Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Amusement park" in a building in a city

I was walking down the street of a city. This city was laid out rather like Washington, D.C., but there were a lot more high-rises there. It was more like walking down the streets of NYC or downtown Dallas. The one major difference was that the buildings were all painted and colorful.

Another difference: all these high-rises were connected to each other several stories up. You could go into one building, go up to the 10th floor (that number sounds good), and you could then walk from building to building. This was laid out to replicate the sidewalks and crosswalks in this city.

If you want to see a very close spot on the map, the dream was partially inspired by this point: Go to http://maps.google.com and search for "Constitution Ave NW & 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20004". The only major difference is that right were Constitution meets Pennsylvania directly east from that point, picture a huge, steep hill right there, and the aforementioned connected high-rises all over the place.

Anyway, I was walking with a group of about eight other guys. We were all dressed in slacks, shirts and ties, and we were just walking down the street. Oddly enough, I only knew one guy in the group: Dominic C., from Texas. There were a couple Christendom guys in the group, but I only know them by sight, and not by name.

We were walking mostly together, east-bound along this road, through crowds of men and women dressed in suits and smart dresses (respectively). I suddenly realized that not everyone in this group was actually walking. Some of these people had roller shoes. You know what I mean -- the ones with the wheel in the heel. But I don't mean sneakers. I mean normal dress shoes. Anywhere from $1000's snake-skinned shoes to the shiny military style to the $19.99 Wal-Mart specials. It was very interesting seeing these business people just scooting along on their heels.

Up ahead, there was a small group of men supporting a much older man. He looked to be in his sixties, and the men supporting him were in their thirties to forties. It was obvious that he had never scooted like this before. He seemed to be getting the hang of it, but just like everyone else who has never skated before, he was grabbing onto them and other things for support. He did not have roller shoes. He had gotten roller skates to get used to the feeling first. It looked like he had gotten the cheapest kind on the market, too. They were pink, and had little flowers all over them -- obviously, a little girl's skate. But instead of having the normal rollerskate look, the axles were built into the sole of the shoe, putting the four wheels on the side of the shoe, instead of underneath them. The entire thing was plastic, so it was definitely not a quality ride...

As we continued walking, we approached this very large hill. The sidewalks on this hill were absolutely covered with these skaters. In fact, it seems that at the top of the hill, they disregarded the fact that they were professional men and women. They hopped onto their wheels at the top of the hill, and zoomed in and out of all the people who were just walking. They even had assistance in getting that extra boost of speed at the top of the hill. They would all help each other out by providing a shove to the person up on the top to help them get going as fast as they could. There was quite a line for it, too. I'm not sure if there was a designated pusher, or if the people in the line would just push the man or woman in front of them, and then be pushed in turn by the person behind them.

In any event, anyone and everyone who had wheels was being pushed. This included an old man in a wheelchair. He was minding his own business, when all of a sudden, someone behind him gave him a huge shove and sent him tearing down the hill. In a fright, he doubled over in his seat and covered up his head. I saw it all, and hurried to get to the old man. I stopped directly in his path, and slowed his wheelchair down to a stop. I asked him if he was all right, but he didn't move. He finally uncurled, and started slowly wheeling himself away. I imagined that he was too shocked to speak, and I just let him go. As he uncurled himself a got a look at him: if you've been to Old St. Mary's, he was the bald old African American man who sits in the back of the church. He is usually dressed in brown, and has a brown backpack with him. He also wears a white air filter face mask.

In any case, the guys and I turned north. We headed along this road towards our destination. You recall the title of this post? Well, there were three Six Flags in the city, they were all within a few blocks of each other along this road, and they were all contained within their individual skyscrapers. We were headed to a place called "Six Flags: Enigma", the headquarters of all Six Flags.

We arrived there and went inside. But we had entered the wrong Six Flags. No problem -- they had a subway system as well that connected the buildings, so they put us in a car and shot us towards Six Flags: Enigma. When we arrives, we saw that the employees were all dressed in lab coats, but they greeted us like any ordinary Six Flags employees. As we walked through the first set of doors, they warned us that weird things would happen inside.

And was it ever true! We all started slowly changing shape into animals -- de-evolving if you will. One of us turned into a giant rat. Another changed into a wolf. I turned into a Tyrannosaurus Rex. We were all still perfectly rational, and we all recognized each other. It was as though this is what we had always been.

As we left, we walked outside and saw that we weren't the only ones to have visited this place. There were a lot of other animals walking around outside, mingling and interacting with everyone else. The rat and I gave each other looks of approval, and went out to join the crowd.