(From my journal, 1/14/2010-1/18/2010)
The dream begins in a subway car, or maybe a bus--anyway one of those places where people are crowded close together but nobody looks anyone else in the eye. My eye is staring at an ad for the ballet, some rendition of Swan Lake with an intriguingly modern twist. I stare endlessly at the muscular legs of the male dancer, and as I stare he begins to throw the swan princess into a twirl.
I blink and suddenly I find myself in the dark theater, staring straight at the dancer-prince. His eyes peer into mine in what seems an unlikely and almost impossible stare. But as I slowly recognize the brilliant green of his irises, I can't quite shake the thought that he is signaling me, his eyes pointing to the back corner of the theater. I turn to my left, just in time to catch a darkly-dressed, rather ominous man jolting out of the rear entrance. Thankful I brought my silenced pistol, I move swiftly to the edge of the aisle and calmly, careful not to arouse the suspicion of the ushers, exit through rear door.
When I get outside it is blindingly bright, and just as I am about to turn my head to figure out where the ominous man had gone, a large metal object hits my forehead. I feel myself falling to the ground, floating, as if on a cloud, stars dangling in a dark-red abyss inside my eyelids.
Awaking I find myself in a bright room with walls painted red, the strong and intense red of a darting cardinal in an otherwise drab forest. A hand is dribbling water from a rag just above my forehead, its cold and sudden splashes jolting me awake. A series of uncontrollable jitters take hold of my body, making it rather difficult to make out the face hovering just over me, sitting on what seems to be the edge of a standard-issue hospital bed. But this is clearly not a hospital. I try to say something, but though I feel my mouth move and my vocal chords seem to be working, no sound escapes from my throat. I sit up at the urging of the arm of my water-carrying companion.
As I sit up his eyes slowly come into focus, and their warm gaze seems oddly familiar, though I can't yet place them exactly. As his face comes into view, I realize that he is my long-estranged cousin J. Tears begin flowing down my face, as I somehow realize that everything makes sense: since high school, J. has been a secret DEA spy, and his drug use was just a cover, while jail time was a ruse used to hid him from the series of drug cartels chasing him across the country after he was ousted as a mole his senior year of high school. As I gaze at the new man before me, I begin to question what, if anything, I know about him.
Our conversation--if that is what it can be called, although I register no speech actually occurring--is quick but strikingly different from our typical vague exchanges. Through a series of brief scenes and still images that play a bit like a movie montage, I learn that J. has been working on a plot involving hard drugs infiltrating the nation's top university campuses. It turns out he needs someone inside the top schools, which of course turns out to be me. Putting aside my questionable moral support of his campaign and an uncertain background, I agree, or at least it seems I do when I find myself on the campus of my alma matter, following another ominous man, this one in dark glasses.
The man, upon further inspection, seems to be the dancer-prince from the ballet, and I quickly realize (although where the information comes from escapes me) that he is the kingpin of the local cartel. I determine to use my powers of seduction, larger-than-life as they are in this dream, to get close to him and work my way in. I follow him into the library building, but as I walk through the door I find, to my dismay, that he is looking right at me, apparently aware of my presence.
"Are you following me?" He says, coyly, with a smirk on his face that bewilders me.
He responds before I have time to recover from my momentary mute state onset by a slight jolt of shock. "It's fine," he says, his eyes appearing suddenly calm. "I just wish you would let me know so I can show off my good side." He winks.
"Oh," I mumble, hearing my voice for the first time in what seems like days. "Well, in that case, yes, I am following you. I've been thinking I might be able to, maybe, get your number."
"You can get a lot more than that," he says, fiddling with the collar of his shirt.
Suddenly the scene cuts to the two of us, squeezed into an aisle of the library stacks, the sweat of our bodies and the pulse of our hearts too fast for us to realize that there is hardly any space to get out of our clothes. His hand reaches up my thigh as mine grabs at his surprisingly muscular back. I shiver slightly, however, as I hear a shake in the nearby aisle, quickly shushing him and pulling my fly back closed. As I rush to thrown on my t-shirt, a book from the top shelf begins to teeter over the edge. I look up just as it falls directly on my face.
I awake to find myself in my bed, a cold sweat dripping from my brow as my alarm beeps anxiously in my ear. I curse my alarm for always waking me at the best part!
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