A Dream

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I had the strangest dream last night, and wanted to write it down before I forgot it. It was December 30 and I was in a major city where the weather was frigid. It was snowing outside and I was walking towards a tall building with the intention of going to the top to take pictures of the beautiful city at night. The building was unlike anything I had ever seen. From the outside it looked as if there were no windows, and you would be exposed to the elements as you ascended the massive stairwell each level. There was nothing within this building except a small landing at each floor with a square planter filled with crystal rocks and a few decorative sticks. The closest reference point to these sticks would be this piece from my living room (above). It spans about 5 feet so I could only get a small shot of it, but imagine those sticks in a much larger vase surrounded with tiny baubles. Every floor had one of these and it was known that you could not touch them. No where did it state this, but each small crystal contained a memory. Whose and how they came to be there was never made explicit. Yet placing your hand inside any of these planters would produce an inundation of memories, more than your mind could handle, and age you indefinitely – no one would ever live long enough to leave the building.

I was planning on ignoring the planters, simply take a few pictures and leave. The building did not look more than 20 stories high, but after having entered it and climbed six or seven stories it became obvious that there was no top. You could see the top – a strange spindle like monument (think of a steam punk cross between the top of the Empire State building and the Seattle Space Needle), but no matter how many floors you went up, it looked just as far away as it did from the ground.

Inside the building there were in fact windows, and it was warm, but you could not see the outside correctly. All the windows, regardless of what floor you were on showed the image you get at the third floor. I don’t know why the third, but it was always the third. At some floors the windows were open, but you still could only see the third floor view. The landings were also much larger than they appeared from the outside, and some floors had rooms that by all reason should be located outside of the building architecturally, as if the inside of the building had different dimensions than were perceivable from the outside. On the fifth floor there was a gift shop selling small Hello Kitty trinkets. The sixth floor had an office. The door was wide open, no one was inside, and it looked like it belonged to some sort of bookkeeper. When I got to the eighth floor I decided I had had enough and wanted to just take a picture there and be done (at this point uncaring that it still had the third floor view). But instead of taking a picture, even though my mind was telling me to just take it, and despite that by all rational it should have gotten colder the higher I got, I decided I was unbearably warm and took off my coat instead – I would not take the picture. Then inexplicably I left my coat on the stairway and started going back down. I got to the seventh floor and realized I had not taken my picture but now I couldn’t because my camera was in my jacket pocket. So I went up again to get my camera (but oddly not the jacket), and after I picked it up, once again instead of taking a picture I started going up some more. Then down, and up, and shortly I was no longer able to recognize which direction I was headed, but simply went up and down the same four or five flights of steps, becoming increasingly discombobulated not knowing what floor I was on.

I stopped at one of the floors and finally took a picture, not of the window, or the city, but of the odd vase ornament with the protruding sticks. Then I knelt next to it to look at the crystals. I knew what they were, and knew I should not get so close to them. I put my hand inside.

I am pretty sure there was more to the dream after that, but I don’t remember any of it. I woke up and started crying – I don’t know why.

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