I was in a hospital, which was closing down for the night. And I needed to get to the 20th floor. Except that the only elevator I got was this rickety old thing, and it didn’t have “20” on the panel. It only had a bunch of random numbers, then 22. So I press “22” thinking I can always take the stairs a couple of flights down.
When I get to 22, the floor is a huge sprawling mezzanine with multiple levels leading of from it. I see some corners which remind me of abandoned buildings, with broken chairs and pillows haphazardly stacked in dark corners without regard to safety or hygiene. The lights are yellow incandescent bulbs, which lend an even more eerie feeling to this setting than usual. Worst part: the stairwell is padlocked shut for the night.
So I run back to the elevator and proceed to the next level down, which just happens to be “15”. When I get there, same thing. Stairwell locked, no exit except the same elevator. At this point, a foreign woman enters the elevator, and I sense that I am not in my own country. Maybe that is why I fail to understand the layout and the elevator scheme. She presses a floor and I decide to follow her.
We alight at the fourth floor, I think. And instead of a hospital, I see a huge theme park entrance, where clowns, toy balloons, and noisy video game machines abound. She approaches a ticket booth and produces what I believe is a month-long pass for all the elevators and subway trains in this country, and the ticket officer is impressed. I realize that my mistake might lie in not buying tickets for that elevator ride to the 20th floor, and relying on the free system. Hmmm.
And then suddenly I am backstage at a huge conference center, and getting my gear ready for a performance. It looks kinda like a cross between my trip to Japan and my visit to Universal Studios in L.A. I am not sure what I am performing on: keyboards? laptop? Anyway, I start to stroll down a street which looks like it is plucked straight out of the Enchanted Kingdom theme park. There are archaic 19th century American shop windows and park benches lining the place. And at one corner, I meet some college batchmates who I know as mere acquaintances. They start chatting with me and asking me if I know about the latest chismis, about this batch bully who turns out to be gay. And I tell them i had no idea. But I find it weird that I’m actually interacting with these people when I barely said two words to them my entire college life.