The sky is a blotched grey ceiling significantly closer to Earth, and a thin layer of snow already covers the sidewalks and grass that show my criss-crossing footprints. I need a place to stay, and unusually for me I can actually watch myself in this dream as if it were a film. The costume department has gone all out; I’m in a shabby black wool overcoat that reaches to my knees and the lower half of my face is smothered in a red scarf. I have a heavy satchel cutting into my shoulders.
My Dad was just here in the car, and I presume he’s parking it somewhere in the network of streets. I’m tired of walking around waiting for him and want to go inside, so looking up I find the tallest store that pierces past the low-hanging clouds and shuffle inside.
I find myself in a series of long, narrow rooms panelled in dark-stained wood. Dimmer switch lighting comes both from high above and as backlighting on the shelves that stretch away from me and cover floor-to-ceiling. It’s like a rich person’s library, except the shelves are full of paintings and sketches in gaudy gold frames with far too much ornamental molding. At the end of the room is a left hand turn that takes me to an identical aisle whose shelves are covered in bolt cutters and hack saws. Further interlocking aisles have a wider variety of goods, and it appears that I’m in a Wal-Mart that thinks very highly of itself.
After a row of gold-plated pocket lighters, I enter a small, empty auditorium that could seat twenty people. Despite it’s size, the ceiling is much higher than the previous rooms and it’s height has the effect of making the edges of the entire room dark. There’s a bulky wooden podium on the miniscule stage, no bigger than a twin bed, and there are so few seats that the incline to the exit door is really steep.
I march upwards and find a throng of camera men at the exit blocking my way, so I turn around to find that the room now has two occupants. One is a rather sluggish and dumpy looking man slouched behind the podium. I can imagine him sitting on a camp stool, but I cannot see anything behind the thick walls of the podium. He seems overheated, because he keeps blowing his dilapidated straw-colored fringe off his sweaty face before it has a chance to stick. The other man is twiddling with the knobs on a film camera, no doubt trying to correct the color balance because the man on stage is Donald J. Trump.
I turn and force my way through the crowd outside until I burst onto the hushed streets where the snow has stopped falling. I pull out my cell phone and call my Dad, eager to tell him I was only twenty feet from Donald Trump. After a handful of rings my Dad picks up and I say, “Where are you?”
“I’m in Idaho,” he replies with slight puzzlement. “Aren’t you in the car?”
Idaho is quite far to go for a parking spot. Glancing at the gold and glass tower behind me, I think it’s suspiciously far to go.
“Never mind,” I say. Just pull off the road and find a TV. “You have to see something.”
Hanging up, I go back inside Trump Tower and find my way to the auditorium. The crowd of camera men now circles the Donald, but apart from them there’s no one else in the room. As Trump is having a final touch of foundation powder applied to his glistening upper lip, I lean against the back wall in shadow.
At this moment, I look with curiosity at the satchel hanging from my shoulders. I’ve ignored it the whole time. I unzip it and almost instantly a thick book pokes its head up, lazily drifting out of the bag and ascending into the dark ceiling space. I follow it with my eyes, but my head stays focused on Trump, who appears to be practising his pre-show gesticulations like a boxer under the bright lights.
I can’t see the book anymore, but I know it’s drifting steadily toward the front of the room. Just as Trump opens his mouth to say, “Look at this YUGE audience, people!” to the viewers at home, my eyes swoop down and the book descends like death from above and thwacks into his face. The book hangs there for a full five seconds, during which time the title–The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle–is prominent. I find myself thinking that Haruki Murakami had better appreciate this free advertising. Finally the book peels from Trump’s face, revealing a flattened boxer’s nose, two thin streams of blood from his nostrils, and a network of red veins in his wide eyes. And thankfully the cameras are live.
This is when I wake up.
P.S.–If you couldn’t tell, I’m waiting to say this in November:
Your policies are tired,
Your attacks uninspired,
Donald J. Trump, YOU’RE FIRED!