Dream Asylum

I don't pretend to understand them.


One of my dreams last night involved an island resort where students went to enjoy themselves. The island was actually a gigantic rock poking up from the ocean. Somewhere inside there was a large room with that hard high-school flavor carpeting, where all sorts of people I mostly want to forget about were kicking back.

Most of the more annoying high-school wankers were there, bouncing off the walls and hooting like hairless apes, usually waving some drink from the nearby bar in their fist. After chatting with the few people from my high school days that I could tolerate, a group of tired sweaty students staggered in from a hallway. A loudspeaker announced that 'the races' had just finished, and rattled off a list of unfamiliar names as the winners.

Curious, I walked down the hallway where the group had come from, knowing I was breaking some kind of unspoken house rule in doing so. I followed the hallway as it turned left and right in a random fashion, sometimes angling down in a short ramp, the floor nothing but that high-school carpeting, the walls well-lit but consistently whitewashed and blank. Eventually I arrived at the place where the races had finished.

The hard carpet ended and beyond I saw a scattering of large triangular black plastic markers on the polished tile floor, each one labeled with the number of a racer whose final position it indicated. I saw some bland posters on the walls that had to do with physical health, and a table next to the finish line (a black row in the floor tiles).

On the table was a row of dishes, each filled with a different color of candy. Some of the colors were different shapes and sizes as well. I wandered over to a stairway going up from the finishing area and saw an additional dish resting on the wide, flat cement railing. Large misshapen green M&M's were on the plate, with a crayon- scrawled on notepaper sign taped to the side of the railing reading "Mercy".

I sampled a few of these and they tasted like a minty 3-musketeers bar. As I chewed I walked over to the table and noticed a spiral-bound notebook that I hadn't seen before. Inside was a chart identifying all the candies on the table. They were types like "Power", "Life", "Speed", "Drive", "Anger", and "Tension". The book had a few pages covering each candy in greater detail, but nowhere in the book were mentioned the "Mercy" candies I had found on the stairway railing.