In a recurring dream scene, I returned to college to find that the campus and the neighborhood were utterly unfamiliar. The dormitories had become Borgian labyrinths, modern and strange, yet dark and cluttered. Outdoors I expected to find the usual bland streets and city lights, but, as I usually find, there was a magnificent oceanscape and natural area, just a few blocks away. As always, I wondered why I hadn’t spent time there back then, although I hadn’t known it existed and wasn’t sure it actually had. I mourned the lost opportunity.
Some friends and I went to a restaurant in a crowded block of storefronts that looked more like San Francisco than Hyde Park. Someone drove me and others home in a yellow convertible roadster. When she parked in a narrow alley, I could feel the car inching forward after she had gotten out, refusing to stay put. She noticed it, too. I called for help, but the others had left. She and I managed to stop it, and she drove it forward onto what looked like a hilly country road in Pennsylvania, around the bend. In the twilight, the car suddenly looked pink.
The car’s refusal to behave, the changing landscapes, and the altered color combined to frighten me. I felt like I must be in a virtual funhouse, happy one moment, terrified the next.