Friday, September 30, 2005

Am I Dreaming Political Metaphors Now?

I order a car service to drive me to an event in Philadelphia. The car arrives, and behind the wheel is Arnold Schwarzenegger. "This is just something I'm doing for extra money," he says. I don't ask questions.

So I'm in the back seat of the Lincoln Town Car and I realize he is an awesome driver. We're darting through NYC traffic like it's nothing. Comforted by his competence, and overtired, I doze off. When I wake up, we are on some kind of bridge, going like 200 MPH. It is dark. I see an unfamiliar city in the distance. I'm a little scared by the speed, but too drowsy to do anything about it.

We're supposed to pick up my friend in suburban Jersey. "You know how to get there, right?" I say.

"No, I've never been there before." He takes out a map of New Jersey that is like a primary school cartoon, four lines on an index card.

"That's your only map?"

"I never had any problem before."

Oh. I don't have directions, and I can't remember how to get there. "Let's call her," I say. "Surprise her. She'll get a kick out of talking to you."

He laughs, but doesn't want to call her. He pulls over and lets me out, saying, "OK, you look that way, and I'll look the other way." Drives off.

So I look for a landmark, something that will help me get to my friend's house. I find myself in a beautiful forest with a lake. But it doesn't look familiar. I backtrack, and end up at a gas station. The Lincoln is parked out front. Arnold is on the pay phone, screaming at someone, waving his kiddie map in his hand.

I walk up to his bodyguard (who suddenly materializes in the story) and say, "Good, I'm glad I found you guys. We should never have split up."

"He does this," says the bodyguard with a shrug.

(I don't KNOW if we ever get to Philly, because Boo Boo decided to crawl under the covers and wake me up. But something tells me we never get there. Just drive eternally, through suburban Jersey, with the lights of the unknown city on the horizon.)

(The car is, after all, a LINCOLN.)


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