Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mostly in my head
So, you know those dreams where you're trying to find a bathroom and they are all inaccessible because they are being cleaned or out of order or whatever and then you wake up and find you actually need to go? My brain took one of those to a whole new level. It's kind of long, well, really long, and definitely strange. It also becomes kind of creepy. Think, one of these types of dreams crafted by M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, cubist artists such as Raymond Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, and Jaques Lipchitz, and the folks who made Silent Hill. Consider yourself warned.
I walked into this huge building that seemed to have stairs and hallways going everywhere. I was wandering around it at first just kind of exploring. It seemed like there were twenty different ways to get to any one location and the rooms in the building were oddly shaped and sticking out randomly from walls and the floor, or sitting on pedestals in larger rooms. I'd walk in a forest of pedestals trying to find a way up to the rooms and find hallways in random places, and stairways inside doorways in the pedestals that led down to lower floors. There were lockers all over the place and the rooms all had different uses. There were art rooms where you strapped into chairs on the ceiling and painted on suspended canvases. Exercise rooms with strange, almost torture device looking equipment. There were rooms with musical instruments that just seemed a little off somehow and rooms that looked like dance halls or performance stages but the floors were flat and the stages were oddly sized and shaped, sometimes even separated or jigsawed. There were rooms for working with wood and metal, again with equipment that just seemed off or was bolted to walls or ceilings. There were rooms with white boards and chalk boards and desks that curved in strange ways. There were a lot of other types of rooms too, all odd in some way, offices and display rooms and computer rooms and bars and cafeterias and... It almost felt like I was in some sort of strange school or recreational center that also had museums and workout rooms and business offices and car repair shops and who knows what else. Maybe like a place where the school and businesses and museums and everything else that makes up a town except the homes is all in one weird, warped, strangely architectured building.
Sound and light behaved strangely in the building. It curved and bent and was absorbed with little reason. Some places that should have echoed were strangely staccato as though the dampening pedal of the piano that creates all sound had been pressed. In some places that shouldn't have echoed it rang out like church bells in a large cavern. In some places it distorted or started and stopped. In some places it streched out like taffy being pulled into thin, delicate strands. Light twinkled off carpet, was absorbed by crystal, bent and swirled around objects and walls. It came from no where. There were no windows or lamps in the building, the light was just there. Shadows formed in strange and apposing directions in some places. Others had no shadows, even when the light was concentrated on a single side of the room or hall. It was like physics had broken and liquid chaos had spilled from the crack. The only thing that seemed to work normally was gravity, and there were places where I wondered about it as well.
Eventually I found myself in need of bladder relief and started searching for a lavatory. I finally found one in this surreal maze but all of the toilets were on pipes coming out of holes in the metal floor that were about six feet in diameter and the seats were about four feet higher than the metal floor. I looked down one of the holes and it was just blackness, couldn't see the bottom or anything. They were sort of haphazardly placed around the very large room with short, brass colored, metal walls sectioning them off without actually enclosing them.
I heard giggling nearby and followed it to a room. I walked into the room and was hit by the smell of chlorine. It was thick in the warm, almost liquid air and there was a large, pool-size sphere of water in the room. There were girls swimming in the sphere, the first people I'd actually run into and I waved at them. One of them popped her head out and looked at me blankly. I asked her what was up with the bathroom and if there was a way to get to the toilets. Her face did this weird, kinda creepy flickering thing, like the face I was seeing was projected onto the real face and the projection fluttered for a moment. "We use the ones by the showers." She had a high, soft and childlike voice that carried no emotion. The cadence of her speech was like wind chimes blowing in a soft breeze.
"Where are those?" I asked.
"On the other side of the building." She responded as though it were the most normal thing for the showers to be on the other side of the building. Then she flipped back into the sphere of water. The other two girls turned to look at me and their faces also flickered briefly. I left and as I walked away the began giggling again.
The encounter was a little creepy and for just a moment, I forgot that I needed to use the bathroom. I remembered fairly quickly after leaving the room though and started to make my way to the other side of the building, searching along the way in case there was a closer restroom. As I crossed the building I heard singing and followed it to another room. I hoped the inhabitants could point me to a closer relief facility. I entered the room and it was a very strange kitchen with what looked like alien Keebler elves cooking and baking who knows what. I cleared my throat to get their attention and one of them looked at me with large empty eyes. They shone like polished glass over blackness. His face flickered. "What do you want? Are you hungry? Dinner isn't ready yet but I can make you a snack." His voice was also devoid of emotion but it resonated like the strings of a masterfully played cello. It was deep and musical and smooth as fine chocolate.
"No, thank you, I'm just looking for a bathroom."
His face flickered again. "We use the one by the showers on the other side of building."
"Is there a closer one," I asked as the discomfort in my bladder grew.
"There is, two rooms down, but you won't be able to use it. You're welcome to check it out anyway though." No malice, no condescension, no sympathy. No emotion. The other elves looked at me briefly, there faces flickered and then all of them went back to work. As I left they began singing again, a symphony of cellos and violas bent slightly into soft echoes. Again, the encounter was a little creepy. Beautiful, but definitely creepy.
I walked to the restroom indicated by the alien elf and peeked into it. There were short, large blocks of stone sliding rapidly around the room. They never hit any of the toilets but would have crushed anyone who tried to get to them. A strange dark figure raised its head in the center of the room. It was vaguely humanoid and moved on four limbs that were jointed in odd places at odd angles. It had no face, just a black featureless head, smooth and shaped like the head of one of those poseable models artists use for figure drawing. Even without features I could tell that it was staring at me. It moved in my direction a little ways, then stopped. One of the stone blocks slammed through it, but it was unharmed and unfazed. It continued to stare at me. I backed away from the door and quickly began walking away. I wanted to run but for some reason felt like that would be a mistake. I wanted to look behind me to see if it was following but again, for some reason felt like that would be a mistake.
By this time my bladder had begun to ache with the need for relief. I walked as quickly toward the other side of the building as I could but was stopped by the sound of laughing. It was a strange sickly laugh, full of wheezing and thin cackling, the laugh of a mad, decrepit old woman about to die and take everyone with her. I was afraid to follow it to its source but felt like I'd miss something important if I didn't. I looked into the room that it seemed to be coming from and saw twin children, a boy and a girl, playing with blocks. The laugh was coming from them even though they didn't look like they were laughing. They turned to look at me, their eyes large, the retinas of which were a slimy green. They spoke at the same time with the same voice. It curved around the room and hit my ears in distinct stereo. "You're being followed." They too, had emotionless voices.
"By the dark figure," I responded flatly.
Their faces flickered. "By many shadows." Fear enveloped me like a carnivorous plant closing its leaves around prey. "Don't run. They like it when you run."
"Why are they following me?"
"Because you're uncomfortable. They eat the uncomfortable."
"Seriously, I'm going to get eaten because I have to pee and this stupid building has ridiculously unusable bathrooms? Is that really what you're telling me?" I was extremely irritated at the thought of death by devouring shadows because I couldn't find a bathroom. It just seemed like a really stupid way to go.
The twins were unfazed. "It's what they do. Everything has to eat. Everything has to die. You eat. You get eaten."
"How very philosophical of you. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to find that bathroom before I get eaten."
"Walk quickly," and they returned to playing with their blocks. As I stormed away from the room they began to laugh again.
I hurried toward the far side of the building where the showers were supposed to be, searching for the supposedly usable bathroom. I was determined not to get eaten because my bladder was full. I heard the shhhhhh of falling water and began following the sound. I could now see the shadows in my peripheral vision, dozens of them skittering disjointedly across the floor, along the walls and ceiling, around pillars and doorways and rooms. I quickened my pace but resisted the urge to run. I could see the showers now and yes, there, just across from them was a bathroom with blessedly usable toilets. My relief was such that I forgot to monitor my pace and broke into a run. The shadows closed in blocking my path to that desperately wanted relief. They chittered and clattered and clucked, their smooth wood-like heads now full of sharp, bloody, sweaty needle-like teeth. They lunged at me...
And I was sitting straight up in bed sweat and shaking, the cat looking at me like I'd lost my mind. The first thing I did was make sure I hadn't wet the bed. The second thing I did was run across the hall to the bathroom.
I frequently have very vivid, very involved and detailed dreams, but they aren't usually this linear or story like. They are sometimes, but not usually and even then it usually takes me a few days to remember them well. This one however just stuck. I never did get back to sleep and it was a good fifteen minutes or so before I was able to shake the creepy crawling feeling from my back.
Just because something has a duck bill doesn't mean it's a platypus. It might just be a duck.
Roger Miller: You can't roller skate in a buffalo heard, but you can be happy if you've a mind to.