Friday, September 5, 2003

Flies and Pearls in Bodega Bay

I am in the middle of a large office complex.

I stand in the center of the office complex, a series of hallways going out in all directions, with escalators going up to higher floors.

The office complex has a high ceiling, similar to a multistory mall and, in front of me, is a large geodesic dome. There is fake greenery planted all around the dome.

People wearing business suits rush around the office complex. They look worried.

All of them have pinks slips of paper. They talk with each other about being laid off from work.

All of the businesses in this office park have gone under.

They talk about their jobs, their friends, and good times and bad times in the offices as they worked together.

Some hug each other and get teary-eyed.

I decide to walk down one of the hallways of the office complex.

The hallway, with doors of businesses on each side, opens up more as I walk along. It changes as I walk.

I am on the street of a small coastal town. It is similar to Bodgega Bay in the Hitchcock film, “The Birds”. I see small shops and a cafĂ©. I smell the ocean breeze.

The local people in the streets talk about tourists that are coming. They talk about the factories closing in the town and the new shops and businesses that are opening to appeal to the tourists.

I see a small shop up ahead, a large wooden sign showing a fish hanging out over the sidewalk above the door. I walk inside.

There is a line of people, waiting patiently. I get in the back of the line.

There is a Latin man, the owner of the shop, sitting at a counter. He has dark skin, a moustache, and wears a white rumpled shirt and hat.

The people in the line talk to him about scheduling a fishing trip with him as a guide. He owns a boat.

It is my turn in the line.

"What do you want?" he asks.

"I'd like to learn how to make flies," I reply.

The man looks me up and down, glaring at me and playing with his moustache. He is annoyed and surprised.

"Do you know how boring that is?" he asks, "Are you sure you don't want to go fishing?"

"No, I want to learn how to make flies," I say.

"Have you ever been fishing?" he asks.

"A few times," I say. "It was okay."

"Are you sure you really want to learn how to make files? It's really boring," he says.

"Yes. I like doing things with my hands."

"It's really boring. What's the most boring thing you've ever done?"

I don’t have an answer.

The man thinks for a moment, looking at people in the line behind me.

"Sure, okay,” he says, smiling. “I'll teach you how to make flies. Come back in a couple of weeks and we'll get started."

I turn and walk away from the counter.

The people at the shop sit at wooden benches eating fancy French and Italian deserts.

There is an empty seat at one of the tables; I sit down.

The owner of the shop walks up behind me, sitting a dish and spoon on the table in front of me.

I look down at my dessert ­ it resembles vanilla ice cream, floating in a cloudy white liquid.

The owner examines the bowl.

"Excuse me," he says, "There's a pearl in yours. I'm terribly sorry."

He picks up the spoon and retrieves the pearl. He takes the pearl with him as he walks away.

I dig my spoon into the desert and it hits something hard.

I lift up my spoon and find a whole string of pearls hanging from it.

I am on the main street of the town. It is cold and getting dark. The town is deserted.

I walk along the streets. Everything looks run down and dilapidated.

I notice the shop I had visited earlier. The sign hangs askew, the wood weathered and the painted fish on it faded.

I open the squeaky door and walk inside. There is dust everywhere; tables and chairs are overturned.

I walk to the counter. There is a slip of paper there. I pick it up.

It reads, “He left his tantric ways and skipped town. There's nothing to see here. Keep moving. -- Matt Redbear".

Then I woke up.

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