featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (dream a little dream)
[personal profile] featherynscale
For two nights, not enough sleep to dream. Then, a night of OMG sleep catch-up. That apparently is the formula for epic-level dreaming on night four. I have to write this one down, because I had and kept so much detail.

In the dream, I am driving to Austin, TX with [livejournal.com profile] triadruid, [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants, and [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod. We are going to Austin to speak at some sort of UUA conference. The presentation we are going to do requires that we bring a pendant for each participant, and as we ride, [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod is making these pendants out of silver wire and stones. We're driving at night, and there is an expectation that we will stop over at a hotel at some point and sleep before the conference.

For some reason, as we're going down the road, I'm dyeing my hair, Special Effects Sonic Green. I have a bowl of dye and a paintbrush, and I'm doing the neatest cleanest dye job I have ever done in my life. I'm thinking that when we get to the hotel, I'll shower, and then all will be well.

It doesn't go like that, though. [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod suddenly remembers that in a town we will be passing through, he has a friend who is a folk singer, who is giving a concert in a coffeeshop. We must, in his mind, stop for this. I protest, pointing to the dye caked onto my head. Nobody cares. We get to this town, go to the coffeeshop, and sit in on the folk performance. I keep trying to sneak off to the bathroom to wash my head in the sink, but it's not very effective. After the show is over, the singer wants to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod. We tell him we have to get to Austin, but that we'll stop by on the way back. He says maybe he will meet us in Austin, instead.

We get back in the car, and go a little further down the road. At some point, [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants announces that we must stop at the next bookstore we see, because she must have a copy of some book of poetry (I don't remember what it was, but it was something fairly common - Rumi, maybe, or Kahlil Gibran). Again, I protest. Nobody listens. I think, well, it's the middle of the night, there will not be an open bookstore, we'll have to go get the thing in the morning. No big deal.

We ride on, and come to a Barnes and Noble. The lights are on, and the parking lot is full. I curse. We stop and go inside. The store is filled with people, but they are obviously night people: goths, gutterpunks, fetish queens, and the like. Some of them, to be fair, may not be people in the strictest sense of the word. The store, too, is unique -- it is much larger than it appears from the outside, and the books are distributed through a vast number of themed rooms. In one room, there is a full planetarium show going on. In another, the room is an enchanted forest filled with mist and sparkle, and you can only see the books once every fifteen minutes when the mist settles. In this room, the 'carpet' is grass, dotted with mushrooms. It's quite beautiful, but your chances of finding, say, a book, in all of this is practically nil.

So we begin to look for the poetry section. This fails miserably, and eventually, we split up. I come to a room which is full of cats. Kittens running around on the floor, larger cats prowling around, but mostly a lot of cats sleeping, piled up in heaps. I mean, cats stacked like cordwood, but they seem to be okay with this. A woman in a sparkly blue outfit fashioned like a trapeze artist's seems to be running a cat adoption. This doesn't help me, though, so I keep moving. The next room is the enchanted forest room. I step into it, and I feel something climbing up my leg. I look down, and a tiny white kitten of the fluffy longhaired variety is hooked into my fishnets. I pick it up and look it squarely in its kitteny blue eye. It mews at me. I put it on my shoulder and keep moving.

From the enchanted forest, I come out into a room where you can look down over a railing and see a lower floor. The building is cylindrical inside, and in the open space of the floor I'm on, a large orrery is hanging from the ceiling. I spend a while looking at it, because it's gorgeous. It's not depicting the movements of spheres I know, though, so I eventually leave it. It won't help me. I go down a level.

Here, I find a room that is a Victorian train station. It is full of gutterpunks, some with gutterpunk dogs. There is a bathroom off to one side, and I pop in to see, again, if I can wash the dye off my head in one of its sinks. I go in, and I see myself in the mirror. I have somehow come to be wearing a particularly unlikely outfit. I have on a red suit that I owned in high school: it is a jacket and miniskirt, red with black making a subtle check. The jacket is cut in a shorter Victorian style, with two pointed panels in the front. Both jacket and skirt are trimmed in black lace. It looks good on. I'm wearing fishnet stockings, too, and little black china doll shoes. My hair is cut elegantly, and although I know it should be covered in crusty, hours-old dye, the dye seems to have absorbed all the way into the hair at this point, giving it a deep green sheen. To top off the absurdity, I've got on one of those tiny top hats that the lolita cosplay girls wear -- they tie on with a ribbon and sit at a jaunty angle. And I'm exquisitely made up, and I have this fluffy white kitten. I think I mentioned the kitten part. I say to myself, "Huh." Then I turn around and walk back out to the train station room.

This room seems to be the way out of the shop. I decide to wait here with my kitten, and hope that the other three will come around soon. While I am waiting, one of the gutterpunks on a bench near me decides to light up a smoke. He makes a big dramatic production of it, and I know it's going to be a bad idea. There is a huge flash of light, much bigger than a match should be, and lights his ciggie off of it. At this point, the automatic sprinklers overhead kick on and douse us all. Green dye starts to run off me in rivers. The kitten is soaked in it.

I run into the bathroom. In the bathroom, I am able to wash off the rest of it and towel myself and the kitten off. I use the hand dryer thing to dry my head. The kitten wants none of that part. In the bathroom, there are some lockers. Inside one of them is a far more practical suit of clothes. They're warm and dry, and they fit me, so I put them on. I look in the mirror again. Now I'm in jeans and a black hoodie, and somehow my hair has become a deep scarlet red. I still look good, though, so I'm going on. The kitten is a little green and streaky, though, and it's pretty pissed.

I go out into the train station, and [livejournal.com profile] triadruid, [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants and [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod come tromping in. They tell me they didn't find the book, but we're out of time. We have to call Austin and tell them we're going to be there just in time for the conference. I have to leave the kitten behind.

We pile back into the car. We're going down the road, and we see a sign that reads "Austin 54 mi, Undesirable Area 16 mi". (Apparently, Undesirable Area is a town. They name 'em like that in Texas, maybe.) [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod says, "I have a friend who lives in Undesirable Area. He's got a bookstore. We could stop and see if he has the book." At this point, everyone in the car choruses "NO!".

About 15.6 miles down the road, just outside of Undesirable Area, we blow a tire. [livejournal.com profile] biscuitgod and I get out to change out for our spare. It takes us only a few minutes, but by the time we are done, [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants has wandered away. We get back into the car and start to drive. I am in the back seat, saying, "Um, guys? Guys? We lost [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants. She's not in the car." They don't listen. I repeat it a few more times, louder and more insistent. About 5 miles later, they finally hear me, or care, or something, and we stop and go back. She's walking down the side of the road, and we bundle her back in and start off again.

Eventually, we get to Austin, just in time to change clothes and go to the conference. It's a conference on Racism in the UUA, or the UUA Response to Racism, or something like that. Some other Gaia folks are there, too, having come in a separate car, and we join with them. It now seems like our contingent is supposed to pair off, and each pair will be facilitating some sort of group discussion. I am paired with [livejournal.com profile] niveus_tigris.

We come into the hall, where everyone is waiting to start, and I realize something horrible. This conference is on race relations, and the hall is full of people of different races, but only the white people are from the UUA. The other people, mostly black men in their late teens to mid-twenties have been brought in from somewhere else (maybe a local college campus) to make the video look right, and they have no idea what's going on here, or any interest in the proceedings. So we're there with a bunch of earnest, white, 60-year old UUs and a bunch of confused young black men, and we're supposed to facilitate this discussion on racism, which is going to be filmed. I want to cry. I look at [livejournal.com profile] niveus_tigris, and I'm like, "Can we do this? Will this work?", and he's like, "No, it's not going to work, but we have to do it anyway." We lead our small group into a room and everybody sits down. He stands up to make opening remarks and says something inadvertantly racist. I'm cursing silently to myself, and wondering how we're going to recover from this and what to do next, when my alarm goes off, and I wake up.

WTF, I ask you.
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