Monday, January 21, 2013

Dream: A night at the Anubis Casino

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In my dream I am walking along a dim, narrow corridor that is steadily rising. The floor, walls and ceiling are made of large slabs of stone fitted together precisely without any mortar. I am alone, but I can hear other footfalls ahead and behind me. A few twist and turns and the corridor ends in a large, dusty room. Light streams in through several irregular holes in the ceiling. This is obviously the interior of an Egyptian pyramid.

Around the perimeter of the large room are other doorways through which other people are filing in. We’re all – or at least this group – coming together at the same spot at the same time. Some are old like I am in the dream and some are in the prime of life.

Sprinkled around the room are tables and bookshelves and many kinds of low furniture, but no chairs. Everything is covered in a thick layer of dust, but strangely this does not bother any of us at all.
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We’re all milling about, idly wondering where we are and why, but nobody is too freaked out about the situation. Then somebody notices that the shelves and tables and nooks and crannies are all filled with small, white plastic cups, each of which says “Dominos Pizza” on them. Somebody else picks one up, shakes it, hears something, and pours out a single quarter.
A mad rush ensues, and everybody grabs a cup from somewhere and gets a coin. There are coins of all denominations, from all countries, from all eras of history. Drachmas and doubloons, dull pesos and shiny silver coins with pictures of Roman emperors on them. We all put the empty cups back and stare at the coins, discussing and comparing with each other what we have found.
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Across the room somebody else reaches for their cup again for some reason and finds that there is another coin in it. Another mad scramble and in a flash we are all holding two random coins. We put the cups back on the shelves and table tops, wait a minute, and voila! More booty.
This goes on, but the novelty wears off after awhile. Nobody, however, wants to leave the marvelous miracle that we are witnessing, and nobody wants to leave the pile of coins in front of them.
So everybody begins talking about their lives. In low voices we tell stories, laugh about our stupidities, and generally realize that we have a lot more to compare than contrast with each other. It’s a regular gab party with all of us sitting on the floor, and now and then picking up our cups and sliding out another odd coin for our piles.
Time passes and the Sun has moved and shadows fill the dusty room. A woman finds that there are some steps built into one corner of the room. She reports that these lead up only a short way and then seem to become a dark, steep slide.
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No one can remember entering the room that way, and it dawns on all of us that this must be the exit. We all stand up, fill our pockets with our coins, grab our cups, and tuck and store coins wherever we can. Then we drag ourselves across the room, and stagger up the stone steps to the top of the slide.
With no hesitation we one by one sit at the top and push ourselves off into oblivion.
We emerge at the base of the pyramid, in the dusk of a gorgeous Egyptian sunset. There is much laughter as each person tumbles out of the slide, followed by a shower of coins. We all gather our treasure and look around.
There is no city around this pyramid, or any trace of civilization. The only feature recognizable in the growing gloom is the Nile river, which lies directly in front of us. Across the river there is something that we can’t quite see in the failing light. A shimmer, shapes, might be an oasis. But clearly that is where this group should be heading.
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But we have to cross the river to get there. It looks fordable, or at least easily swimmable. The first person waddles down to the shore, barely able to walk with the weight of all of their coins. They enter the water and disappear into the depths with barely a movement or sound. A few more people attempt this, but no matter how good the jump, or how vigorous the swimmer, each quickly succumbs to the weight of their possessions.
After that we all look at one another, sigh and shrug, and empty our pockets of coins and leave our cups on top of our small piles. Then we all enmasse enter the water and swim across to the Other Side, as night falls.
Back on the shore an old custodian with long, white beard and a headset drives up in an electric cart. He stops before the piles of coins illuminated in the cart’s headlights. He gets out a shovel and begins lifting the coins into the big plastic hopper in the back of the cart.
While doing this his headset crackles. He touches his ear and says: “Yeah, Ma’at: I’m there now. Did you record all of their reports?”
A female voice answers. “Got ‘em and transcribed 'em. You finish up there, I’ll file all this stuff, and then let’s go get a beer.”
The custodian smiles. “Gotcha. Sounds good. I’ll need to change clothes though.” He looks down at his overalls and his nametag, which says “God”.
Angus McMahan

1 comment:

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