I'm running. And it's like I'm in slow motion or something. I'm running along a narrow road and it's sunny. There's a vinyard on the right side of the road. And a group of teenagers ahead.
I keep running, and pass them on the right, hoping they don't notice me too much. See, they might start chasing me if they notice I'm all decked out in rainbow gear, including my hair, which is dyed to rainbow colors. And I'm only about 10 so they could easily beat me up. Yet, I think I might be able to out-run them.
Just in case one of them did start chasing me, I jump into a parked van to hide. I mean I literally jump in, through the windshield which apparently has no glass in it. I climb towards the back of the vehicle. I want to run again, so I fiddle with the lock in the back, and after a few seconds, it opens. As I climb out there's a dog standing by the rear of the van. At first I fear he might be a search dog of some kind, but he's really just a stray. Anyway, as soon as I can close the tailgate, I start running again.
Soon I find myself in an industrial area. There's a set of docks, and equipment to load cargo on and off of boats. A warehouse is built almost up to the edge of a seawall. I make my way, as fast as I can, through that narrow passage, despite an assortment of obstacles. On emerging from behind the warehouse, however, I find that I can no longer continue in the same direction. There are some cargo yards with high fences that I can't climb. Feeling like something bad may happen if I stop moving, I plan where to go next. I can either go back the way I came behind the warehouse, but I really dislike running the same path twice. The only other option is to go in front of the warehouse, past another group of teenage bullies. I take my chances with the bullies, running so fast that nobody even tries to chase after me.
Rattled by the close call, I seek friendlier parts. In a residential neighborhood I find a boy. He's about my age, and I think I know him from somewhere aready. We start talking and stuff. At one point he starts humming some tunes that are, to him, hot and new. I say, "You know, those are really old where I come from."
"Where's that?" he asks.
"The future!" I say. Apparently, for some reason, I've travelled about 50 years into the past.
"Oh yeah," he says with a giggle. And then we go about playing and conversing some more.
A bit later, we find ourselves in the home of a family who didn't invite us. A woman discovers us, and doesn't seem too upset. She asks if we're going to stay. At first I say "yes" but then I get the idea that she might call the police. "I changed my mind. We're leaving," I tell her. So my friend and I quickly depart.
Next, we find a man with a sports car that looks as if it comes from my time. I ask the man if he can take us up to 88 miles per hour, so I can take my friend back to the future with me. He says sure he can do that, but he has to drive into the Grand Canyon to do it. He explains that it'll take a bit of pocket change, and you have to deposit the change in some kind of collecting device on the way down. I thought about that and laughed. It's like a toll on the road to the future, and if you don't pay, you crash at the bottom of the canyon! I'm 10 years old, remember, and this is very roadrunner-and-coyote to me.
Well, the wind changes, and just as easily, so does my perception of the situation. Suddenly, I realize that the man isn't taking us to the future, and he generally can't be trusted. I start to get out of his car.... and everything becomes grey....
I'm in bed, and I'm 20 years old. I'm sort of disappointed that it's not quite morning yet, after having several dreams in which it was clearly daytime. I think about the dream, and what I was trying to accomplish just before waking up. I wanted to bring the boy out of that horrible, homophobic past and into my present. Just then I realize the hard truth: there is no boy. The wonderful friend I had made simply doesn't exist outside of my mind. And I think to myself, sadly, "Not again!"