My apologies but there will be no new postings to my Photo of the Day blog as the wife and I are taking off to Hawaii for nearly two weeks. With snorkel gear in hand we are ready for checking out the fishies, going to the Merrie Monarch Festival to get our fill of some serious hula dancing on the Big Island of Hawaii, where we will be staying up near the rim of the Volcanos National Park. After a few days we’ll be on our way to Maui for more snorkeling and a 31-mile downhill bike ride from a volcano to the beach. Next stop will come after a yacht delivers us to Molokai for a day and a half where we’ll take in some kayaking and of course, more snorkeling. Another night on Maui and then a short flight to Kauai, I’m sure you guessed by now what we’ll be doing – that’s right we are going to botanical gardens and doing some hiking on the Napali coast. Check back in early May for the continuation and infill of my photos.
After a long period of forgotten dreams, where for months I have been lucky to wake up with but the smallest of fragments of what I had just been dreaming still floating in my head, I awoke this morning with the better part of a quite peculiar dream intact.
I am on my way to Missouri. The year is sometime in the future. I am a genetic mutation. I know a place in Missouri where I can make a few extra bucks at a bootleg operation. The farm isn’t making alcohol, they are not taking kidneys, but what they do is clandestine. They are making cheese. Not just any cheese although at most times this is just a normal farm and cheese is a part of the repertoire of products they produce but today upon my arrival they will switch gears and secretly change the recipe.
My mutation is that I am one of the one in 500 men who have developed teats near our hips. I produce man-milk. The farm I am visiting makes man-cheese. The product is illegal but most would agree that this cheese has no competition. Due to our rareness and since this mutation to our species is new and not yet thoroughly researched, there is a concern that ‘this’ version of a genetically modified organism may produce undesirable results from consumption, and so man-cheese is illegal. My dream didn’t tell me if it was illegal in France, too.
A strange side effect of being milked is that there is a correlating relationship to how much urine is produced and so typically after milking I have the most extraordinary lengthy urinations one could imagine, lasting minutes. It was during this act of disposal that I think someone reported the operation. We were alerted that the police were responding, and it was time to get away fast.
I grabbed a couple Wigglers, threw one to my traveling companion, told him how to ride it, and we were off. A Wiggler is a genetically designed muscular creature about the size of a Frisbee that is three pronged, or Y-shaped. The top two prongs are handles for the rider to hold on to. These muscle bound handles are attached through a brawny jumble of thick central muscles to a foot reminiscent of a kangaroo foot, only much smaller. To ride the Wiggler, you grab the two handles close to your chest and get on the ground face down. The foot of the Wiggler will keep your torso and face about six inches off the surface but this requires that the rider wear hard rubber pads on the knees, hips, and elbows, so as you glide over the street you don’t get road rash.
To get moving, pull up on the two arms or handles, and you go forward, push both, and you slow to a stop. Pull one, push the other to turn, do the opposite and turn the other way. As the Wiggler flexes its powerful muscle and its foot begins the action for which it was named, the rider is propelled to a speed of nearly 15 miles per hour. The Wiggler is fast enough to evade anyone on foot and nimble enough to move in tight spaces to avoid vehicles.
As the police approach from behind a hill we have the opportunity to pull around the corner of a house just as the policeman in chase comes into view, fortunately for us, we are no longer visible but quietly we hide hoping we have escaped the long arm of the law.
Somewhere in the future, not sure if I am in China or America. It is the time of the Olympics and China is the host. The opening ceremonies are getting underway to much fanfare, but strangely American citizens are becoming horribly ill and are discretely trying to return to their rooms. I follow a couple back into their room to determine what is happening; the woman all of a sudden came down with stomach problems.
In a second the authorities are at the door, and they are looking for me, the spy. I need to get out unseen. Using a finger-shaped stone and a pencil-thick inch-and-a-half long thing that looks like a quill, I am able to change form. I rapidly change from the image I have of myself as John into a series of shapes and devices that create enough confusion to allow me to throw myself out of the door which the authorities have blocked to apprehend me.
The ability to change form has been taught to me by a Shaman as the physical world is under assault and I am one of the people who are trying bring our senses back to a simpler reality.
Mankind has learned to alter reality by creating a programmable viral life form whose substrate is shared with the space occupied by oxygen, the skies. This genetically designed organism takes on the form and shape of any other organic form it is assigned to mimic. The effect doesn’t last long as the life span of the organism isn’t stable yet, but in the time that it does exist, it is enough to create severe problems.
Thus it may be that the people becoming ill did not eat what they thought, but actually something quite putrid or poisonous wrapped in a programmed layer of what appeared to be common or known to the victim.
My role is to understand and report back what I am finding regarding this mutation. For now though I am quick to disappear. Back in Washington someone has pulled a pirate veil over the city which is an illegal façade blanketing a space, used for making a protest, entertainment, or terrorism. Today’s veil is a time lapse of Washington over the ages; buildings rise, weather, and are disappear. Scenes of public hangings come on and fade quickly. The changes in transportation are a blur of progress forward.
While this hijacking of reality takes place, finding your destination can prove difficult and often impossible. When I arrive at the building I am looking for, I see Ronald Reagan tending to a state event and then realize that the people or things chasing me are back. With a rub of the stone and quill I shift form and am quickly going up the center of the building, finding an exit near the top. My escape was timely as the building was being flooded, or was it? Was it just another part of the reality distortion? As Reagan had been out of office for many years and was obviously another part of the veil, so too was the rest of the imagery. The problem with these charades and illusions is that panic and adrenalin push the senses to accept the altered reality as actual reality even when the rational mind knows what it is seeing is not real. Under these circumstances one might get tricked into doing dangerous things which could lead to accidents or worse.
While I am pursued, a new, previously unknown element has been added to the organism, it is now communicating between forms. This raises the question whether the hackers who are altering these life forms are giving them logic ability. Will they spawn new entities inheriting the knowledge to replicate forms with increasing intelligence, possibly to disrupt life as we know it? But then, how much of this is mutation, how much is programmed, and how far and how fast can it go on before spinning out of control? The alarm sounds and I awake.
I’m living in an old western town that hasn’t modernized although it is the present. The tallest building in town is an old five-story hotel which now operates as a gang’s operations center. This gang comprises the local government, law enforcement, and criminals. Typically I walk the main street without incident. On one occasion I witness Eminem talking with one of the gang members about how when he first met them he was weak and intimidated and that it was that meeting that made him decide to toughen up.
The gang members are supposed to know who not to rob from but even amongst their ranks there is corruption and the town is becoming ever more dangerous. A friend of mine walking with two other people is picked up for questioning and taken to the old hotel. I enter the building, not knowing there is supposed to be a guard here. People I run into figure I must be someone, because no one who is not a member just walks through here unescorted.
As I stroll the hallways I become increasingly uneasy as it is obvious I shouldn’t be seeing what I am seeing and I wonder how it is I can walk along without interference. I step out on a forth-floor balcony to find out whether the people I am looking for can be seen on the street. This vantage point offers a bird’s eye view of what is happening in town. I see two young men running up the street, popping through two different false walls in the façade of houses along the street.
This is a brave move, normally they should not have to run and hide, but this is another example of the corruption within the gang. As I walk back into the hallway I happen upon a man who is lifting a few thousand dollars in cash off of someone else’s desk. He looks at me and I at him, I sense he is stealing the money, he tries to play it that he was not sneaking into or away from the desk, but I know and I think he knows I do.
I leave the old hotel going back onto the street, but as I walk away it occurs to me that this guy who nicked the money got a good look at me and I didn’t bother to take in much detail about him as I was already nervous about being there. I am afraid he is going to blame me for taking the money and I will have a severe problem to deal with soon. I figure I had better return and explain what I saw.
This time as I walk in, a member of the gang slaps a guard and tells him he is not doing his job and to stop me from entering like that. I am told to wait on the veranda. After some time I begin to think, that this is going to be considered snitching, which is not cool either. I decide to change my plans and leave.
But the can of worms has been opened now and as I am a half mile back up the road, a looming figure steps up with a heavily pock-marked and shiny dark face not saying a word. He looks at me with the words on his face, ‘Where do you think you are going?’ Without a word, I follow him back to the old hotel.
Through panic of what I’m going to tell whoever it is I am about to have to talk to, I have to make this believable as I am certain I shouldn’t talk about the money, but then it also crosses my mind that at some point they may learn about the money, come to question me about it and then wonder about the story I told them and why on this opportunity I didn’t explain the missing money. Argh, what to do? Wake up, your bladder is calling.
Started playing Mahjongg again recently and was reminded why I quit playing it last year. The game leads me into repetitious dreams usually of some task that gets repeated ad nauseam disrupting my sleep to such an extent that by morning I’m more exhausted than rested. The dream is either sorting into some complex order of things that I am frustrated at the futility of the task and my ignorance as how to speed the process so I can finally finish, or like the Twilight Zone episode where the same scenario is lived out repeatedly: I am doing something over and over and cannot move beyond a certain point.
Well, this morning I got lucky and my last dream halfway broke me out of repetition, but in the dream I had to go to prison. One moment I am with Caroline, the next moment I find myself among a group of prisoners on a rocky island in the ocean. Our landing spot is being hammered by ferocious waves. I am told not to worry as the island is too high for the waves to be of consequence, but I am watching a wave that comes close to spraying the flat rock surface we are standing on. Another wave, 60 feet tall, comes in over the previous one and it is obvious that this one is coming my way. I grab a pole and hold on while the wave crashes over us. Dripping wet we are ushered off the platform as it is now unsafe.
Next, I am driving a blue Hyundai down a long fenced-in driveway to the office complex on the far side of the island to finalize my transfer to this institution. I did find it slightly odd that my “real life” car would be here. Only now does it begin to occur to me that I will not to be able to go home today, or tomorrow, or the next day. These people are serious. But why am I here? I am to be retrained in the American Way. Seems I drifted into deviancy, informational deviancy to be precise. No excuse can be accepted that the materials I was in possession of could be considered artistic expression and collectibles, it is against the state. So, as in China during the Cultural Revolution I am going to be reprogrammed, I will be shown my way back to being a true American.
But, but, what about Caroline?
Forget about it, you are here for the next four years.
But I didn’t do anything!
You are an agent, in possession of objectionable material and could be a danger to the state.
I am interested in intellectual activity and I own obscurities for art and cultural reasons, I am an agent of curiosity!
But those subversive materials could hurt others, could hurt the state, and as you can see, they are hurting you now.
Oh my god. What am I going to do? Can I call Caroline? Ask her to wait for me for the next four years?
NO. When you could have put your life in patriotic order you chose to be rebellious, now we must help you become a good citizen.
Hey, this is like communist China!
Be careful, you could end up here for five years.
What do you have that incriminates me?
Take a look at this.
I am handed a book, from a stack of what looks like scrapbooks. Someone has compiled photos, books, flyers, and materials that are said to be mine into these volumes. I recognize some of it, unfortunately all Nazi inspired motifs, but the communist stuff is definitely not mine.
I protest, this communist stuff is not mine! I am told that I am in denial and that this will add time to my stay in prison. Again, the horrid reminder that I am actually about to start serving a prison sentence although I have never been to court, and now, worse, I start to panic about prison rape. The communist imagery is flipping by page after page, occasionally something that was actually mine catches my eye. Why am I here, what is the ultimate purpose of pulling me off the street? Could it be that someone wants to witness me falling into humiliation?
This is where the dream is about to spin into repetition, as so many others do when playing that damned Mahjongg. I will roll over these questions or go over the images in the scrapbooks over and over and over again until they start to blur and I get confused as to why am I doing this again and again. I wake up knowing I cannot play Mahjongg again.