Work Exchange in Japan

I arrive in Japan on a work exchange. I’m accompanied by a coworker, but it’s unclear who it is. We are taken to the apartment where we will be staying. I know I am in Japan, but nothing is as I know things to be in Japan. The journey to the apartment is unclear, but the apartment building itself is massive.

The elevator doors open, and we are opposite a bank of white doors set in a wall. The wall is uneven, with some doorways inset, and others jutting out. It reminds me of a massive row of bad teeth.

We move toward one of the doors, and I’m intently trying to notice the number on the wall beside the door. The number seems to be in gold paint, but it never quite comes into focus.  I struggle to read the number, I want to know what floor we are on, if not what apartment. I’m unable to see it accurately before we are led into the apartment.

Walking through the door I’m face to face with a wall. There are several suit bags hanging on the wall.  We squeeze into the apartment and sidle along the wall toward our left. The space opens up to a massive kitchen with a large center island. We move through it into the sleeping quarters. There are modest sized rooms with a twin bed in each. I enter the room I’m assigned and put down my bag.

I sit on the bed and consider why I’m here. I’m not sure what work I do. I’m not sure who I’m here with. I don’t know the number of the apartment I’m in.

I’m alerted to the fact that it’s time for a tour of the rest of the building. So far no one has spoken, and I have not seen anyone’s face. I’m not clear if I’m with one other person or ten. As we leave the apartment I try again to read the numbers by the doors. Again I’m not able to bring the numbers into focus.

We re-enter the elevator and I sense we go down a few floors. We exit the elevator and again I search for any clue as to what floor we might be on. The floor we are on is much more open, I can see windows to the outside opposite the elevator doors. I move toward the window. Through the window I see a large, round disc of a building. Its a deep blue color and seems to be suspended in the air. It has windows like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. I can’t see anyone in it, and I can’t gauge how high up off the ground it is. I scan the area for more windows, and see a small one on the far wall. I cross the space and look out to a vast city scape. Again, it’s distorted and I can’t tell how high we are.

We are left to find our way back to the apartment. I don’t know what floor the apartment is on, or what floor I am on now.

We re-enter the apartment. There is a new woman with us, a blonde woman, with heavy tattoos. We squeeze through the narrow entrance way and move into the kitchen space. As we do she stops stops and removes her clothes. She has tattoos, large black bands all over her body. One of her butt cheeks is a cube, and the other juts out as triangle. She starts working in the kitchen. I move to the back of the apartment.

The hallway opens up into a large storage area lined with rows of shelving that extend up to the ceiling. The shelves are loaded with craft supplies, small toys and dolls, and little origami designs. I’m exploring the shelves when I’m alerted it’s time to get ready for work. I wonder what “work” will be.

I go back to the doorway to collect my suit bag.  I open it and survey the contents. There is a navy blue dress uniform that is void of crests, insignia, epaulettes or anything else that would yield a clue as to what might be ahead. More curiously, there is a rather elaborate set of head gear that includes a set of safety glasses that are connected to a earpiece and microphone. I wake up.

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