Dream: Saturday night, February 8, 2014
I’m in a classroom at school. It looks chaotic but I feel as though it’s completely organized, exactly as I want it. There’s a set of hanging files and I touch them up with labels and colour coded inserts. There is a set of papers – colourful with blended muted images – hanging on the board by magnets in a neat row. The Smartboard is up and running with something on it. I’m sitting at a side table with students, talking. One comes in, a difficult student and I direct him to the hanging files. He can’t find what he’s looking for and I go over to get it for him. It’s right…
…. not here. Not here? I just put it here. Nope. Not here. Suddenly there’s a pile of clothes on a desk and I sort through it, find an oversized, waffled, inky black downfill, about Jenn’s size. I put it down and keep digging to find a pair of ginormous silvery, metallic men’s drawstring shorts, knee length. They’re seriously huge. I pull out the drawstring to its full length and it must be five feet in circumference. Who could these belong to? The students smirk. “They’ve got be for -.”
“Who’s -?” Laughter, and in walks a huge kid. I smile. Obviously -.
But suddenly I’m in a car, a very expensive, sweet sporty car. Convertible. Jenn’s driving. Sunglasses and scarf flying. She’s in a manic state. Over excited, super charged, revving all her engines. And we’re off. Flying. It’s dark and her headlights are off. She’s driving like an idiot swerving in and out of traffic until we’re in a residential area among tall, brick townhouses, all close and smothering. She’s going more than highway speeds. “Jenn, slow down. You’ll get us killed!”
She laughs, carefree. “Alice’s living in here somewhere.” I wonder why she can’t find the house. It’s odd, that Jenn can’t find her way to Alice’s house. She slams on the brakes and I fly into the dashboard just as she throws it into reverse and punches the gas. I’m pinned to my seat and she slams on the brakes again, throwing the transmission into park.
“Are you sure this is it?” But she’s already inside. I follow. There’s a narrow entrance and steps at a right angle, going to the right, up to a small kitchen. I go up and am looking around. Doesn’t have a Alice feel to it at all. I look in a brown paper grocery bag on a cheap laminate table. Round slices of sandwich ham at the very bottom under what? Maybe a bag of shredded cheese. Odd. Rushed feeling. I call, too loudly, “Are you sure this is Alice’s place?” There’s no wine. No appetizers in sight.
Jenn’s still at the bottom of the stairs. She smirks, absolutely confident, and reaches her hand out to ring the buzzer. “Alice, get out of bed.” It’s pitch black outside. I’m at the bottom of the stairs too and there’s Alice, swinging into view at the top of the stairs. She’s pauses to grin a huge Hollywood Dahling grin, and then there’s a creamy white flowing silken cloud of Alice and lace swooping down the stairs and embracing Jenn, cheek kissing. She grabs me and pulls me to her chest. “Well, Honeys, what are we doing here?”
But “we” are already back outside in the car. I’m in the back seat. White leather with pronounced stitching, top’s down, there’s a box of something beside me. Jenn is flying down the street seated directly in front of me. I can’t see her face. She pulls up to a stop. Red light? Intersection? There’s some kind of construction beside us. A large man on a pole cursing because the droid he’s directing skims a power line and hesitates for a second, drops a bit before righting itself. There are other men, maybe two, on the ground doing something beside a large structure. I can’t see. Jenn calls something mocking to the man on the pole. He swears at her but I don’t have time to catch it. There’s such a rush of emergency and there’s some kind of thrumming all around me in the air and I feel almost panic. The droid comes over the car and squirts something at me. “Jenn! I’ve been marked!”
She looks over her shoulder. I put my hand up to the soft spot at my throat and feel a slimy oil dripping all over. It’s splattered all over me. I look up and the droid hovers for a moment, an infrared light on my neck. It drops a small package on my lap and it’s gone. A man is leaning over me, leering, with an office stamp and pad in his hand. He bangs the stamp into the ink pad and lunges it at my throat, choking me for a second. I put my hand up to smudge it and say to him, “I hope you got that upside right. I hate it when things are stamped sloppily.” He looks at me funny and is gone.
“It marked me, Jenn.” I open the package, still on my lap. Coins. Gold coloured like loonies, and some are loonies, but some are game tokens and some are other sized coins. Maybe a dozen altogether. I’m confused. Why should I have these? I ask Jenn and she’s still watching me.
She doesn’t say anything but turns back and puts her sunglasses back over her face. She grinds the transmission and we’re lurching madly down roads and around corners. My head bangs into the window and before I can push myself back up I’m thrown back down onto the box in the passenger seat. It’s already spilled, clothes everywhere. Her black waffled downfill is in the front seat, arms spread wide and I tell her to put it on before she gets cold. I start tidying the back seat, folding clothes carefully, aligning the seams, and putting them back in the box.
Something is off. My gut is telling me something but I can’t process it. There isn’t time. I don’t get it. I don’t trust something. Jenn’s not herself. I keep this to myself. I don’t understand anything about what’s going on.
We come to a full stop again, this time beside another car. Very close, on the passenger side. Someone leans out the window and is scratching something into the paint of Jenn’s car. I think she must be upset about this and I tell her what’s going on. She shrugs. “I don’t care. It’s only a car.” This is a very very expensive car. I don’t get it. This isn’t like Jenn. But I agree: it is only a car and she can get as many as she likes so okay. I put the question away.
We are surrounded by men. I say to her urgently, “Jenn! Lock your door!!” I don’t have a door to lock. Jenn has to lock the door. I am seat-belted in.
She turns to me again and takes off her glasses. “What?”
“Lock the door!! They’ll get in!” They’re all in shades of black and gray and I bend over my coins, frantic to put them in order. What order? This is important! Smallest to largest? Most valuable to least? Oldest to newest??? I’m trying to create order. I am frustrated now, and beside myself with confusing thoughts, all conflicted and I decide to talk. “I’m confused. I don’t know what to do, Jenn. And you aren’t acting like yourself. I don’t know what to expect from you and it’s throwing me off my game.” I expect her to analyze this in response but she is quiet.
I note the top is up. I’m trapped in the back seat, with the seatbelt locked. When did the top go up? I look up to say again to lock the door and I see the door lock, oddly old fashioned, the big push-down button type, a classy grey black colour. But Jenn doesn’t make a move and a man opens the door. Jenn’s out of the car and there’s a man in the driver’s seat. Robert Downey Jr., actually. He reaches over and locks the door.
Standing in front of the car is Jenn, scarf still flying, sunglasses covering her face. Her hands are on her hips. I can’t quite read the expression on her face. Satisfaction in a job well done? Regret that it had to be done this way? Resolve that this is out of her hands now? And I realize Jenn’s betrayed me. She’s been in on this. It’s been a ruse to get me. It was me they wanted all along.
The man puts the car into drive. Very calmly. I look at the coins. What am I supposed to do with these? What do I have that they want? Who are ‘they’?
I wake up.