Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of Lost Mushrooms, 3 Lionesses, and a Monkey (Retrodreamland 2001/2002)

I awaken from a boring dream, finding myself on a forested hill. The trees are evenly spaced, with tall, light brown, bare trunks; the leafy canopy is far out of reach, imposing a sense of smallness upon me. I think to myself how strange it is to see a purely deciduous forest like this. Or maybe these are coniferous trees? Knowledge like that is useless here. I stand, head tilted back, pondering the nature of leaves. These do not seem particularly thick, as I can clearly observe the blue sky above them, yet there is no evidence of sun shining through even though I know it is day. My gaze follows the non-existent rays of the sun to the ground, where bare clumps of pale dirt peek through green grass. I turn and slowly run up the hill, following others towards what looks like a cabin.

Yes, it seems that our destination was a cabin in the woods, situated at the apex of the hill. I arrive to find Foxtrot, Lemon, and some others waiting. I guess there's a party to be had, since we rarely get together for other reasons; that's fine with me, since I haven't had much fun lately. Not to mention my weakness against peer pressure.

We pile into the cabin and start by consuming some mushrooms, which I assume are of the magical variety. This is great fun (I think) and some excitement ensues, although it fails to register in my memory. Something to do with an oven, and the ceiling? The ceiling, which from the inside seems much too large for the cabin, is covered with interesting trinkets: mossy green pots and pans, and a greenish moose head. Strange. Perhaps I shouldn't have eaten these shrooms? Oh well. You can't change the past. Well, not usually, anyways.

When the daze of this chaotic trip begins to fade, I find myself in the family van. My sister Erin is driving, and Christian and Lemon are in the back. I, being my sisters brother, am sitting in the front. We're driving down a curvy dirt road. The foresty hill is on our right, and another sparse forest is on our left. No space separates the road and the trees, as if the forest threatens to smother the road. I suddenly realize (and I acknowledge how stupid this sounds) that I am having an out of body experience, and my perspective is floating beside the vehicle. Looking around, I determine that we are heading west, towards a point where the road ends and an overgrown path leads back to the cabin on the forest hill.

Come to think of it, I'm not entirely sure why Christian is in the car. Was he at the party? He doesn't do drugs. I'm also not sure why we are heading back. Maybe I forgot something important?

Before we reach the end of the road, our way is blocked by three lionesses. Aroused from their sleep, they stare hungrily at us, tongues reaching out to lick lips. The van lurches to a halt, and without saying a word, Erin slowly does a U-turn and we drive away.

We zoom over the crest of a hill, but I happen to look behind and glimpse an old man and woman walking the road, their fat bodies awkwardly contained within grey and white shorts and t-shirts. Their grey hair sticks to their sweaty heads, and the taller moustached man rubs perspiration from his spectacles. We crest the hill and they disappear from my view (which has unfortunately returned to my body). I fear that the oblivious oldies will be easy prey for the three carnivorous predators, so I quickly devise a plan. Lemon, Christian, and I will run to their rescue, and Erin will wait in the van, ready for out getaway as soon as we return. Simple enough.

It all goes wrong. My comrades fling open the door and run over the hill, but I am frozen. I don't know whether it is fear or cowardice (there's a difference, you know). Whatever the reason, it is overwhelmed by a foreboding sense of doom deep my guts as I watch my two friends run towards their peril while I wait safely behind. Anxiety clutches my chest. They make it to the old couple just in time to join their demise as the feline trio descends upon them all. Wide-eyed, I tell Erin to leave, and she obeys me, leaving them to fend for themselves. We make our way down the road in silence, van doors wide open, the sounds of the trees whooshing by. Oh well. You can't change the past. If we turn around now, we'll be late for the cat training class at the community center. We wouldn't want to be late.

The road emerges from the choking forest, and we arrive at a cheerful looking building. We park the van, we go inside. We hang our coats on pegs and neatly leave our shoes in the small square entry room, before continuing into a larger main room with a long table in the center. Everything inside is wood except for some paintings and other decorations hanging on pegs along the wall.

We mingle with the many people already here, and I notice Lemon is among them. I desperately want to ask him how he got here before we did, what happened back with the lionesses, and where Christian is, but I feel too ashamed and decide not to bring it up and expose my cowardice. Everyone takes a seat along the long table and pulls out their personal bag of catfood. I have large sized, half-empty bag of rank smelling dry kitty kibbles. The lessons begin, but my mind wanders from boring lectures on cathood, into the realms of my own secret past...

In the vast expanses of my untold and unremembered histories, my thoughts settle upon an old acquaintance of mine. I reminisce about our unhappy final encounter; more unhappy for him than me. My acquaintance was a small monkey, like Curious George with a bad temper. It was so long ago, the details mostly forgotten, yet one I remember clearly: I beat this monkey on the head. With a stick. Repeatedly.

My trip down memory lane is cut short with the realization that the lecture is over and everyone is leaving. When I get to the coat room, I realize that I have forgotten my sack of catfood. I groggily return to the long room, finding the half-empty bag still laying at my spot on the table. As I approach to reclaim it, I am struck by the fact that the room appears to have become much smaller. I shrug and continue forwards, opting to get my item and get the heck out of this boring place...

But things never go as easily as expected. I reach for my bag, and out jumps the monkey! You know, the one who I beat in the head multiple times? The one who has recovered, the one who has a score to settle? And... the one who now has the Ebola virus? Bulging purple fingers tipped with crusty Ebola virus claws lash out at my arm, missing by an inch as I jump back. The monkey starts climbing and jumping along the walls, circling me like Spiderman. He jumps at me suddenly, biting at my leg! Fortunately, his small jaws and pointy teeth are unable to penetrate my thick black pants, although I notice his mouth foam soaks right through. He backs off, once again circling me. Somehow I feel confident; he can't get me through my pants! And I'm right, he doesn't get through my pants. Instead, he goes for my bare arm, biting deeply. I wish I could go back and change our past. Oh well. Now the score is settled, and now I have his Ebola virus. "Damn", I think to myself as my vision closes in, "I'll get that Ebola monkey if it's the last thing I do!" Then, total darkness.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Very interesting. I like the catfood and the woods impinging on the road. I see an emerging theme about changing the past to improve the present!!!! Jane