older brothers were playing around in the little garden while waiting for my mom, and possibly my sister and brother-in-law, to come outside. But my niece, now seeing my mom and getting the idea that the family was going to leave without me, asked them to wait for me.
I didn't know whether my family would wait. But I got out of the pool and headed out of the sports center without even taking a shower. I may have seen my niece for a second. But now it was like everybody was gone. My family had to go on some big cruise, so they headed out to some big cruise ship. My niece had wanted my mom to wait so she could say goodbye to me before heading on the cruise. My mom had decided that they would wait for me near the cruise ship. I could say goodbye there.
I got to the cruise ship. There was a big rope-maze line leading up to the cruise ship. I may have seen my family for a second as they were working there way through the line. But the line was virtually empty, and my family must have gotten through it rather quickly.
I now stood before the ship with my grandmother, my mom's mom. We looked up to the deck of the ship, which was far above us, trying to spot my family. I may have said something to my grandma about not having been able to see my family and say goodbye. My grandma may have replied, but I can't remember what she said.
But now I was up in some cruise ship. I was in a gigantic room that looked kind of like a library. But the room was full of tables that stood rather high, maybe about shoulder level for me. The seats for the tables were also rather tall. The tables and seats were arranged today to face one end of the room, which felt like the back end of the room, even though the entrance door was on the same wall. Every seat was probably filled for the event taking place. I sat near the front row, on the left side.
Jennifer Lopez walked into the room. She may have had a new movie coming out, so she was going to give an interview to everybody in this room. But she said she only had a limited amount of time. She could only take nine questions.
She took the first question from somebody in one of the farther back rows. The guy's question was really long-winded. It was basically asking why Jennifer Lopez could only take nine questions. But it was working all kinds of weird symbolism into the question, involving the numbers three and six. Eventually Lopez just got annoyed and asked the guy to ask his question directly. The guy asked why Lopez could only take nine questions. Lopez gave an answer I can't remember.
Then Lopez walked right up to my table and playfully slammed on it, saying, "Okay. Now, you! I want to hear a question from you!"
I was kind of shocked. I didn't really know much about Jennifer Lopez. I'd just come here because I thought it would be interesting to see the event. But if Lopez wanted me to ask a question, I figured I'd better do so. I thought hard about it for a second. I remembered I'd just seen a movie with Lopez in it, and that it had had a scene that had made me kind of curious.
I asked Lopez, "You know, in that cartoon movie you just did a voice for, there's a scene where you're a little girl, and you're on a ship, getting ready to say goodbye to a little boy who you had a crush on, but who's now leaving on the ship. And I was just wondering, is that from real life? Cause it seemed like a really personal scene. And if it was from real life, could you tell us anything about that boy?"
Lopez was back up in her own seat at the front of the room, possibly flanked by a couple of guys who looked like bodyguards. She laughed and said something like, "Oh, I knew you would ask a question like that! Yes, the scene is from real life. And yes, I did like that boy. We were from the same neighborhood. And we never saw each other again."
Lopez went on to the next question, like she had given a sufficient answer to my question. I could tell she was glossing over a lot of the more personal issues I thought would have been interesting to hear. I think the details may have been a little embarrassing to her. I figured I wouldn't push the issue, and I'd just leave my question at that.