I have been a little under the weather for the past week, and I have not gotten very much sleem lately as I have been working and out of the house a lot for the past four days. Today, after getting home around 8:30, then putting on m,y armor and walking around Manhattan for a photography student, then getting home around one, I stayed home, slept for 3 hours, then worked on editing videos and watched the Giants beat the Vikings (football, not mythology). I got to bed tonight at about 2 AM. I woke up about 4:15 from the following dream:
About a half-dozen men are in a large, round room with large windows at the top of a tall tower near the southern tip of Manhattan. The view includes NY Harbor, New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, the East River, and the bridges there. The men are all people who have done something morally repugnant, ethically wrong, illegal, or just plain shameful, but have somehow gotten away with it.
Aside from the window, the room has a domed ceiling of rich , dark-colored wood. The window frames are likewise of that rich wood, as are the walls, which are about 6’ high. The general air of the room is of a library in a wealthy Victorian mansion.
The men are there at the invite of the owner of the place, an old man sitting on a red velvt couch at one end of the room. When one of the men asks what this place is, he explains that it displays panoramic views of great disasters, but always ends the moment before you would have died.
The men wonder why they are there, and each try to avoid talking about the various repugnant things they have done, although some people in the room recognize others for who they are. The old man watches knowingly, with a half-smile on his face.
At one point the conversation turns, and it leads to discussion about what a person’s favorite time to have lived would be. One fellow says “The 20th century, a more elegant time” and the view in the windows starts to change. The city appears older, the buildings more ornate, and shorter. “I’m talking about the nineteen-tens!” he says. The ceiling disappears, revealing a spectacular sunset.
“Wow! Now that is gorgeous!” he says, looking all around at the sky. The sky is a deepening blue and purple with clouds that are highlighted in magical tones of orange. There is also a yellow-orange glow on the horizon where the sun has gone down.
“Or the 1890’s! The Victorian age!” The walls disappear, although the window frames remain, extended all the way down to the floor now. “That’s what I’m talking about! Look at those ships! Not a steam engine to be seen!” Suddenly there is an explosion among the tall-masted ships docked in the East river. “Except that one.” Sparks like fireworks shoot out of the now-burning steamship. The man thinks it must be for the sake of a spectacular fireworks show we will now see in this panorama. He looks around to NY Harbor, and sees a fire with black smoke pouring out of it into the still-spectacular sunsetted sky..
The old man interjects, “Yes, the ironic thing is, the stem engine ended the steel industry in New York.”
“Wait! This is the great fire! This is ’99!” the previous man cries. Then realization begins to dawn on him. This fire burned New York City to the ground with great loss of life. “This room shows great disasters of history!” The flames grow higher. Panic starts to set in among the guests.” We see a view as if we were in, say, the 5th story of a building, so we can see in the windows of the top floors other buildings as the flames overrun them. In one window we can see a portrait of someone who might be famous or familiar burn up. The flames are now a raging inferno in the windows.
“But wait, you said it ends right before the moment we would have died, right?” The man is panicked. He looks around. Suddenly there is an image of a small flame leaping from a smoking pipe into a lighter. The man looks around the room. The windows are now dark. The walls and ceiling have re-appeared. Everyone appears dead, even the old man. He says, with curious fear “So, what? Do we now just…expire?”
And then I woke up, saying “Faaantastic!”
A postscript began, in which we say three people walking down a long transparent corridor or elevated tunnel through a futuristic New York. But I could not drift off to sleep enough to finish it.