We had to take the girls to the dentist whose office was in the strip mall right across the street. The little baby wanted to ride her bicycle, so we took it downstairs and started walking. But somehow, in the 200 yards or so from the apartment to the dentist, I got lost. I ended up in some store in the strip mall that I had never seen before. It looked like some sort of evening gown warehouse. Rows and rows of beautiful evening gowns of every conceivable description hung on racks in a large, dark room. It looked as though someone were waiting to have a sale, holding the goods here until the sale began. I looked for a door out of the room, and the onlyl door led to a staircase that led upward.
I went upstairs and found myself in a large gallery looking room. I was no longer in a southern California strip mall. I was in a castle or mansion near the sea, and this room overlooked the sea and a long walkway where a man was sitting at a small wrought-iron table reading the paper.
There was a woman who was supposed to be my dancing master or something. She was issuing commands to me and screeching that I was going to be punished if I didn't do what she said. I tried, but it made no sense to me. She was hitting me with a riding crop, trying to get me to dance or do some sort of work, I'm not sure which. She made reference to the man outside who would also come and punish me if I didn't do what I was supposed to.
I finally ran outside and realized that the man was pirateguillermo, who immediately showered me with protestations of love and told the horrible woman that she was fired. "That's okay," she said. "I can always write for television." It turned out that she was a writer for some reality show, and that this was part of that reality show. I was scandalized.
I walked away, thinking that I was just going to walk back to the apartment, but it turned out to be miles and miles away, walking down a long sidewalk that went along the beach. As I walked along the beach, I looked at the water. The air was gray and misty, and there were people out in the water doing something that looked like clamming, but I couldn't see them clearly enough to be sure. I began to feel cold from the mist, and sped up my pace.
I came around a large curve and heard a noise off to my right, toward the beach. I looked back and saw riders riding along the edge of the water. The riders were all dressed in brightly colored costumes, as though they were part of a circus or some club. But more remarkable than their costumes were their mounts. Horses in beautiful saddles with bright ribbon bridles, elephants, camels, ostriches, all decked out in resplendent costumes and running with riders on their backs. The riders were laughing and chasing one another, and I began to run, realizing that I could easily pace the crowd of animals. It felt joyous to be running along with all the animals and people, and their laughter began to include me.
That feeling of lightness and inclusion hasn't really left.