I am on a train, moving from one specific geothermal region to another. Desert. Endless dunes as far as the eye can see. The train is full of a mix of people and a few scattered anthropomorphized animals; elephants, lions, bears, hippos…
Rising like a hazy oasis from the desert sand is a tall domed structure, all concrete and glass.
“Now approaching the Welcome Center. Prepare to disembark.”
I watch the wind kick up little dust devils outside my window as the train slows.
I nudge my partner awake. He is played by the actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
We are spies.
Our mission is … unclear.
[Shrouded in the earlier part of the dream, perhaps]
We get off the train. It is warm, but not unbearable.
We duck into the building and are quickly routed to a room with a movie theatre size screen and stadium seating. Everyone is standing around, waiting for something. The configuration of the movie screen to the seats is odd. The room is a triangle, it is as if you ran a diagonal down the middle of a square theatre without reorienting the seats. So you need to crane your head 45 degrees to the right in order to see the entirety of the projection screen.
A. Is where I end up sitting B. Jake Gyllenhaal C. The Elephant
At some unseen signal, there is a mad rush for seats. There are too many people, several are left standing.
The screen flickers to life and titles come up:
Welcome to Welcome Center B
Jaunty piano music accompanies the presentation.
Please follow these rules to make everyone’s experience happy
Before the rules can be seen, the film is interrupted by a blue-skinned, warty faced anthropomorphized horned desert lizard, who sounds a bit like Steve Buscemi.
“Please be on the alert. We have been notified that we have spies on the premises. Please be on the lookout for these people.”
The face of Jake shows up onscreen, followed shortly thereafter by an image of me. I raise my hands slowly and give a very slow golf clap, Jake gives a “whoo-hoo” from the seat next to me. The crowd around us does nothing.
Instructions come onscreen, complete with visual aids and text, instructing me to conduct an operation on the anthropomorphized blue elephant that is sitting directly behind me in the theater. I am asked to replace the frontal lobe of the elephant with half of a spongey kneecap that is located upon the surgical tray tables that have been placed right next to the elephant. I ignore the onscreen message, and the brief countdown clock; 30 seconds, 29 seconds, 28 seconds…
I know in my heart that it is opposite day, and that means if they give us orders, they are to be ignored.
The elephant goes into cardiac arrest.
I feel confident I am doing the right thing, I get up and give an exaggerated theatrical bow to no one in particular. Jake gives a slow golf clap.
Leaving Jake behind, I walk from the theatre and I get on board the train to go to the next stop on the line.
As the train leaves the station, I wake up feeling a little guilty. Wondering what that poor blue elephant did to get himself in that predicament.
Speaking of anthropomorphized animals, Zootopia is a great movie, nothing like the above.