I bought this car for $50. I thought it had the 500 cu in engine, though they discontinued that just before this generation. Whew!
My dad and I were waiting for my mother. We’re in a large, older Lincoln Town Car in a town that lives right on the beach, or at least near the water. It seems like it’s one of the oceans, but the car is distractingly unusual. Maybe it’s in the Caribbean.
Something caused my dad to leave. My mom was nowhere to be seen. But we took off. We headed for the water. Maybe something was wrong. We were off the road now, on the beach… Then through a patch of sandgrass on a small hill.
We head up the hill and there are several cops around. Not even cops, but military folks. The terrain becomes less sandy and more compound. And the military folks now have machine guns. There’s a fence with mobile trailers and what looks to be a ton of corrugated tin houses. What’s going on around here?
My dad stops the car and we jump out. We head to an opening and hide there. I don’t know what we’re hiding from, but the men with the automatic weapons are no where to be seen and seemed to have ignored the car altogether. I hear music. It’s faint, but it’s definitely dance music of some sort. I start inching toward a doorway, my father encouraging me not to go through. But I don’t listen. I pop through to the other side and realize I’ve crashed a party of some sort.
I’m surrounded by young people. Staring at me. They’re all sweaty, have a drink in their hand, look blown out. The music stops playing. I am then escorted to another place, being dragged through to the other side of this compound. I remember seeing different rooms. The further we go, the more disturbing the sight. Sex. Drugs. It was like the movie Short Bus on an outdoor stage and sprawling.
I black out.
I wake up. I’m dressed completely differently. I’m dressed in a fine suit, with a hat. I am smoking a cigarette and am feeling a little bit loopy. I am walking around and everyone knows me. I feel wonderful and exhausted and relaxed all at the same time. I’m bouncing, dancing with all kinds of people. Everyone knows me.
I reach into my pockets. I pull out the cell phone and realized that two years had gone by.
Then I wake up.
We’re heading north on I-75 sometime on a cloudy Monday morning. We’re in a last-generation Grand Prix with some options I’ve never seen. Well, the outside is a Grand Prix. In the car is an uncle, an aunt and friend of the family. I’m somehow driving. The backseat is filled with a ton of clothes. I assume we’re going up north, but I am not sure why.
Next we’re in a truck. Similar situation. This is a sleeper cab. Freightliner or a Mack. Something that’s not quite new. Blue in color. We’re all in this truck together on top of a bed of clothes. And the friend of the family is naked on top of this heap of clothing. My aunt and uncle are in the front driving and are either okay with this or oblivious because no one says a thing. We’re not moving, though. We’re in a large garage, could be a repair shop.
Next I’m in a loft-style apartment. It almost looks like it could’ve been a warehouse with the shelves still installed. The one wall is the kitchen, very well lit. My aunt lives here. There are three people sitting on stools at the long, wooden counter. She’s trying to grab something from the cupboards near the fridge.
Next we’re outside. I’m leaving. It’s downtown Chicago, but it’s not. It’s raining and I’m on my bike. I need to balance this package I’m carrying and trying to get the bike unlocked. I finally take care of it, then take off. The package is heavy and awkward but I manage to go north — in front of the Hancock Building.
Then… I wake up.
In snooping around we discover an empty room buried in the back of the campus. There five of us. I know we work together, but I don’t know anyone by name or face. We’ve decided to turn this into a create playland, something that Jerry Hirschberg created in his book The Creative Priority. It’s messy. Loud. Open-aired. And each station is makeshift. Computers galore, of course, but there’s a huge array of manual things: typewriters, drafting tables. It was lovely.
I’m in Panamá. No. I’m in São Paulo. Wait. My grandmother is here and she wants a water. Mom wants an orange pop. Sister wants orange too. So I put the 75¢ into the thirty year-old vending machine and out pops three orange pops. Obviously that’s all they have today. My sister went to the bathroom and my grandma and mom have disappeared. I wander outside to take in the environment.
Down the street is a three-lane highway. One in each direction and a center lane. The lines are faint, yet do their job. It’s overcast to the left, but the sun is bright on the other side. Otherworldly. The lighting makes the entire scene seem more dreary than it really is. And cooler. It’s actually scorching hot.
I look behind me and there’s an enormous building. It starts to say São… but it’s a soccer dome — a very large soccer dome, which reminds me of the theatres on the West Bank in London. Large, concrete. And a designed soccer ball for a sign (sponsored by Pepsi, of course) towers above. The building looks to be AT LEAST 20 storeys up, but it’s probably my exaggerated mind. On the other side of the street are condos that rise just as high. Still, the soccer pitch seems out of place here. I need to photograph this.
I take off the lens cap to my Ricoh XR-M and point it down the horizon. There’s a bug smack in the middle of my view. I look at the lens, and it’s no small big. In fact it’s squishy body has made quite a mess. I don’t have a cloth, so I just flick it only to make the mess messier. My sister’s now ex-boyfriend offers to help, appearing out of nowhere. Because he cannot make the situation right, we are whisked away to his apartment where we has the cloths to clean the lens.
Back at his apartment, I’m looking around as though I’ve never been here though it all seems familiar. We never get the lens cleaned, and I am craving my orange pop which has vanished since I bought them.
And then I wake up.