Friday, July 01, 2005

'Nightmares and Dreamscapes'

I woke up a little while ago from a blissful dream, in which I was at the mall with Brian and Lauren, waiting for the start of "The War of the Worlds." My dreams rarely make any sense, and this one was no exception, as we found ourselves tipping over a row of shelves full of alcohol at one point, in order to foil the plans of some bad guy who had planted an explosive device near one of the bottles (how breaking them all actually helped anything, I don't know). I also watched as Montgomery Burns placed a cigarette on top of a security camera at the aforementioned mall and proceeded to have a dialogue with a disembodied voice about when he was born. Lauren, meanwhile, developed an odd and obsessive interest in the video game "Sim Tower" while walking around the mall and was going to make us all late for the movie we were planning to see. When B, L2, and I realized that time was in short supply, we hopped on an elevator, pushing the button for the third floor, but a bolt of lightning that struck the 'lift' caused it to shoot up to the sixth level of the building instead. When the doors opened, I was no longer in some suburban shopping paradise; in its place, a sandy beach stretched out as far as the eye could see in either direction, a blue, mist-covered ocean directly in front of me. My two companions now gone from my consciousness, I walked down to the shore, turned my back to the sea and lay down. I was surprised at how warm the tide that enveloped me was, as it swept me out toward the ocean of wakefulness once again.

I opened my eyes, only half-asleep at this point, blinking them at the yellow fabric of the couch that I had dozed off on the night before. The ceiling fan overhead was still turning round-and-round, and the light breeze it sent around the room caused my naked flesh to goose-pimple; it was as though someone had just ran a bird's feather up and down my spine. I shivered. Groggy and with eyes only partially open, I swung my feet off the couch and made the short walk over to the computer sitting on my desk. As I hit the refresh key (F5) to bring up the latest headlines from the BBC's news site, the last vestiges of my dreamworld began to fade from memory, replaced by the stark nightmare of reality which had suddenly popped into view on the monitor sitting in front of me. There it was, in black-and-white: "US Supreme Court Justice Resigns - Sandra Day O'Connor, who holds a crucial swing vote on the US Supreme Court, announces her retirement."

All I could think of was the discussion I had had two days earlier with my English professor as we left class, both remembering the ill feelings that had passed through us when ANWR drilling legislation was finally passed by Congress earlier in the year. But while that day had been dark, today seemed to be utterly lacking in light - a blackhole of news. As I combed through other headlines, my heart continued to sink further and further: US has 22% of world's prisoners, Half of Moscow could disappear due to ground fractures, U.S. won't cede control of Internet's key computers, Sweeping Medicaid cuts hit Missourians, June one of the deadliest months for U.S. troops in Iraq. Okay, maybe the Moscow story was a stretch, but everything else left me feeling numb. What was this world coming to? Even my dreams made more sense than this...

I think I may just go back to bed. =(


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