Spring arrived in my area within the last couple of weeks in the forms of millions and millions of blooms. From tiny flowers on all the trees to wild blossoms in the meadows and on the hills, the valley shimmered with multi-faceted drifting petals, riding on the gusts of warm air like shimmering perfumed mists.
While it is absolutely stunning, it can also be deadly.
Last night, I was having one of my allergy fits due to the sheer number of flowers that were blooming everywhere. My asthma was kicking me hard, and I was wheezing and choking on all the pollen and plant dust. In desperation, I took a Benadryl®, even though I truly hate the drug because it makes me so sleepy. But you know–breathing is a good thing.
Now, normally, when I’m on a Benadryl®-induced coma, I am knocked out, with no memory of any dreams. That’s unusual because most nights, I do dream (and very vividly) when I sleep. However, last night, Lao Tzu came calling while I was sleeping.
I didn’t recognize him at first.
I was looking at an exquisitely carved marble statue that began to morph into a jolly old dude. Just to be sure, I asked him what his name was.
He chuckled and pointed to the initials LT carved into his marble robe. ‘You know who I am.’
‘Umm. Lao Tzu?’ I ventured a guess, knowing that it was exactly who he was.
‘Of course!’ He grinned, looking around. ‘You have a nice home,’ he continued, which caused me to notice my surroundings for the first time.
It was a huge cavern that had been intricately carved into the marble mountains, but that wasn’t the strange part.
The craziest thing about it was that I recognized my condo, even though I’d never been in a place like that before in my waking state.
The detailed carvings on the walls were detailed and surreal. Here was my dining area, with a marble table overfilled with food of all varieties. Over there was my living area, one huge chair with a bunch of other chairs facing it.
And towards the back of the cavern was my sleeping chamber. Soft white linens hung from the ceiling, draping over the bed in abundant soft folds. There were red and gold pillows on the bed, and softly lit white paper lanterns all around. For a marble cave, it was very opulent.
I was walking around the front of the condo, admiring the doorway when a guy walked out of the carved doorway of the condo next to mine.
The owner of that one was some seriously muscle-bound dude who was freakishly tall. I watched with curiosity as he worked on installing some lights on the two huge carved marble column torches on either side of his front door.
‘How does this look?’ He asked me, as he turned on the lights.
‘Oooh! That’s too bright,’ I said, squinting. ‘Try using a softer yellow light. It’s supposed to look like flames, not spotlights.’
‘You’re right,’ he said, and reached into the sconces to unscrew the bulbs. ‘I have some flickering yellow LEDs that look like flames. I’ll use those instead.’
I gave him a thumbs up and was in the process of turning back to my condo when some crazy old man ran up to my door with a tiny baby.
He was wild-eyed, and was holding the baby by one foot, looking as if he was going to swing the baby’s head into my carved marble door.
‘Oh shit!’ I yelled, and ran to grab the baby from his hands. ‘Take him away!’ I called out, and a couple of guys, who were somehow conveniently following behind me, lunged at him and removed him from the premise.
As he was being dragged away, I cradled the baby in my arms, hoping it wasn’t hurt. It seemed to be ok. I scowled over the baby’s head as I soothed it. Who the hell sacrifices babies any more? What a crazy old fuck.
So here I am, holding onto the baby (turns out, it’s a girl) when old Lao Tzu comes back around with a huge light blonde tiger and a book bag.
‘You need to take her back to her family, and you need to finish your last semester, so go.’ He said.
I hung the backpack around the tiger’s neck and clambered onto his back with the baby in my arms.
The tiger had a very broad and cushy back–broad enough to place the sleeping baby on her back, in front of me. While she slept, we rode the tiger to my school.
Once I got to the school, I dug around inside the backpack to find information about where I was supposed to go.
Within the backpack, I found books that were chock full of cash and checks crammed in between the pages, and bundles of what looked like bank documents filled with stocks and bonds.
I made a mental note to thank Old Lao Tzu. He had provided me with plenty of blessings. I wasn’t going to be a starving student, in any case.
And here was when I woke up. I still haven’t gotten the chance to get the baby back to her family, and I still have a tiger for a ride, not to mention an entire semester left of school.
I wonder what all this means.