Jaguars, in Houses?

I’m walking through a hot, humid jungle. It smells floral and light, despite the dense foliage. As I walk I’m noticing small details, small insects, colorful birds, and the texture of the all the different leaves and vines. In time, the jungle begins to open up, and more hot sun streams down. Shortly I emerge into a clearing, it no longer seems to be tropical. It feels more like a clearing in one of the many poplar groves from Northern BC, where I grew up. There is fresh green grass, about a foot tall, with the occasional meadow flower growing up beyond the height of the grass.  I have come to the center of the clearing, when I hear a rustling behind me.  I turn to see what is making the soft sound in the grass.

I’m startled to see a large black jaguar moving through the grass toward me.  I’m mesmerized.  He is beautiful.  He is shiny and black, with striking yellow eyes. He is moving slowly and purposefully toward me through the grass.  Most interestingly, he has the frame of a house balanced around his torso. I can’t clearly see how it is attached to him, it seems to be hovering around him.  It’s about the size of a children’s playhouse, it sways gently as he smoothly moves through the grass.

I can’t take my eyes off him, as he appears to also have his gaze fixed on me.  It occurs to me that I may not be safe. I back away, keeping pace with him, backing toward the far side of the clearing.  He does not change his pace, nor do I. I observe more detail in the house.  It is a framed house with a peaked roof. There are spaces for 2 windows on each side.

I come to the edge of the clearing, and one more step takes me into a close stand of poplar trees. The trees are close together, the jaguar will not be able to navigate his house between the trees.

I turn away from him and continue on my walk.


Gophers in the Attic

We are in the attic of an enormous old wooden building, perhaps a warehouse or similar. We are slowly making out way along the center of the space, from one end of the building to the other. Above our heads there is a long row of circular wooden gears suspended from the peak of the roof.  Looking up from beneath them, it looks like a long row of wagon wheels, connected like gears, suspended from the ceiling. For some reason I’m very short, so I’m looking up at them from below, but they are just above Michal’s head and he is moving slowly dow the line, adjusting wires that attach to some of them. Occasionally I reach up and give one a spin, noticing just after I do it that Michal was working on it. He seems a bit irritated, as I do it several times, but says nothing. We carry on slowly working on one wheel at a time, down the center of the building.

I’m in the same space, but now it’s crowded and I don’t see Michal. Where there used to be wheels hanging from the ceiling,  there is a similar row of circular objects down the middle of the space, they are small trees growing in a straight line down the floor. The trees have fluffy round tops, like truffula trees in the Dr. Seuss story, “The Lorax”. There is tall, wispy grass growing up from between the floorboards.

As I’m walking along the row of trees, I notice a little gopher running along beside me. I reach down to touch him, but he scoots away. Suddenly I feel something hit the back of my leg, and I look to see the little gopher has jumped up and is hanging on my pant leg. He is looking up at me and doesn’t seem afraid. I decide to let him stay there. As I turn my attention away from him, I notice I’m carrying a little black puppy in my arms. It’s a little black lab puppy.  As I’m noticing the puppy, I feel more weight on me and there is a cat that has also climbed up my pant leg and is happily hanging on just above the gopher.

I decide I have no more room for critters, so I walk toward the exit, which is a set of stone stairs so steep it appears to be a ladder, rather than stairs. At the top, the cat jumps down and attempts to descend. The gopher climbs up to my shoulder and begins rubbing against my chin. The puppy is asleep in my arms. I carefully put my foot down to the first step.

I wake up.

Talking Cats and Climbing the Walls

I’m standing in my kitchen putting groceries away. It’s not a kitchen I have seen in my waking life. I’m searching for places to put the non-perishable groceries. I open cupboards and find them to be extremely ineffectively designed. Each cupboard has an inset that looks like the mailroom cubby holes at work. The inset takes up about 3/4 of the space in the cupboard, and the cubby holes are too small to put anything into. There is only a small band of space at the front of the cupboard to store anything.

As I’m puzzling over this situation, Merlin the cat walks by. I ask her if she wants to go out, and she responds “I don’t think so,” and walks toward the door. I ask again, “Are you sure?”. She says “Maybe, since I’m here already.” I open the door and she goes out. I watch her go, and she turns right and walks under the deck of the adjacent place. I hear a hissing and a shriek, and she comes running back. I step aside so she can come back in, and I take a better look at what distressed her. The grey fluffy cat from the neighbourhood emerges and struts toward the door, as usual. I tell him “not today” and close the door. I hear scratching and turn to see a massive grey paw groping around the floor, having reached through a large, jagged hole in the bottom of the door. The paw is huge, way out of proportion to the grey cat I left outside.

I arrive at work and go to my locker. The lockers are free standing towers, about 4′ tall and 8″ square, far to small to put anything in. I notice all the lockers are standing nicely, but mine is tipped over and some distance from it’s place, like it’s been thrown. I ask the guy who looks after the lockers why mine is in disarray while I move it back to it’s proper place. He says a young man comes and sits in it, and sometimes he gets angry and throws it. I ask how that is possible, and the locker is too narrow to hold my backpack, let alone a person, the guy shrugs.

I leave the area and start work. A signal sounds that indicates it’s time for staff to leave what they are doing and go climb the wall. I make my way with all the other staff back to the locker area. The locker guy stops me as I approach my locker and says, “He’s in there now.”.  Again, I can’t imagine how that is possible, as the locker is only about 8″ square, but sure enough, the door opens and a young fellow I used to play hockey with squeezes out. I say hello, and he just looks at me and walks away.

I gather my things for the wall, and start walking with my colleagues. I feel like something is making it very difficult to walk. I look down and there is a fellow from a past G Adventure tour hanging on my legs, and I am effectively dragging him along. For some reason I feel compelled to make small talk, so I ask if they have been on any other trips recently, knowing that he has, as we are friends on Facebook.

We arrive at our destination, and people set their belongings down and begin to get ready. Women are applying heavy make up, men are getting dressed in togas, kurtas, anything loose and flowing. I decide to just get the climb over with, so I approach the wall.  It’s wooden panelling, varnished with a glossy finish. I begin climbing, easily gripping the wooden panels and pulling myself up. I’m about 20′ from the ground when someone calls up to inform me I am climbing the wrong wall. I lower myself back to the ground and return to my colleagues. I wake up.

Giving Speeches and Negotiating with Cats

Cohort 35 has completed their program. I’m advised by a former colleague that I must give a talk, either at the beginning or end of what I assume to be the graduation celebration. Despite a battery of questions, I can’t conclude what the celebration is specifically for, why I need to address the gathered crowd twice, where the event will be, what sort of remarks would be appropriate, etc.

I spend some time trying to acquire this information. I come across two exchange students in the middle of the lake. It’s not clear whether we are in the lake, on the lake, or above the lake. After I explain why I need the information, they tell me they don’t know, but maybe I’ll find out if I jump from a height into the water. I do jump from a height into the water, I’m not sure what I jump off of.

I’m back with my former colleague, who tells me I will only be doing the opening address, as I don’t have the rank to deliver the closing address. I ask more questions about who I will be addressing, who’s attending, what the content should be, etc. There are no answers.

I find myself sitting clothed on a bed. My cousin is in the room telling me I MUST run a Discover Software class in Southbank, because that is the only program they will consider. She has brought friends to provide testimonials. Three cats jump up on the bed, an adorable little kitten, a smaller grey cat, and a huge orange tom cat. The tom cat has the most to say about the merits of the course, but turns the conversation back to the opening remarks I need to make, and asks me how I’m preparing. He then questions what time I’m planning to head to the venue, and what time the event actually starts. I tell him I have not been preparing, and I don’t know what time the event starts, or even where it is. He tells me maybe there is something that can be done, if only the Southside could access the Discover Software course. We start negotiating times and dates for the course. I wake up.



Angry Pirate Crab

I am on some sort of summer camp trip, there seems to be a lot of us, staying in accommodations similar to a dormitory. The other campers are a combination of people I know from my childhood through to current coworkers, as well as strangers.

Scenes change regularly from the dorms, to a bus stop where a school bus is always sitting, to a Walmart-like department store, where it seems like people are engaged in a scavenger hunt or something similar.

It interests me that that every time I find myself at the bus stop, I notice that before I speak to anyone, I first start rubbing their back. It makes them visibly uncomfortable, but for some reason it is required.

Eventually I find myself in the water, looking back at a rugged coast line. There are bluffs, and lots of jagged rocks in the water. I have snorkeling gear on, and I am paddling through the water. I look up and notice some kids playing in a tidal pool, and pointing to a brightly colored star fish. I decide to go find a tidal pool myself and see some marine life, so I start paddling.

I realize I’m no longer in the water, it seems the tide has moved way out, but if I kick hard enough I’m flying over the dry rocks rather than paddling in the water.

I proceed this way until I do in fact come to a tidal pool that has a large, bright orange crab in it. The crab does not look very friendly, it has long tentacle-like appendages, and an angry face. It hisses and lunges at me, causing me to falter and I fall from the air onto a nearby rock. I’m busy sorting myself out after my rough landing, when I hear more hissing, and I see Merlin, my cat, swatting at the crab. I try to get her attention to chase her away, but as usual, she pays no attention. Next thing I know, the crab is on Merlin’s back, riding her like a pony. The tentacles have turned into dread locks, not at all unlike something from Pirates of the Caribbean. As I watch, Merlin turns into a tiny palomino pony, and the crab rides her away along the rocks.

Before I wake up, I find myself one more time at the bus stop, rubbing people’s backs inappropriately.