The human animal is touted to be a complex creature by some. The the foibles of the multiplicity of cults and shades of same spread across the globe attest that every concept is explored even to the point of too many viewpoints being diametrically opposite. Yet by virtue of the exclusivity of animal existence of the corporal body shared by all there is a commonality of experience that often defies custom to unite the species in a common sense of gut based understanding. These powers enforce their will through the self created demons of the night within the vast and enigmatic kingdom of sleep.
I can recall being within a large old lazy balloon framed structure heralding an existence of some eighty years or more within which nothing much had seemed to change. The groups that traveled past to and fro were but a few years younger than the edifice. There was a leisurely covered promenade that crossed what seemed to be a small waterway. The lounge on the other side seemed essentially the same save for the appearance of a small innocuous sign that proclaimed, “Her Majesties’ Commonwealth”, leveraged below eye level at the end of the walkway. I found myself wandering first to the reception desk where the only elderly attendant was busily engaged in an extended conversation with a sister in arms. And then to a comfortable couch on a window facing out on the gulf of the water that I had just passed. Absentmindedly, I fell hard upon the overstuffed cushion of the couch and rebounded with a start. The bulk of the holster of my ‘carry’ gun pinched up hard against my back and I instinctively removed the small automatic before easing back down upon the vertical part of the divan. Instinctively, I cupped my hands over the black shape pushing it down between my legs to diminish its visibility to other wandering eyes. Though my credo advanced the notion of enforcing my constitutional rights for self-protection in this time of random lawlessness, I was keenly aware of the paranoia of others who saw such implements as the lawless playthings of the devil. I was not so foolish to believe that the sight of same would be challenged more time than not.
Sure enough one of the old dowagers by the vicinity of the desk began nervously whispering to the other who in turn seemed to be summoning the courage to advance in my direction. Instinctively, I shoved the pistol between the cushions beside me as surreptitiously as I could. As the woman advanced, it dawned upon me that I had somehow crossed over the border to Canada where a rabid anti-firearm policy was currently in force. Was I now so mentally addled that I had stumbled into a situation that would cause me unending grief and possible incarceration? The woman who advanced towards me seemed to sense the innocence of my distress and standing before me now asked if there was anything she could do to assist me. Though her hair was gray signaling an advance in age a few year beyond my own there was something fundamentally attractive about her that not only invited felicity but trust. All I can remember is that whether it was in the short span of time occasioned by memory or by the actual act of same, we became romantically intimate. I had the distinct impression that the police had been called by the old crow that had originally spied my piece. But by that point, I was no longer in the vicinity but rather arm in arm with my new companion on the pier just outside.
When we returned indoors after what seemed to be weeks or months , she presented me with the wooden effigy of a child’s pistol before a waiting magistrate. The absurdity of the situation creating a raucous exchange of laughter that through the possibility of investigation completely off its pins. I had to wonder if I had been cast into another world or another time as I walked back to my own side of the waterway. I was aware that the pistol in question was now hidden away in the hollow of this toy. A gift from this phantom woman, my guardian spirit.
At some point later in the night, the focus of my travels turned unexpectedly to a small neighborhood in North Korea to visit friends who were currently staying there on assignment for the behalf of a corporate vendor. Though no one said so explicitly, it was quite evident that expressing one’s self verbally could lead to harsh punishment or worse. Even casting one’s gaze the wrong way for too long at an official, especially when they were engaged in some outrageously violent behavior was especially dangerous to the viewer. So the three of us walked slowly as if in a self-inspired dream that suggested perfect harmony with the fiction of the model society that was official state dogma. Step by step we advanced to what appeared to be a Korean style ‘mom and pop’ bakery. A small squad of soldiers spilled out from the entrance physically forming a cordon to the street and the ruling Kim tumbled out, pastry boxes in hand waddling towarda a limo that instantly appeared, door flung open at the ready by the curb.
Like a school of fish the three of us changed our course of direction a full 180° while feigning some sort of sleepwalking pantomime of an undisclosed item far behind us being suddenly recollected. Back down to the other end of the block we slowly floated cloud-like across the pavement. There was a vast parking area at the rear of the bakery behind a fenced off entrance. We strolled forth into the parking area of a soccer stadium where an event was currently in progress. The home team was viciously engaged in a brutal contest with some other team from the ‘sticks’. At one point their anger turned to unreasoning fury at what was considered a bad call by the referee and they began to accost all the cheerleaders on the field and physically assault them. Much to our horror, this festival of mass rape and mayhem challenged our group’s ability to remain outwardly passively disinterested. The hapless women were hoisted skyward impaled upon long bamboo rods their arms waving frantically in the air like pennants in a violent wind. We tried to look the other way but our collective disgust at this incredibly cruel display extended beyond any further facade of ignorance. We all hurriedly left the vicinity to respectively find the fastest avenue of final escape from this hellish land.