Seriously, who just hands a stranger an infant like that?

I know it’s anathema to write about your dreams, but it’s either write about this or how the first anniversary of Harris Wittels’ death still fucks me up a little. I’d rather leave that to a better writer.


It started off well enough. My plane had just touched down back home in Auckland, New Zealand. For the first time in 3+ years I was returning to my roots and seeing family/friends. I checked Facebook (seriously, I’m in a dream. The possibilities are limited only by my imagination and I still find time to check for ‘likes’) and saw a couple of posts about the death of Obama. I pushed them out of my mind. Obviously it was a 4chan trolling gone rampant, so not worth my time. I put my phone away. Other travellers started talking about the posts. News reports rolled out over the mounted LED screens in the bus. We were driving along the motorway towards central Auckland and I gazed out the window. A building caught my eye, something seemed off. The dimensions were a little warped. I looked closer and its boundaries seemed stretched, as if nothing more than a huge vertical splash of paint with windows. I cast my eyes about and the closer we got to the city core, the more buildings were disfigured or damaged. I heard plans zoom by overhead. Explosions followed. Bombs were falling all around us and the mood became panicked. The driver took the next off-ramp and we were ushered into an underground tunnel.

What surprised me wasn’t that I gave a small thought to my loved ones, but how quickly my focus shifted. Was it callous that my curiosity and excitement over the events outweighed the worries I harboured for them? I pushed them out of my mind as we entered a small room. Holes were carved into the ceiling with thick ropes dangling down. I felt an infant pressed into my arms and I looked back to see others climbing the ropes. I was the last one left behind. I clamped the baby between my feet and climbed with my arms. At the top I handed the baby off to someone else and gazed around. Dimly lit corridors, like that of a naval ship, extended in four directions. I grabbed an errant mop, snapped off the end to leave a jagged point and trod carefully, ersatz spear at the ready.

I heard noise and peeked past the wall. There was a flurry of activity and none of it menacing. People pulled washing out of buckets and hung it on lines. A noisy printing press ran in the background. A woman noticed me and ushered me over. A guy prompted me to pass him my mop and he took it over to a workshop. I walked up to the woman and asked her what was going on. She said that the ship was that of a bipartisan group fighting back against the violent occupation of New Zealand. Everyone was being assigned roles for this communal operation. She assigned me as leader of the formal dance committee. She handed me a clipboard and a pen and told me to start drawing up plans. I had the piece of mind to ask once more about my family, but she told me there was nothing I could do about them at this time. She said all I could do was plan the best damn event I could and make everyone proud.

I woke up confused to my girlfriend’s cat mewling for attention. My alarm was beeping. How could I go to work? I already had enough on my hands. I had a dance to plan, goddammit!


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