September 22, 2005

Codeine Dreams and Wild Blue Wings

I'm under the influence of heavy cough syrup as I recover from bronchitis, and that plus the relative social isolation and boredom I'm experiencing, and the incredibly powerful thunderstorm we had last night led me to conjure up some weirdo dreams last night. Of course I'm aware of all the hurricanes and crazy stuff happening in the world right now, and that's on my mind quite a bit, but explain this combination of dream elements to me:

I'm in California with Arianna Huffington, who employs me as a writer and research assistant. (What? When's the last time I gave conscious thought to Arianna Huffington?) Water is rising in the office building where I'm working, and Arianna has papers and books all over a desk (which is exactly like my actual desk at work). Quickly I gather her things, put them into a plastic storage tub, and seal it. There is enough air in the tub to make it float, and as the water continues to rise, I sit on top of it and sail it down a hallway to an outside courtyard where college students and professors are also running around, wading through knee-deep water, saving documents and gathering bottled water. I find Arianna outside and tell her proudly that I managed to save all of her important papers, but when I open the tub to show her, it's full of wet pizza. Even worse, the name I scrawled on the container for identification purposes is "Debbie Huffington." It's the wrong container. I am perplexed by this and start to explain, when a wobbly jet starts hovering uncertainly in the sky above our heads. The engine is fine but there's something wrong with the landing gear.

Then I am startled awake with a powerful thunderclap right outside my window, the sound of which also electrifies my cats, who both jump up from their sweet spots on the blanket next to me. I have enough presence of mind to unplug my computer and other sensitive "zappable" equipment, and then I drift back off to sleep. More dreams about airplanes. Before too long it's seven a.m., and I'm officially awake. I click on some news and there's been an emergency jet landing in Los Angeles, related to faulty landing gear. From a news account:

The pilot finally brought the plane down, back wheels first. As he slowly lowered the nose gear, the stuck wheels erupted in smoke and flames, which quickly burned out.

"At the end it was the worst because you didn't know if it was going to work, if we would catch fire. It was very scary. Grown men were crying," said Diane Hamilton, 32, a television graphics specialist.

As the plane was about to touch the ground, Hamilton said crew members ordered people to assume a crash position, putting their heads between their knees.

"They would yell, "Brace! Brace! Brace!'" she said. "I thought this would be it."

Yeah, I kind of freak myself out sometimes.

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