Dream 508: Neil Peart

07.14.2017 § Leave a comment

It’s a film about Brontis when he was younger. He’s played by a young Michael Keaton. The scene is:

A museum board is winding down their final meeting of the workday, but they’re notified that they have a visitor. One of the board members vouches for this guy, having worked with him before, and knows that he’s looking to make a film about the museum’s history. The board is interested and contentedly settles back in their seats.

Brontis/Keaton enters the room, instantly owning it with his silence and lack of eye contact, pacing himself toward the blackboard. When he does begin to speak, it is without any introduction or explanation. He simply begins recounting the museum’s most important historical moments, beginning with its founding, each historical fact preceded by a statement of the year, date, day, and time.

As is natural when covering a history, events more distant in time are spaced further apart: time has eroded more importance of detail. So it is no surprise that Brontis’s chronological resolution is gradually increasing. However, eyebrows begin to raise at another gradually changing property of his statements: their relevance to the museum. With increasing apparentness, Brontis is veering off into telling a story not about the museum, but about himself. It begins innocently enough, with the occasional personal anecdote to ground the story, but grows weirder and creepier and more confusing by the minute.

Finally, Brontis’s intention is revealed: he mentions his purchasing of a ticket for doomed Flight 670, which everyone knows crashed into the museum 50 years ago, leaving no survivors – a blight on the museum’s history, the primary event which the board strives for any historicalization to avoid addressing. Brontis is quickly booed and shoved out of the room, and the board member who vouched for him apologizes profusely.

I’m rolling down the red-carpeted highway, against traffic. The highway is shaped like a spiral, built into a massive quarry. It decreases in elevation in an inversely exponential way, dropping quickly toward the top, and neighboring rings closer to the middle being closer in elevation to each other. Also, this dropping of height is just a general trend; the ribbon of road does occasionally rise temporarily, only to then slope downward steeper than the local average in order to “catch up”, but one constraint is that the current ribbon can never be higher than the point on the next ribbon outside was at (though it can meet it). Thus it is not a straight-forward trip down; sometimes I have to provide my own rolling thrust, and sometimes if I’m not looking carefully I can get confused about which path to take when two ribbons level out together and I’m going really fast (it seems like it would be simple, but remember my eyes are spinning in circles). You can’t roll off the road because the highway is not elevated on stilts but is built into rock with stone panels on the sheer faces.

At the very bottom and center of the spiral highway, Brontis awaits my arrival with two cheezy snacks: Big Cheez-Its, and another brand which I can’t recall the name of, but which I’ve had many times, and is much bigger than even Big Cheez-Its and much thinner, more like cheesy tortilla chips, and I had never realized how similar they both were before.


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