I’m attending a State Board of Education meeting. I do not know if it is the State of Texas.
I have trouble getting into the meeting. I know that this is because I am not a member.
I make it in the meeting. My method has something to do with sticker nametags. I am not alone. Besides the other teachers, I have a partner. I do not know, nor do I care who this person is. I doesn’t fucking matter.
I’m chatting with this identityless person, hereafter IP before the meeting starts. We’re being sure to chat quietly. Even still, I feel that IP doesn’t pick up on my nonverbal cues to zip it. Just as the meeting begins, a lady to my left raises her left hand. She asks the presenter to remind us that we shouldn’t be talking during the meeting. I want to curse her or hit her with a water balloon.
The presenter is a stunning and professional black woman. As she begins to outline the points of the meeting, I find myself extremely impressed by her savvy. This feeling is almost an admiration much like a crush or even full-blown love. It’s very genuine and not overly sexual.
I find a job working at a photo laboratory. It is very similar to an actual photo laboratory that I used to work at. The name of this ‘real’ photo laboratory was Club Photo. Was because it is out of business. I worked there with my brother, Sterling, and my friend, Nick. The other people I worked with there became friends during my time there, which is why I name Nick specifically.
One person with whom I worked at Club Photo was working at the photo lab in my dream. His name was Jay. He was a nice feller, sorta nerdy, and really quite intelligent. He worked on computers and stuff. I’m being ‘shown the ropes,’ as the saying goes, in the photo development lab. Suddenly, my little bottle of rubbing alcohol, which I actually have with me here in Ecuador, spills and runs over about a dozen stacks of photos. Each stack, incidentally, is topped with photos or index prints of me and my family. I tell the guy but he’s not impressed.
I’d like to say one small thing here which I find significant. I try not to read too much into dreams, though I do find them interesting and telling from time to time. For example, I was thrilled when I had my first dream in Spanish while here in Ecuador. In this dream, I am happy to say, the photos of my family included not only Ma, Pa, Brosef, and myself, but also my brother’s wife, my sister-in-law, Kathryn. I’m happy that my dreams have caught on to reality. Moving right along:
I get angry. I am not angry with the man. I am partially angry with myself for being clumsy. I am also really quite perturbed with the damned bottle of alcohol. I throw the bottle of alcohol, hoping that takes care of any day one problems.
Jay tells me to follow him. On a bike. He speeds off. I have to rustle up a bike to ride after him. I find my shoes. They are yellow corduroy house slippers. I tell myself, ‘Good job, for being yourself and wearing those shoes. You like them and that’s just fine.’ Slippers donned, I straddle the bike. It is a mountain bike.
Jay is missing. He is riding all over the building. The building has turned into a Samsesque store. It has food in large quantities, office chairs, and Airheads by the 6-dozen. I’m dodging products and people as I speed through the aisles. The customers aren’t amused with my antics.
Finally I find Jay. We’re now outside and it’s muddy. The village we’re in is akin to those I’ve seen in Andean Ecuador, or those I haven’t seen in Hawaii. By this point, I’m flustered, overwhelmed, and focused on the ground as I travel precariously through the muddy trail. My bike is sucky. The right pedal is quite slow.
We arrive. The bike ride has seemed to take hours. We arrive at the place where we’re to turn in our bikes. We didn’t actually rent the bikes before leaving the photo lab, of course. Baptiste has now joined the crew. We’re three.
We give our bikes to the guy who is on the poster of Hostal Residencial Sucre (see Drawing in sketch book). He charges me over twenty dollars. $20.20. I realize that, as the new guy at the office, I’m expected to pay for everything.
Baptiste and Jay have made it across the rope bridge by the time I pay. I take a first step and the rope bridge breaks. It doesn’t break in half. All of the ropes save one and the wood planks fall to the ground. I’m hanging there, now with a seven foot, five inch surfboard under arm. I yell in Spanish at Baptiste. He yells back in Spanish, although what he says and the way he does is bullshit.
I then slide down the rope that is above my head. I use a chain or a rope and the surfboard to balance myself on the way down. The surfboard sails across the top of the rope. It looks like a skateboarder is grinding on the thing. Only there’s no one. It lands safely. I land safely. I’m surprised at how well the stunt worked.