I sit up and scratch my head. What's going on? Why am I in this dark room? Am I late for something? School? A road trip? I pick up the newspaper. How do I talk to Brian? It's a newspaper!! I carry it loosely in one hand, walking out into the hall. The end of the hall turns into a sidewalk, in pre-dawn light. Birds are chirping.
Bradley, Kathleen, Skot, and Brad, have assembled their luggage on the sidewalk outside their hotel. I walk across the cul-de-sac in my bathrobe, looking for my clothing. Apparently everyone is waiting for me to bring the car up, so we can continue our road trip.
I walk over to Skot and hand him the newspaper. "Could you add your username to this?" I say. Skot starts tracing letters onto the paper with his fingernail. The letters appear in red, then fade into the print. So that's how it's done.
The cul-de-sac has become a living room, in the dark apartment. I want a glass of water, but it's too dark to see in the kitchen, and I almost topple a stack of drinking glasses to the floor. I haven't been here in a while. In my absence, someone has thoughtfully cleaned all the glass windowshades in the house, but left them irritatingly stacked against the walls all around the kitchen instead of putting them back up. A job half-done.
Bradley picks up some papers. He is about to leave for the auditorium, where he will accept a prestigious award from the University. He plans to walk to the podium and say, "Thanks for this freakin' award," in a totally unexcited voice, then walk off.
Brad wants to hear a new CD I have, but it's in the CD changer, which is disconnected from the stereo and ten feet away. I tell him we don't have time, but he ignores that and asks where he can find a long audio cable instead. I sit down on the toilet, which is in the corner of the dining room. Got to clear the bowels before the trip.
Brad rummages around in a pile on the floor and finds a coiled patch cable. While I focus on pooping, he plugs one end of the cable into the back of the CD jukebox and unwinds it across the living room, through the kitchen, but it doesn't quite reach the stereo. He curses, then walks off.
All the walls in the house turn transparent. Students start walking in from the West wall of the apartment, straight through the rooms, and out the East wall, into a courtyard. The walls stop them only as much as a beaded curtain might. One or two of the walkers looks at me, and I remember I'm sitting on the toilet.
"Just passing through, eh?" I mutter to them. "Guess I better try and preserve my modesty." I reach onto the floor and pull a towel onto my lap, covering myself as I start peeing.
The occasional couple of people has turned into a pressing crowd, passing through the walls and up onto busy walkway. One of the girls in line asks me a question in a foreign language. It sounds like she wants to know where something is.
"I'm sorry. Yo no se donde esta`." I attempt to reply.
"Excuse me," says the girl next to her in line. "My friend is not speaking Spanish. She is speaking French."
I nod. This is supposed to help me somehow? Before I can ask her to translate for me, they are both gone in the crowd. Oh well.
Next, Al from the sitcom Home Improvement is standing in line. With him are three children, covered in thick brown fur, wearing overalls. Bear children. The shortest one has a grey gap in the fur of his forehead.
"How did that happen?" I say, pointing to the injury.
"Well," explains the little bear, "I had just had some sushi..."
"Hey," says the child, turning to Al, whose name I have mistakenly remembered as Bob Vila. "What if we run out of sushi some day?"
Al pats the bear-boy on the head, smiling. "I don't think the Monterey Bay will ever run out of sushi."
"It hasn't yet", I agree.
Reassured, the boy continues his story. "And I was walking up the stairs, when one of my tribesman hit me with a machete."
"Well, that would explain it." I lean forward from my perch on the toilet seat. The injury looks a lot like a burn in the hairy side of a redwood tree.
"It hurts a lot!" says the bear, almost cheerfully.
"Well I imagine it does. It will heal, though, eventually, from the outside in." I don't know how I know this.
The line moves on, and Al and the three bears vanish around the corner. It begins to rain. Water even sprinkles down through the walls of the house. I'm still thirsty, but there's no way I could catch enough in my mouth.
Finally, I finish peeing, and stand up. Hey, where's the toilet paper? I decide that I'll have to just use some in "real life", then. And I force myself awake.
Upon waking, I am amazed to discover that I have not soiled my bed.