The dream engine raises the waters

by , under dream engine, life

Whether it was global warming or an asteroid hitting Antarctica or whatever else I don’t know, but the level of the oceans was rising a lot very fast, something like two or three meters in a matter of days. I was in Rotterdam, taking various trams and buses to inexplicable places, mostly in company but that changed all the time. I saw all the media coverage in passing, some on TV screens in shop windows, some in the free newspaper that’s on non-train public transport, some on the Internet when I had wifi: world maps that showed the territory already flooded. One of the tabloids, on its website, had a huge headline “OCEAN COVERS 50% OF EARTH” which made the Scotsman who was in our house for the past week in waking life (but went home yesterday) say, in the deadpan way he has, “oh, did they lower it then?” because, of course, oceans cover much more than that (71% in fact).

Meanwhile Rotterdam, which is below sea level, wasn’t even wet. Dampish, but that was because of a persistent drizzle.

My companion (I don’t remember which one, thought at first it was my other half but he wouldn’t be so clueless about public transport so it must have been someone else) bought bus tickets, an obsolete strippenkaart, but it turned out that our tickets only covered part of the trip. “What do we do now?” he asked, and I’d spotted a tobacconist (where they did have bus tickets before they were obsolete) so we went there and bought lots of things, but not bus tickets. Or tobacco, even. Sweets, newspapers and a world map, as far as I remember.

Then we were on a tram after all, with or without a ticket, ending up at a place where I knew there was an Orthodox house church on the first floor of the house of one of my friends. The friend was there, so I could give her someone’s note I had for her. Also a woman who had a particularly flat (but cute) white snake with a broad black head and big bulging eyes, and Eritrean people I know with their newborn triplets (quads, really, but one boy had died, leaving a boy and two girls. Also, their actual youngest child is about 7 and I don’t think they’re expecting any more). The woman with the snake had made me a silver mask to cover my face below the eyes, two matching silver headdresses that I could choose one from, and one large dangly-disc earring. I put them all on immediately, but I lost them within the hour and didn’t even notice until I touched my face and didn’t encounter the mask.