Posted by: normanlgreen | November 26, 2011

Dream, November 26, 2011 it is a doozy.

Dream, Chimayo, 6:22 am

A friend and I walk through a modern American city with European pretensions. We agree to go separate ways, but will reconnect.

I enter a commercial section of tall buildings – no more than ten stories – all of which are required to be constructed of sandstone in either rose or light terracotta. So, while there are variations in their baroque accents, there is a continuity to the irregularly spaced blocks.

I step onto a red cobble plaza with houses of worship. I pass, on the left, a church with corporate logos worked into the stained glass. To my right is a synagogue and schul, with a crowd inside visible through twelve-foot high windows. I enter through a side door. There are no right-angled passages, only spirals. I follow one spiral down below all the windows of the ground floor. An off-white hallway turns to the right. It ends where a teacher leaves a classroom, closing the door behind him.

“Excuse me, Rabbi. I’ve lost my way.”

He smiles behind his glasses and indicates with a twirl of fingers that I only need turn around. I thank him and back-track, taking different turnings until I return to the ground floor. I follow a spiral up to a platform at the rounded northern end of the schul. There I encounter my friend Alaine, who, in ecstatic tears, explains that she has commenced an intensive study of the pentateuch.

“I’ve only read one of the five, but we are at such a depth –” She stops to wipe a tear from beside her nose. She shakes her head and cannot explain further.

There is a movement to clear the visiting public from the synagogue.  Alaine and I agree to meet outside. Young scholars set-up cloth cordons to direct people out particular glass doors. As I am unfamiliar with the protocol and unspoken intents, I get confused, but eventually comply. Dozens of us, visitors and students, end up on raised walkway to the outside of the north end of the building (the women’ classroom just on the inside of the windows). I have lost track of Alaine, but encounter my friend Lynn – dark hair, olive skin in contrast to Alaine who is blond and fair. Lynn has been attending longer but with less passion for the study. As Lynn tells me of her studies, she absently shifts some stone markers. An older woman glares and repositions the stones. You can see their correct places by the visible weathering on the stone trough on which they lay. Lynn’s friend arrives.

“Now,” says Lynn, “We go see the diamonds.” She leads me down a ramp to the north of the synagogue. Below ground there is a market of concrete alcoves. First we pass a window of vintage toys – elaborate plastic forms snapped together to create characters. I recognize none, thought they look Easter European. Between the ramp and the market proper, there is a play area “to distract the children” and a food court – fast food outfit modeled on McD’s, yet kosher.

I am prepared to follow Lynn and her friend into the hall of diamond shops when a bearded man stands and call me to one of the tables – he might be an architect friend, Curt, but I cannot bring myself to look directly into this face. I feel discomfort of having been recognized with recognizing. The friendly man who may be Curt is with a large party who are at work together on a magazine quiz/puzzle. The man has an idea that I can help solve one piece.

“Make a pun on the phrase ‘bad news’.”

I ask if there aren’t more guidelines. The answer is supposed to be in the form of a 1940’s styled movie title. Out of the distance I see various titles approaching, superimposed over the cafeteria. I say, “The Return of the Evidence,” then leave.

I find I am in the company of a lost child who reminds me of Keaton. We have to escape someone who chases us. We find a narrow chute of concrete that provides access to a cluster of pipes – gas and water lines. The chute declines at 45 degrees, so I set the child on my lap and slide down for dozens of yards. Heavy staples are embedded, loops protruding upward, into the slide. We manage to dodge them in our decent. Homeless men who take refuge in this duct applaud us as we slide passed them. I see where a gas leak has caught fire, sending a jet of flame into our path. We pass the fire without incident but see a larger flame before us. We roll under the pipes and come to a stop.

Unfortunately, we have broken into a prison where the guards are unregulated. As an alarm sounds, prisoners, men and women, dodge into hiding holes. I lift the child into a high cavity behind an I-beam covered with a sheet of cardboard. There is not enough space for more than my head and shoulders, so I hold very still as flashlights are trained around the central yard. I am spotted and pulled down to the ground. A hermaphroditic guard with a huge distorted face and tuber-like body makes a pass at me. I dodge the offer and run into my cell. Three sets of bunk beds line both of the side walls. A young woman has been discovered cutting herself on her bunk – we, her cellmates, try to calm her fears. We will not turn her in to the guards. An older, black lesbian tells the child that her own girlfriend has the same habit and will be comforted to know that she is not the only one.

Now I am outside and waiting to revisit the prison. I have gathered a hockey team (including the friend lost at the beginning of the adventure) to compete in an exhibition game against my old cellmates – all part of an escape plot. We wait for my brother to complete our group. I joke that I have not seen him on skates “since nineteen-seventy-mumble-mumble.” We have to ask for the prison team by name or risk not connection with the correct group. Their name: “The Tamil Tigers”.


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