One Time I Dreamt


Some sort of school function my intuition says.  We rush together, a tidal wave of excitement and power found in numbers.  Students run, sprinting further into the massive amusement park.  The layout is strange and the path we run is only five people wide, some kids peel off down twisting alleys, but everyone knows somehow that deep in the labyrinth, the best rides await passengers.  A few adults who are already in the park stare in wonder as we wash down the winding, color-filled path.  All around us colorful structures loom just out of reach creating strange shadows and weird colors flashing in and out of my eyes.  Every structure looks like it could come crashing down at any time, yet all are rooted to the ground, unmovable.  We are racing down the shady path, no end in sight.  Finally, the pink concrete floor finally opens up and cries of joy and laughter mingle with panting and heavy breathing.

Sunlight shines down on the big open space.  Water jets are placed periodically throughout the center, and we run through them.  Water splashes over heads and onto bodies.

There it is!  The ride I have been looking for!  A smashing mix of zip lining and bungee jumping!  Me and fifty other kids pound up the wet steps, hiding in the shadows of the huge platform above.  Waiting, waiting, waiting for what feels like forever.  Chatter and nerves keep us on our toes and hearts racing.  The ride is a blur, exciting and heart pounding.  I ride it again and again.  The sun climbs across the sky in a fiery crawl.  I see so much fun to be had, in a frenzy I run here and there, jumping in line and riding, screaming with joy.  I am sweaty and wet from the water jets, exhilarated and exhausted.  Tunnel rides take us deep underground, cool air and darkness, others fall right out of the sky, sunlight blinding us.  So much excitement I feel like my heart could burst!

I run alone now, looking for the next high back on the pink cement floor.  Dashing down a dark alley, apprehension fills me as I imagine a horror ride.  I take a left corridor into pitch darkness.   A staircase rises from the floor on my right and faint light comes from the top.  My heart slows down for the first time and I am curious, not afraid.  I follow the spiral steps up and up and up.  The seemingly sourceless light is getting brighter the whole time- sunlight definitely.  Finally the staircase becomes a tunnel and at the end is shining light.  I emerge from the cool tunnel and walk into what a first glance looks like a market.  I can’t process it all; it looks like the tables are covered in gold!  I’m on some roof, a large covering above keeps the sun off but its open on all four sides, looking out on the park.  My breath is taken away looking out, a field of garish colors streaming in every direction.

Everything is so real.  I feel a breeze, stronger up here, drying the water on my skin, the rough floor scrapes at my bare feet.

The glowing tables wait, four of them, creating a U-shape.  All the tables are covered in gold and silver rings, necklaces, bracelets, chokers, ear cuffs, arm bands, tiaras, headdress jewelry, anklets, and earrings. There are a few other people up here who do not marvel at what is all around them, this is normal to them.  They inspect the jewelry littering the tables and occasionally approach a man seated far in the back, a corner where they seem to be purchasing the ornaments.  I gaze at the glittering altars and see surprisingly ugly jewelry.

I become one of them, appraising the charms looking for somethings that calls to me.  Half an hour, an hour passes, I find three beautiful rings and begin to approach the man in the corner only to realize that I haven’t any money.  I look down at the slim, graceful rings I have picked out.  They shine and their stones are dazzling in the afternoon sun; they are so stunning, so unique and I realize I have become very attached to them.  I slip the rings one by one onto my fingers; one on my left middle, one on my left thumb, and the last one on right ring finger.  They all fit perfectly on first try.  I don’t want to leave these to be lost in the hoards of ugly jewelry in a place where people with horrible taste would never give these pieces a second glance. Heartbroken, I go over to lean on the retainer walls lining the roof, but instead slide down it until I am sitting on the floor.  Ugh, there’s something uncomfortable on the floor.  How did I manage to find the only corner with junk in it, and then sit on it!  I scoot to the right and it still there!  It’s in my pocket!  I didn’t have anything in my pocket!  I reach into the back pocket of my shorts and pull out the thickest wad of cash I have ever seen.  My eyes spread wide; I have never seen this much cash at any given time in my life!  I can buy the rings! I get up quickly and pad silently on my bare feet over to the shop-keep.  Puling off the rings I show them to him.  The man names an outrageous sum and I start counting the wad of fifties, imparting bill after bill after bill into his grubby paws.  When I reach his sum, he smiles at me revealing yellowed and brown crooked teeth, and turns to tuck away the massive stack of bills he had just accrued.

Just as quietly as I appeared in this strange dwelling, I leave.  I walk slowly down the stairs savoring the quiet, the peace, because I am drained, I have no energy.  Every step is an effort.  When I emerge at the bottom, two kids run past me screaming and hysterical.  Savage, wild joy written on their faces, but their joy is no longer infectious.  I just want to sit down, but I don’t.  In the relative quiet, I sigh.  I look down from monitoring the alley to my hands, pale and slightly shaking, adorned with jewels that aren’t mine- not really, just as it wasn’t my money that bought them, these foreign beauties don’t belong to me; they are autonomous.

I spare one last glance over my shoulder.  The shop-keep has already forgotten me, moved onto his next customer.  I was not noticed upon entrance or exit.  My visit was one of singularity, as soon forgotten as seen.  I was not here to anybody.  A shiver passes up my spine along with fear.  I will never know what this place was or how all that money got into my possession, but I have my treasure and I am satisfied.