That September is going to be a crazy, bizarre month with lots of crazy, bizarre things happening. His Nibs and I were in Mexico, and we were staying at the same resort-on-the-sea. This time, though, the second time we’d been for a vacation, there were other folks there who went with us. We’d talked about that after we got back, about how we thought it would be quite a lot of fun to head to Mexico with a few other folks. There were good things and not so good things.
F’rinstance, when you travel with a group, there’s always the concern that you have to stay with the group. At least, that’s the concern that His Nibs had. We spent most of our time just hanging out at the condos or on the beach, which was fine…going for dinner and drinks…doing a few touristy things…but there’s this pressure, you see, that if you want to lie on a beach and read, you’ll be somehow being rude to the folks you’ve been travelling with.
Things like GenCon are great because there’s so much to do, no matter what your buddies are doing. But…well…okay, that’s a bad example, because there are always lots of things to do when you’re Away. The trick is, you have to be willing to go off and do something on your own. Yours Truly is pretty used to doing things on her own, and so it’s not such a big deal to split from the group and sleep on the beach all day. I don’t think I insulted anyone, but it’s difficult to know.
So anyway, I kind of decided to split from the group and hang out on the beach all day (have I mentioned how much I love beaches?), and then go for a walk in town. But when I went for a walk in town, I was suddenly reminded of the UofS campus. Mostly because that’s where I was. It seems I’d decided to take a few classes, and the UofS handily had become some kind of centralised location with transporter or portal that Very Few People knew about (like, His Nibs and I and two of the four people we were with. Maybe it’s only UofS alumni who can use the portal.
But, as often happens, the campus was wonky. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. In fact, it was really more like the University of Manitoba, which is a gorgeous campus. I was toodling around in the religious studies department, and found a Strange Thing – some windows built into a hill that looked in on a hall in the building. Cool, actually. I wondered if those were some of the tunnels.
Around the back (or front?) of the building, I remembered a dream I’d had where I’d spoken to someone who’d worked on the landscaping. He’d told me that there were religious symbols on every brick in the walk, religious imagery in every tree and shrub planted, and even the design of the path was in fact part of a mandala that could only be seen from the third-floor landing. I took note of the bricks; I was trying to figure out what symbols were on which bricks and what religious tradition they originated from. Then I heard shouting.
Glancing up, I saw a huge grey dog loping toward the Administration building. Someone screamed. I jogged up the steps and realised it wasn’t a dog at all. it was a wolf. I ran across the lawn, to the landing in front of the building. Women were screaming as the wolf tore around the campus and sniffed and growled and bared its teeth. I stood on the concrete landing, watching. The wolf approached. A girl who used to date a good friend of mine told me to stay calm, that the animal protection people were coming. But the wolf wasn’t aggressive, just determined.
I touched its shoulder. It turned around, licked my hand, whined, then put its paw in my hand. It looked at me with green and yellow eyes. Then, as strangely as it had come, it loped off again toward the field house.
I looked around, saw frightened and astonished faces. Suddenly, I was on the patio of the pub, and Neuba was there, and I knelt down beside her and sobbed, because I knew what the wolf had said to me. He’d come to tell me that His Nibs was dead. My phone rang, but I wouldn’t answer it. I knelt there on the patio, and let Neuba hold me, because even had I wanted to, I could not do anything else.
Didn’t much like this dream, to be honest. Nothing like waking up sobbing to set the tone for a day.