2

 I am with Sera in a large but sparsely filled auditorium, lights dimmed as if for a presentation or speech. Something to do with Sera or her career, and I feel that I am not making it or things are not going well with me. A large man - biker type, pony tail and strong - is seated in the row in front of me. I do something to irritate him (kicking the seats?) and we argue; he climbs over the row and stands over me, threatening and taunting me, poking me with his finger. I retreat in tears to the tacky lobby, looking for assistance...
 Adam is sitting next to me, at his computer, looking greasy and weary, shaking his foot nervously, his skin marred with pimples and sores. He is just staring at the monitor screen, hands on the keyboard ...
 I go to a pay phone to call the police. I am now dressed only in my shirt and underwear, and cannot get the phone to work - don't have the right change, or it keeps rejecting coins, and the dialing buttons don't function. I begin to cry in frustration...
 I look at myself in a mirror and my face looks Chinese - eyes slanting and tired, dark coarse hair, sallow skin - and a voice inside says very distinctly, "I am changing." I meet a woman in a nondescript lodging and we talk about intellectual topics and I'm strongly attracted to her. Then an interruption, a large battle, people struggling to escape on a huge train that cannot climb a steep grade; terrific grinding noises, shouts, explosions, screams...
 I am back with the woman (I've come to get something from our room) and her face is blurred. I say "you are changing," and she pauses as if listening to something and then says "yes, I am changing, we are changing." I embrace her and look up (like a child) into her smiling, radiant face; with a twinge of helplessness and vulnerability I say "I love you." We are suddenly flying among high, sun-shot clouds, holding one another, exhilaratingly and frighteningly high and fast...
 In a commercial neighborhood or large shopping mall that is under construction or is built techno style to appear unfinished. I enter a shop there and examine black belts woven of a synthetic fabric cord. The belts are strips of coarse weave joined by black plastic buckles; as I pull the belt between my hands the fabric stretches and frays and the buckles warp and break...
 I am already walking down a curving drive with many other people and knots of children: we are going to the playground to see a holy man. I watch the children play. I talk with someone about the visitation, and a man slaps me in the face for blasphemy. (I am an American, this is an Arab country.) The holy man arrives at the playground and begins speaking to the children. He is uncanny, playful, virile and protean; he stands with the children on a small bridge over flowing water and extrudes his body under the railing like a huge penis. He is clowning around down in the water and I notice his muscular, supple legs. The children all shriek with joy and laughter, in that piercing unison cry children make in a spasm of happy excitement. The children dance and play around the holy man as he delivers an obscure sermon: "When you feel yourself drawn to another world, look at the tensions in your relationships now." Suddenly two or three men step out of nowhere and fire with pistols into his head and chest. He falls, struggles and dies. Everyone runs in panic. I am struck with grief and shock, drop to my knees and bury my face in my hands, sobbing "No, no"...
 I am standing at the edge of a lake or placid river; across the water are grassy hills and a town. I step out onto the water and sail forward, skimming my toes across its surface. As I reach the far shore I lift up, soaring over the clapboard houses, streets and verdant hills. Suddenly I realize that I am flying. I feel a sudden fear, then a joy and exhilaration at being so high above such beautiful countryside. Fear and excitement swirl inside me as I rise...