I was attempting to firm up my understanding. Little was coming.
In my twenties, I’d made it to the place, but didn’t know the place’s purpose. Located on a busy street, the place was an innocuous building with rooms and offices. It could have been a school or business. Others of my age were there, and a staff gave vague instructions. Reticent and withdrawn as I always am, I found an office, sat down and waited.
This rough sequence repeated a few times. People warmed to me, and I, to they, through the sequence, but I still had no idea what the place was, or my role. But a taller, bigger, gregarious person decided he liked me, and started letting me go with him when he did things. He seemed to have a greater position than most.
At each day’s end, we would leave the building and then board one of two buses. I didn’t know the difference between the two buses or which I should ride. Everyone else seemed to know. I would ask, but I never understood the answer. I tried to stay with my big buddy. Riding a bus, I would look around, mostly interested in the other bus, to see if it went somewhere different.
When the bus stopped, they’d call something out, and I’d know to get off. When I did, I’d be back at the place.
I grew comfortable with the routine, although I didn’t understand it. Not understanding it, though comfortable, I kept looking for more information. I asked others questions about what we were supposed to be doing. Smiles were mostly given in answers, sometimes with vague statements like, “Oh, you’ll know,” or, “You’ll find out.”
Came a time when a female supervisor came in and spoke with us as my buddy and I sat in an office. I don’t know what was being discussed; it seemed like a foreign language. As she spoke, she gave me a small silver container and a package of matches. The small silver container, the size of a tea candle, had silver, waxy material in it, but no wick. Confused about whether it was a candle and I was supposed to lit it, or that it was something for my consumption, I puzzled over it and the matches as the woman spoke.
Others came in, looking for me. They had news about what my big friend was planning to do. I went to his office. He wasn’t there. Two objects were there. I studied them. They were red and white missiles on rails. I understood what they were. Rumors were circulating that he intended to launch them in test, to see if they would work correctly and explode. Worrying that he might be planning to do that in his office, I sought him out.
We talked. He explained with a dry chuckle that he was awaiting a test location. No, it would be safe. No one else would be there. He was trying to reassure me but he wasn’t answering all of my questions.
The woman came in and gave me another silver container and matches. The match book was closed, but one match was stuck out, as though it was there to be used. I remained unsure. I feared that if I lit it, the silver stuff would explode.
It was time to leave. I went out with the rest to catch a bus. I didn’t see my big friend. Everyone else boarded a bus while I debated about which to take.
The buses left without me. After a moment of concern, I shrugged it off and started walking. I knew where the buses were going and could walk there.
I passed the buses as I walked. People on the bus came to the windows. I heard them saying, “Look, he’s walking faster than the bus.” It was true. As they said that, everyone came to the buses’ windows to see me passing the bus. That inspired me to walk faster, determined to beat them to the destination.
The road narrowed and grew dark, the first time that it was dark in the entire dream. I found I was walking upside down. “Look,” the people on the bus said, “he’s walking upside-down. He’s walking on the ceiling.” They sounded amazed and envious.
The ceiling became dirty and thick with roots. It was like I was underground, with the road and the buses beneath me. I fell off the ceiling, but picked myself up and continued walking, right-side-up. Then, I was walking on the ceiling again. I was determined that would not stop me. I learned that whenever I discovered I was walking on the ceiling, I could rotate it, and it would be the proper orientation and surface.
I continued walking. I beat the buses to the place. Dirty and sweaty, I went inside. Sitting at a desk, I listened to the woman talking. She brought me the silver thing and the matches.
I tasted the silver thing to see if it was edible, and awoke.