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20 August 2010

Dream 6

Oh, goodness. I mean, I have all sorts of dreams all the time, but fortunately (or unfortunately) they've been more tame the last few years. Granted, most nights, they're pretty cool. On occasion, they're awesome. But then, every once in a while, I get the most bizarre things, sometimes disturbing things. And although it didn't start out that way, this dream certainly became one of those.

Dream 6: A Sharp Staff Picture, night of 18-19 August 2010

I am approaching the bottom of a grand staircase in slow motion. There's no one around yet, but there's a voice from my past encouraging me, "If you want to affect the way the world sees these things, go do it. You can be that kid who makes the difference." It is clear that this voice is a father figure, though he's a mixture of two roughly equal parts... one of my actual father and one of every other male I've ever looked up to.

Whatever exactly my "father" was alluding to, I'm here now. A new beginning. There's a great hallway behind the staircase and many rooms on either side. An ornate wooden door with shiny, brass handles is at the bottom of the staircase, sort of behind me, but not quite.

I ascend slowly to the top of the staircase and retrieve a large, ovoid mirror, about 2 metres high, 3 metres wide, and at least 30 centimetres thick. The mirror's edges are rather jagged and its back is weathered rock. It's as though someone took a roundish boulder, somehow made a clean, flat cut through it, and stuck the glass on the flat part. How I can lift this monstrosity, never mind why I'm doing so, is beyond me.

As I move the mirror into its position about a third of the way down the staircase, people start filing in. Another young man in a suit and tie, about my age and stature, but a few inches taller, is nearby. He calls out to one of the faceless others, "Hurry up; you'll miss the staff picture!"

I assume my place in front of the giant inexplicable mirror. The others fill in the remainder of the staircase. I am halfway to my right of center, with only the young man in the suit between me and the plated railing on my right.

Then the President comes in. Roughly equal parts George W. Bush and Barack Obama in both appearance and personality, but that's unimportant. He smiles, makes some small talk with the others, then comes to me, shakes my hand, and situates himself at my immediate left, directly in front of the giant mirror.

The photographer at the bottom of the staircase sets up his shot, and it's only as he's ready to take the picture that I notice I'm a bit squished between the President and the young man in the suit. And then I realize my face is being squeezed from both sides. Not squeezed out of the picture, no. Just squeezed. As though the President and the young man in the suit were playing some sort of practical joke on my visage. Except they weren't.

Somehow that all ends and everyone files back to their offices to resume their normal duties. Someone else takes the mirror back to wherever it was before. As I make my way back down the staircase, it shifts from mid-afternoon to some time in the middle of the night. Everyone else is sleeping but me.

A faint streetlight outside the front door is the only light entering the spacious anteroom. I lock the door, but just as I turn away from it, there's a knock. I look through the marbled glass into the darkness and can just barely make out the silhouette of a familiar face. I let him in and relock the door behind him.

"Good evening, Mister Prime Minister. How are you tonight?"

"Oh, hello. I'm just fine." Then a pause and a smile. "Did I miss the staff picture?" We start chatting amicably and jovially about policy or whatnot.

This jolly, old chap is, at least in appearance, roughly equal parts Benjamin Franklin, Nick Clegg, and Robert Gibbs in a top hat. There's not really a well-developed personality to speak of, except I already knew from prior experience that I like the guy and that we got along quite well.

Before I know it, we've spoken for several minutes and the Prime Minister decides he'd better depart. I turn to face the staircase and he disappears into a large room to its right.

But instead of ascending the staircase to where I belong, I sit down for a while. The door immediately behind me and the staircase directly in front of me, I just think. My legs are crossed, "Indian style" like they teach you in kindergarten.

I soon discover that, somehow, I am floating some distance above the floor. As if I were sitting in a chair with my legs crossed, but the chair is not beneath me. A small puppy briefly passes underneath me.

"Hello, there, Beverly."

Beverly just scurries off silently into the pitch blackness, into the distant reaches of the building.

Facing the staircase, I'm presented with a list. Boldface Roman type, numbered from the bottom upwards, alternating white and pinkish-tan rows. Two columns: a song, and a key in which to sing it. Almost like a track list of sorts.

Suddenly, I start vocalizing. But these were not songs. More like wails. Think Moaning Myrtle, but twice as loud and thrice as demonically creepy. Each "song" is only a few seconds and a few words long, and while it may start on a "note" of sorts, the very nature of wailing greatly distorts the eventual final pitch.

Basically, I'm screaming beyond the top of my lungs.

The process soon becomes entirely involuntary. My voice becomes raspy and the "lyrics" become increasingly random. One "song" is a simple plea for Beverly's return. Another states that it's not dinnertime.

And, every four or five, there would, quizzically be a "song" called "A-Sharp" to be sung in the key of A-sharp. It was always prefaced by a brief pause, but once it started it was far louder than the rest, and the only words were "A-sharp." Often, but not always, this was followed by a slightly softer, but still obnoxious song listed as "B-Double-Sharp," again with titular lyrics, but to be sung in G-sharp, even though it only sounded a single semitone lower when it came out.

Though I was still floating, this semi-paralytic process continued for some time. I physically couldn't do anything else. I probably came back to "A-Sharp" three or four times before I felt a pair of hands abruptly squeezing my neck.

I was only able to glance up for an instant. The darkness obscured the Prime Minister's face as he swiftly grabbed a blunt object and hit me twice in the head. I fell to the ground.

* * *

I awoke from this dream at 04:48 EDT and could not move for several seconds thereafter. The chorus of wails was still resounding in my head, "A-Sharp" being by far the most prominent. Once I came to, since I am a geek, my curiosity was naturally piqued. After having checked the time, I reached for a nearby pitch reference. Eerily enough, the original A-sharp itself was perfectly in tune.


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