Dreamed 1984/11/13 by Chris Wayan
It's our last day in Hawaii. I feel sad. I love Kauai, I could spend weeks exploring. Except my sister Miriel and I are both sick and exhausted--in poor health to start with, and the stress of traveling together hasn't helped.
A dark morning, and it gets darker. Storm!
Try to drive to Haena but turn around--can't see a thing but gales of glassy rain.
Go to the mall, look at coral and shells in little glass cases, instead of in the sea. Spend the afternoon in, reading, writing, watching TV...
Late in the day, the storm lulls, and I decide to try again. I want to see Haena and Na Pali coast, with an urgency I don't really understand.
Miriel's depressed and sick and sullen, as she has been the last couple of days... Says "why even try, it'll just be raining. I say "Okay, then, I'll go alone."
In the parking lot, hear a yell. "WAIT FOR ME!" Miriel gets in. Glad I pushed her.
Tattered clouds, fast-flying. Flashes of sun. Lush green forests, pretty bays. Caves.
I hike alone up the trailhead to Na Pali. At sunset I climb to the stone terraces where the ancient Hawaiians had a hula dancing school.
A magical swim at dusk--crystal water despite the recent storm. The fish and coral glow maroon, yellow, purple, midnight, parrot-green, in polarized light bounced off huge cumulus clouds. The lights come on around the cove, till it looks like an elven city, no mortal realm...
And then I realize the magical feeling is no mere trick of the light.
I've been here before! Two weeks ago, in my dreams, the very first night we came to Hawaii, I dreamed this moment--my last here. My tiny victory of will over gloom and illness.
When I get back, I look in my journal--and there it is. It was real. At the beginning, I dreamed of the end.
I'm in a little scout ship, orbiting a ringed world. See a spiral nebula, a fetal star.
Lonely. I go home to Earth at last. But I've been gone a LONG time... Our sun's huge, streaked orange and shocking pink like some tropical shell, from wisps of gas that shroud and dim it.
I land on Earth to find most of humanity gone. The energy-field collecting solar power and replacing the ruined ozone layer also controlled rainfall... and the web failed.
All I find is a huge White Hotel, long and low and cold. No wonder: it's built of slabs of ice. A few survivors camp out in the lobby. They look and talk like World War Two soldiers. They tell me "All the rooms are sealed." I propose we melt our way in one. It's hard; my little ship has limited power, can only melt one seal at a time. But we can do it, slowly.
And the rooms do have tenants! Cryogenic tenants. One in each room. Entombed alone, in hope of a warmer day. We thaw out the ones we freed... it's exhausting, with our limited supply of warmth. But we owe it to them.
We the living gather on the San Francisco Peninsula. Almost all the transportation is down, but a genius leads us onto an Inertial Train--its track is designed like a roller coaster so that after an initial boost, gravity pulls it to its destination.
But our guide brakes the train at a midway station. I'm alarmed--how'll we find the energy to get up to speed again? But he insists there's something essential here--asks me and the Feathered Rainbow Snake to come see. The snake, who was worshiped as the rain-god Balolokong by the Hopi and as Balalakona by the Aztecs, is an old friend of mine; she drapes over my shoulders affectionately. We climb out of the train, up onto a stone terrace where flat, dry pizza-like bread is spread out, forming huge picture-puzzles. Interlocking images of faces, made entirely of jigsawed bread!
One face sticks its tongue out, and the genius stops and points. "This is what we came for. The Einstein Memorial."
I say "But--"
"Shhh. We need to summon the spirit of Einstein to help us out of this."
"But we thawed Einstein last week. You helped. He's on the train right now!"
The Genius says "No, no, your grief is clouding your memory. It's understandable, after humanity died."
Rain-snake pats me affectionately with her tail and whispers "Nah, I saw him too."
And then Einstein walks up from the train, wild hair and all. Alive, alive, alive.
To view his own memorial!
The leader was wrong. With no energy and the sheltering field down, our plight may be grave...
But at least we're not IN one.
NOTE NEXT MORNING, ON THE PLANE HOME
So I'm thawing out my frozen personalities one by one, with my limited energy.
But I'm over-pessimistic, like my sister. A family flaw. I've got a friendly goddess riding on my shoulders, giving me advice... yet I think I need to thaw out my intellect, my genius, when I've already DONE it!
Still, I overcame the family flaw yesterday--followed my urge, and was rewarded with a magical journey. Literally magical: had I not reached Haena, I'd never have known that dream two weeks ago was psychic--of a real place. How many of our other dreams are real, but we never know?