sometime in 1999 . . .

In a movie-like scene, a spaceship came into view over the cratered surface of a planet. The ship emitted a pillar of light that touched the ground, then the ship warped away.

While walking along a street, a friend of mine was explaining to me how he could control peoples' minds using mindsnakes. I was familiar with mindsnakes; they were a normal part of life. I saw no evidence that they ever hurt anyone, but I knew that they were somehow not good. My friend then used one on someone. It shot from his head, about four inches thick, wet, twisted, and colorful. It moved so fast that I couldn't get a good look at it. It struck the top of someone else's head, then retracted just as fast as it had emerged. the entire motion took less than a second.

My friend and I were later in a restaurant, and he used a mindsnake on a security guard to get us a free dinner. I felt guilty and thought I should pay for the food.

I saw a sequence of television clips portraying mindsnake encounters--In one, a movie preview, a woman was tasting some mayonnaise. after being hit by a brain worm (a trendy term for the them, to make the movie more appealing, I think), she poured a large bowl, ate it all, and became very sick.

Outside on the alien landscape seen earlier, the ship landed and people emerged. they walked around among the craters. Giant mindsnakes shot from these holes in different places.

I was indoors, watching a baby who was sitting on a bed. the baby wanted to climb into a soft drink bottle. I thought that was silly, but was surprised to see it actually got inside somehow. From inside the bottle, it finished the drink. I left the room. I carried another very small baby piggyback. It was able to talk, and was very intelligent.

Back outside, everyone had now exited the ship, and people were moving toward a large castle. inside, everything looked like sharp computer graphics. there were tapestries, spiraling staircases, and elevators. giant rotating swords hovered in the air along some walls, point down. There were many strange people running though the central hall, some evil, along with rats and a few monsters. If one of the monsters caught you, you "switched partners." I dodged through the crowd, carefully avoiding the monsters so I could keep my partner (the baby I carried).

I found a small metal object on the ground. When I held it a certain way, it stretched out very quickly into a smooth snake about 5 feet long. It twisted in knots then retracted, like a mindsnake.

Temporal Responsibility

I was at home, looking through department store ads in a newspaper. There were some shoes that I liked at one of the stores, and I decided to buy them at some point. I was scheduled to be at work at 4PM, and had some time still before I had to leave. I didn't really do anything that I remember, other than turning on and off a few new lamps in the house, but I managed to stall until I was going to be late. I looked out into the driveway, but there were no cars home, and I wondered how I was going to get to work.

Somehow, I managed to get a ride halfway from someone driving a van. the geography had changed, and it turned out that I would have to walk quite a long way along a busy street lined by trees with ditches on either side. I walked along a ditch, walking over tree stumps in my path. a guy about my age who was from Europe was walking with me at some point. he told me that if I looked around on the ground, I could find good things. as he explained this, he showed me by picking up a still-wrapped wooden spoon from Norway.

I then found myself in a fast food restaurant. I was still late for work, but I was eating lunch with a few of my co-workers. It was a cafeteria-style restaurant, and I ended up getting a hamburger. I asked how much chicken cost, and a server informed me that it came free with my hamburger.

Back at home, I was became aware that I was now several hours late for work. I ran out the door and down the street. despite knowing that I was not in very good physical shape, I felt full of energy. but then I began to grow slower. Not tired, but simply unable to move as quickly.

Back in the restaurant, I was still late, but somehow time had reset--I was not as late as before. I had somehow unconsciously caused this reversal of time. The same co-workers were there, unaware that this scene had taken place before. I was the only one with memory of the former time stream. Furthermore, I was not hungry this time, having eaten a lot the first time I was in the restaurant. the reversal happened a second time, and I was back at home. there I was given another large hamburger. it normally would have been very good, but I had already eaten twice, and eating this one made me begin to feel sick. but I didn't want to waste it.

Thinking back on the restaurant scene, I pondered on the question of whether I was morally responsible for my actions in a time stream which would later become void. It seemed that once the cancellation had occured, the former experiences existed only inside my mind. I wondered whether, if I had done anything bad, I would have been right feeling moral responsibility for my actions. I decided that the answer was yes, since in a sense everything in normal life is that way--the temporal circumstances under which people act do not last, all that is left are the actors and the impanct that the interactions have had on them.

Tetris Castle Death

At a science museum, I was looking at an exhibit of very strange animals behind a glass counter front. On the countertop sat a mask of a human face that looked very realistic. I tried it on, and discovered that when I was wearing it, every animal I looked at would meet my gaze. One animal I specifically remember was a large slug or snail, about three feet high.

Later, I saw a large open room where many people were gathering. I was not in the room, but could see it, and I knew that someone was in trouble. the crowd began to leave quickly, and as they did, one girl drew my attention. she was in pain, and obviously pregnant. Instead of giving birth, however, she 'ruptured,' covering the floor of the hall with water about half an inch deep. One of the people who had remained in the room was a doctor, and knew how to help her. he motioned for me to come and help, and guided her onto a table. He produced surgical tools, and made an incision in her stomach. he had me hold the cut open so he could work, but it was difficult to do so--fluorescent green paste got on my hands, burning like battery acid. that was what the doctor had to remove. it seemed the operation was successful.

I drove away from the building, and walked with a few other people into an outdoor park area. out of an open grassy area, a castle seemed to grow into existence. it looked fairly normal at first, but then segments began to grow out of it in strange directions, reminding me of Tetris pieces. People began to gather around it, and many scaled the walls, walking out along the odd sections. many others appeared from inside, at balconies and at windows. it was now very large, towering high above those on the ground with me. I wondered why people were climbing all over it, when it was obviously very dangerous to do so. I was distracted from that thought by the realization that I had a camera with me, and I certainly wanted a picture of this bizarre sight.

I was startled to see my mother on the outer edge of a high segment. She seemed perfectly calm being up there, and began to yell down to me advice for good pictures. As I looked through the viewfinder, various potential pictures seemed to freeze in my vision.

A fear began to come over me, and I suspected that someone was going to fall. The feeling intensified, and my mother's words became faster and more shrill as she told me where to stand and what to shoot. This was very disturbing, since I had never seen her out of control like this. her voice became hysterical, and she began chanting rhythmically like a record stuck on a phrase, saying, "you should go d---; you should go d---"; you should go d---";

Then she fell.

I saw the entire descent, and her body hit the ground and bounced like a dummy. there was no blood.

I was frozen, terrified. I thought of possible alternatives. Could I have caught her? At that height, I would have died too.

A thought was powerful in my mind: I have never had a reason to take death very seriously. But one day someone I know well and care about will die. Everything is temporary even if it doesn't seem that way.

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