On an escalator going down. At the bottom I walk across a dimly gleaming polished floor. Muted lights line the walls, casting a warm yellow glow that doesn’t do much to illuminate. I’m in a shopping mall. It appears to be empty, but as I walk past storefronts I sense people inside them. I keep walking towards the exit doors. Bright light radiates from them. I reach the doors and push them open. I step out and am standing in sand. My feet sink down into it to my ankles. I go forward, wading slowly through the soft, sifting sand. I’m wearing a light floral print dress and a big floppy red hat with a feather in it. I’m happy because I want this hat. Margaret Cho was wearing it in a Weird Al video.
I’m in sand dunes near a seashore. A wind blows across my skin and face. It carries a chill and the scent of the ocean. I press on, climbing the dune in front of me. Giant rusted ship anchors are set into the dunes, forming strangely whimsical rows. They seem too big, or I’m too small. My feet are sinking into the sand and it’s difficult to walk, but I keep on. I notice grass in patchy tufts on the sand. [It’s called marram grass or beach grass] A sea bird stands on one long spindly leg in the sand. I hear him cawing. I reach the first anchor in a long line of them at the top of the dune. It’s very large, like the anchor on a giant steamer ship. It sits planted upright. I reach out and very lightly touch it with my fingertips. It’s covered in variegated shades of rust. I look down the line of them. There are ten, fifteen, maybe twenty of them and that’s just one line. There are at least three or four rows of them planted among the dunes. I walk through them to the other side of the dune and start going downhill. This is much faster and I almost break into a run as gravity tugs me to the bottom. When I get there, I stop, close my eyes and relish the feel of the wind on my face. The smell of the ocean is strong here. It stretches out ahead of me, flat and dark blue. There’s a lot of sand between me and the water, maybe a half a mile or so. The water laps gently at the shore in small waves. What I’m seeing looks like a cove or a harbor of some sort.
I look back up at the dunes and see a black figure standing on the top. I get an uncomfortable feeling and want the figure to go away. Then I sense a guide by my side. I can’t really see it – it’s a vague, shimmery form. It tells me I’m safe and not to worry. The black figure on the dune literally dissolves from the top down, like a bunch of pixels collapsing into itself. Then it’s gone. I relax and breathe in the air. A large Golden Retriever appears before me, wagging his tail and panting happily. The guide says I’m looking at shadows of the past. A man dressed in sailor garb appears next to the dog. They start climbing the dunes, coming right towards us. The dog jumps in the air and goes right through me, like I’m not there. I turn and see him behind me, barking at his companion. The man speaks to the dog and catches up with him. The guide says to me, “This is Portugal”. I gaze out at the ocean and breathe. Then I hear “Wake up.”