Dream: Timey-wimey

I was visiting a seaside town. The coast was part beach lover's paradise and part surfer's heaven. I stood at the part of the beach where the two intersected, looking at the calm crystal clear waters to my left and then at the perfect wave tunnels to my right, trying to figure out where to go.

But I was in love with the big resort-style house in front of the huge waves, so I turned right. I met the owner outside. His name was Jim (and for a brief moment in my dream, I knew that the big house at the other end of the coast was owned by a man named Danny), and he loved that I loved his house and offered to take me on a tour.

The house was even bigger on the inside! There was a mall (with a Forever 21), cafes and restaurants, and even a boutique hotel (where I saw a relative packing all her stuff in a light metallic purple Samsonite luggage set for a trip to the US). Right away, I told Jim that I didn't like his house after all, and he agreed.

On our way back out, we passed by a garbage disposal room, where a Chinese man was making a jack-in-the-box robot, made entirely out of plastic bottles, dance for two little scruffy children. The man held a metal crank box (that said "Made in China" and had Chinese characters on it) that controlled the robot's power supply.

One of the children explained that the music actually came from them, so *they* were making to robot dance.

"I don't hear music," I said.
"Just think it," said the child.

So I thought it, and the robot turned to me with its dead plastic bottle eyes and started to move to my thoughts. Awkward movements, for sure, but I was making it dance. It was fun -- until I remembered I was just leaving and I thought, "Crap, I'm out of time."

Suddenly, the robot froze. Then a digital countdown appeared on the Chinese man's box: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then 0. "No more time," one of the children said.

"Wtf just happened?" Jim asked.
"Did I do that?" I wailed, "What did I just do?"

The Chinese man slid into the darkness, leaving his box and robot behind.

Then somehow I knew what had happened: from the present continuous state, everyone was trapped in the simple present. Things that were just happening now had become things that were always true. My cousin was packing, but now she just packs. She would never be leaving.

After some time, Jim said, "Reverse the countdown! Think of the start of the countdown!"

I tried my best to picture the numbers as clearly as possible in my head: 0, 1, 2 ... And the numbers on the crank box moved. At 5, the box collapsed into a ball, sucking in everything in a flash of light.

(I don't know why I saw this, as I was sucked in too. My dream suddenly took an omniscient POV, I guess).

As fast as it imploded the universe, the ball unrolled it out again: to an earlier state, to the point where everyone's stories of regret started.

I thought of travel. I thought of flight.

Dream: Flip-flops and volcanoes

A dream from a few nights ago, which I remembered only yesterday.

I was walking on a rocky beach, looking for beach glass, when I decided to wade into the water. I took off my rubber flip-flops and, fully clothed, splashed about in the water. Several people followed suit; they left their footwear on a rock with my sandals.

There was a small volcano island not far away, and it started spewing out smoke. A guy on the beach called out to us in panic, "Come out of the water! It's going to get really hot!"

Everyone ran out of the water and towards the man. He helped us onto a thick wooden platform, explaining that when the volcano starts blowing out smoke, the waters around it reach boiling point, heating even the rocks.

The rocks! I remembered our footwear, left on one of the rocks. I stepped back on the sand, making an attempt for my sandals but the man pulled me back. "Too late," he said.

We watched as our shoes and sandals and flip-flops melted. Thick liquid rubber trickled down the rocks in many colors. Nike sneakers. Havaianas. My Grendha pair.

"Those were really expensive flip-flops," I thought.

Dream: Life, naming

Last night's dream: There was a baby, a new niece or something, and she was so small she fit in the palm of my hand. I showed her to a man who was visiting. The baby cooed and snuggled in my hand; she was playful and happy.

"But I asked to see life," the man said, "There is no life in that bag of protein and enzymes."

I looked at the baby. I started seeing its skin only as thin biological membrane holding a soupy substance in. It moved in my hand like that lizard I saw hatch prematurely when its egg accidentally dropped on the floor.

I showed it to its mother. "Look at your baby," I said.

The mother smiled, but didn't look because she was busy. "Yes, she's very tiny, but she's healthy."

I stared at the thing in my hand, recalling her name, calling her name, until its eyes became distinct again, until the smile in them was back.

Dream: Tourist, shark, water

Last night's dream: I was visiting this island in Samar with this British guy and his Filipina girlfriend. They looked like retirees who'd made the island their home. They were nice to me, showing me around and pointing out the most scenic views. Sunset came and the waves suddenly went crazy and a killer whale arrived.

"Quickly," I heard the guy say to his girlfriend. I turned around to see what he meant and caught the girl pushing an even older British guy (somehow I knew it was her ex-husband) into the water, and right into the whale's mouth. They'd been feeding the creature with people. Tourists, mostly.

I pretended I didn't see it, but my face couldn't lie and so I tried to run -- only to slip down the edge of the island, almost into really dark waters. The British guy reached out to help me up, but I refused to take his hand because he was old and I didn't want him to fall. His girlfriend arrived and they pulled me back up.

Then I pushed them into the water.

Tonight I decided treat myself

At 10:17, I wolfed down the packed meal I had brought from home, threw away leftover chicken still with some meat on its bones, opened an umbrella and rushed out into the rain to catch the last full show of Begin Again.