Friday, October 31, 2008

Dream - The vault

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, I fell asleep around 12:30 PM for about ten minutes, and dreamed I was in a large dimly lit vault. In the dream I felt it was something like a bank vault, but in retrospect it seems more like a mausoleum. Along the left wall were large polished black granite panels, perhaps 16 inches high and 30 inches wide. They were in rows along the wall, which was the same color, and extended perhaps an inch from the wall. They had a little space, perhaps an inch or two, between them. I was probably six or seven feet from the back wall, facing the left wall and examining the panels, brushing them a little with the fingers of my left hand, barely touching them.

Behind me, shadowy people in dark suits occasionally came and went, one or two at a time, presumably on business of some kind. Sometimes they were not much more than just faint blurred figures, with occasional flashes of a white shirt and the suggestion of a face, looking like pictures taken with a camera that was unable to properly freeze the motion, with the ends of the arms and legs almost fading out. Sometimes they barely felt physical at all.

They never tried to talk to me or interact with me, always going past me toward the back, sometimes then turning toward the right and going somewhere away from me and out of my awareness. I felt that money was stored somewhere behind me and perhaps a little along the back wall, presumably in something like safe-deposit boxes and maybe safes, though I didn't see anything and didn't try to look for it. I was mostly concerned with the panels.

Feeling the panels with my fingers, I had found that some of them were a little rough or uneven, some much more so than others. Some of it seemed to be in the rock itself but some of it, particularly on some panels, was mostly accumulated grime, like it had been a long time since maintenance on them had been performed. I curled the fingers of my left hand and started rapidly scratching at the surface of the panels, starting at an upper one, sending tiny thin pieces of the surface off, so tiny or thin they were hard to see properly, like ashes or the memory of ashes, like the ghosts of ashes and the ghosts of powdery dust.

As the surface of a panel got smoother I moved to a lower one, and then a lower one. The third one down from where I started, the second one up from the floor, was a lot rougher, feeling like slightly smoothed-over dried soap scum. This one was going to take a lot longer.

I continued to work while the shadowy presences came and went behind me. It looked like it would take a long time to do all the panels. I wondered what would happen if everyone left and went home for the day and I got locked in. I thought that surely they would have some janitorial service that would come during the night and clean the vault, at least sometimes, so I would get out eventually, and might not have to spend a whole night or weekend there.

Scratching near a lower corner of the panel, trying to smooth out the final irregularities in that area, I noticed that I was making a shallow depressed area diagonally across the stone. I decided to leave that area as it was rather than try any more there, as it seemed like the irregularities at that point were caused by the inclusions in the rock being of different hardness from the surrounding matrix, and it didn't look like I would be able to smooth it there any further with just my fingernails. Someone would have to use real equipment to get that area any smoother, if they cared enough to go that far.

I considered whether to work on another area of that panel, which was still mostly unsmoothed, or to move to a different panel, perhaps one to the right. I was starting to wonder, also, if this project, a task I had undertaken on my own, without any prompting from anyone, was something I should continue to do. Nobody appeared to notice the condition of the panels, and they would probably not notice even if they were smooth and clean. There was also the question of whether they would mind me doing what I was doing, as I had no authority to be doing anything. It was just something that I found, something that I felt needed correcting.

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