April 3rd, 2014

The Path Just Ends...

It's about quarter to ten in the morning, and I really shouldn't be awake, because I have to be ready to be awake until at least 3am for work tomorrow, but I just had a really... interesting dream that I must write about.

So I'm at the Toronto Zoo, just walking around. I find my way to where there's a long, bendy, ascending wooden pathway rising up over trees and various animals' enclosures (tigers come to mind) down below. Not long before stepping onto that path, I notice that everything to my left is blue. Just sky blue, devoid of trees or animals or scenery or anything else of that sort. Unsettling as that was, I explained it to myself as being that that part of the zoo was under maintenance - they were just rebuilding it, and I had only never seen that before. Still, though, the feeling was decidedly uncomfortable. I didn't notice it at all in the dream, but it was as if to my right, things were as they should be, and to my left, the world just doesn't exist. Kind of fitting that I'm writing this in OmmWriter, and have my background set to the one that's lighter blue above some nondescript darker blue wave shape. I didn't notice that until just now either...

Anyway, I'm walking, looking down over the edges of the path to see if I can spot anything, when I see standing down on a little section of land that does exist *just* outside my point of view from the path, a couple of the zoo's staff. I shout to them "Hey, there's supposed to be a forest down there!", in largely an amused tone, but also with a slight tinge of apprehension, hoping that they'll be able to explain why just nothing whatsoever exists for as far as the eye can see over there. Their response? They didn't. Didn't look up, didn't give any indication that they heard me... Just stood there continuing to stare at whatever they were working on. I can't remember how that made me feel specifically, but I know I decided to just continue walking, and see what I might find. Continued normal world to my right, nonexistence (save for the color blue!) to my left, when suddenly I encountered an obstacle. Well, maybe it's not correct to say I encountered an obstacle when what I came across was the literal end of the path. The two sides (which were spread far enough apart to accommodate a full-sized vehicle previously) met at an abrupt point, and right at the tip of that point was either a telephone pole or a tree. If it was a pole, it started on level with the path, and went up from there, and if it was a tree, it grew through the path, and went up farther than I could tell. In both cases, I didn't care to look, because something at a great height + nothing else to focus on nearby = vertigo. Even then, the main point is I couldn't continue. The path just stopped. To make it worse, all I could see when I looked out from there was nothing. The land ended in a triangle similar to the path, so no matter where I looked, except to the right and behind me, I just saw the blue void.

I imagine I thought something like "Okay, that's not right", or "Creepy", but before I knew it, I was already headed back the other way. When the dream picked up again, I found myself at a crossroads. Everywhere I looked around me, there was land. I still knew from my prior experience that if I started to head back to where I was again, the world would again appear to fall away, and I was honestly quite relieved to be away from that. The problem I faced then was not knowing where to go. Directly behind me was the beginning of the wooden path I'd just come from. Directly ahead of me was forest. No disernible path through, and I didn't want to get lost if I could avoid it. To my right, I saw a footpath that roughly followed the wood path, except it went down along the ground, with a natural dip in the middle. Despite having had no indication prior (it was quite sunny in the dream before that), there was a reasonable covering of snow on the ground, and I could see footprints all along up and down that path. In spite of there being no direct indication of it though, I somehow knew it was a zoo staff-only path. Maybe because of seeing those couple people standing somewhere along it while I was up on the wooden walkway... I just didn't want to go down it if avoidable either though, so as to avoid trouble. That meant my only option was to the look to the left, where I found a proper footprints-in-snow-covered path weaving through trees. It still didn't seem entirely right to think that I should walk through it, but as the conclusion I eventually came to went, it was my only choice.

I'm walking along just normally, and after a bit, the path widens out. I took that as a good sign, assuming it must mean I was getting closer to the zoo's entrance, even though I still hadn't seen and couldn't see any signs or markings to help that thought along. What did, however, was seeing a person off to my right. They were jumping along kind of oddly, and once again, I, being so unassuming, jumped to the conclusion that they must work at the zoo. I was glad to have come to that conclusion when they noticed me (perhaps I should note that by that point, I was pretty much walking on all fours for some inexplicable reason), and began racing in my direction, brandishing a wooden spear. Said spear was thrust at my face when they got close enough to leap forward, but they stopped just an inch short, which I took as completely normal, and didn't faze me at all. Now, any reasonable person in that situation would ask this other person for directions / assistance. How to get out of the zoo, why there's literal nothingness as far as the eye can see some distance back from their current location, why they're jumping around threatening people with a wood spear, or perhaps the most bleeding obvious, what it is with a zoo that you've been in for a considerable amount of time to have seen no animals, but I took a different approach. Oh, indeed I did. My semi-conscious brain (that is, the one inside of the me that was laying in bed asleep in real life) decided the best, most reasonable angle would be to consult and offer them suggested improvements on their acting performance. I've seen or heard this done in real life - I know it - but as I can't remember where, my general process was to ask them how they felt about how they were acting, and what they would change if their performance was up to them (within reasonable limits). At first, this person seemed unwilling to consider the idea of change. They told me they were happy acting the way their employer wanted them to, but I asked again. Setting aside their employer's wishes, if their act was up to them, what would they do differently? He tilted his head up, scratched his chin, and thought for a moment, before coming up with a different answer. These words aren't exact, but "I suppose I'd try to be more like Shrek", he said, before mimimg a more playful approach to sneaking up on people. He seemed to understand the idea of trying something different, and I said nothing more to him, only thinking an encouraging "Good!", before continuing on my way. I walked for a little while longer, then started wondering if I'd see the snow leopards at some point. I should mention again that I had yet to actually see any animals. I knew I was in the zoo. That much was undisputable, but apart from some vaguely familiar surroundings, it could've been any other wilderness. As if on cue, however, when I thought about the big cats, a couple came racing by, not terribly close, but still just off to my side. They didn't stop, and indeed, why should they have, and I took it as just completely normal and expected. "Why should I get anything from them now?" I thought. It was no different than any time I've actually seen them at the zoo.

Past that, I don't remember much else. I woke up, somewhat surprised to find myself in bed, thought about the dream, wanted to write about it, realized I had to go to the bathroom first, and... here I am. I'm still pretty tired, so I think I might actually go back to bed. We're supposed to be going out to Giant Tiger and Dollarama later, then having Evo over for supper at some point after that, and as stated at the beginning of this, I do want to be up until at least 3am, and that's not going to happen under the current circumstances. But first, I want to send an email about an order for a few things I placed a week ago. It's for a site that Jen showed me initially, which I ordered from for the first time then. My first order went fine, but the second one has been "In Warehouse for Packing" for a week now. Yeah. Hopefully the administrative address proves more useful than the contact form on the website. That'll be all for now though. I've accomplished what I wanted, so hopefully I can just entirely pass out and wake up feeling completely rested. That'd be nice~