i was sitting on 9th street at a fold up tale with brent and max. it was really good to see them as they had moved away a long time ago. it was overcast but warm out with patches of sunlight. we were drinking glasses of water and talking about seinfield.
i found myself out of water and very thirsty, so i asked them if they wanted some water. i walked to the walgreens down the street, but when i got inside, noticed that the entire place had revamped into this luxury spa-like massive home furnishings and carpet store. it still had some basic home products and some pharmacy items, but moreover, the entire store was many shades of black, silver, and gray. the staff were few, and there was an air of hollow museum about the whole place.
in looking for jugs of water, i wandered downstairs to the spa area. a man asked if i needed help, and i told him that the likelihood that i would find what i needed there was slim. i walked out of the store and called greg to come meet me on the way back to the table.
i used a side exit and immediately was put out into the real world again. gone was the sleek futuristic comfort of the evolved walgreens, and in back of the store was a gritty, ochre-stained rusting wasteland, scattered with tall buildings and forests in the background.
there was a long chain link fence running along the borders of the lot behind the store, so i followed it across the field to where i believed the exit to the street was. it felt like i walked for ten minutes, then i realized this wasn’t brooklyn, it was probably portland oregon or somewhere else i had been walking through the whole time.
it made sense at the time.
i eventually got to a gate where a group of guys were waiting at a corrugated steel door. they were trying to egg the people on my side of the door to “man up” or act out in some macho way in order to gain passage through. it was all very mosh pit and strange. some people were yelling and spitting and wearing costumes, but i could see everyone was just play-acting and maybe a little scared.
i told the head guy i didn’t have time for this, and demanded to be let through. greg showed up around that time, and helped me talk my way through the gate, because we were not fighters, and had no time for that mess.
greg and i walked a little more, and realized that the gate lead to these train tracks, long and unending underneath this massive overpass. i had never noticed this while crossing the field. there were a group of workers securing the track and rails. they said to be real careful and warned us about walking on the tracks. we said that we were just going back to the street, and that we weren’t planning on staying long.
looking down at the tracks, i could see that they were floating on a pile of rust-ochre colored rocks and near-submerged in water. i could only surmise that the rocks came from the same slopes and geological formations i had seen earlier. the workers paid it no special attention, so i thought nothing of it, but noted the composition.
we ended up walking up a hill and found a swanky home to rest at. it turned out to be the house that max had moved to, and brent called my phone. he said they knew what happened to us, forget about the water, and they’d meet us at the house.
we walked into the home, and it reminded me of houses i’d been to back home in albany, california. the nicer houses with the three levels and a rec-room. the ones with hot tub decks and balconies, and i thought to myself, “max is doing really good.”
we hung out, and they surprised me with tall glasses of water. they came into the room like it was a birthday party, and we were really glad to see each other.
take a moment to recall some of the best things that happened to you today. take a moment for the contemplation and reflection of each memory. tuck them away in the mind for those times when life is not so forgiving or mundane.