Jan 26, 2010

Urban Dream

Living in a city, it's almost 'fashionable' to moan about being trapped in a concrete jungle, walled in by cold indifferent tall buildings, how one feels terribly isolated despite the close proximity to others, how detached we become, institutionalized by the urban montrosity that we created for ourselves but cannot live without, you get the drift...

Now what if all these city trappings have feelings too? What if the buildings like us yearn to break free? From the boundaries of their fixed structures, with their parts and pipings, bricks and mortar, doors and windows, all breaking loose from the imprisoned grid of their cemented existence? Roaming free around the city like humans do, re-jig themselves however they wish like what kids do with lego bricks, and showing more jubilance and joy at the liberty of movement then their self-chained creators ever do?

That was the whimsical dream I had last night - clearly not armageddon but certainly surrealistic. I rarely remember dreams but this one was strangely vivid. And as dreams go, scenes interweave from one to the other without logic, without sense of time or place, but with plenty of strange revelations along the way that make perfect sense then but don't when I awake, and I remember feeling a sense of urgency tinged with marvel at this bizarre yet familiar world..

It started out with me tossing and turning trying to sleep on a tilted (don't ask me why) bed in a dungeon like place which suddenly became invaded with a lot of people. Then it dawned on me they were students with trombones and other musical instruments and I went ah.. it's the band practising for the NDP (aka Singapore's National Day Parade).

All I wanted to do was avoid the crowd, so next thing I was in the streets, at a circle junction. A pony, those pretty adorned ones from horse carriages, suddenly did a flip rollover in front of me, and before I knew it, a crane beside it did the same thing right on cue. And I do mean a bright yellow chunky construction crane rolling over with amazing dexterity and all.

That was when the city turned topsy-turvy. I was wandering along the corridor of a five foot way next and there were slabs of grotesque-looking panels hanging down much like someone hanging out the washings. Then I realized that the row of red peranakan shophouses was indeed hanging out its "innards" - I don't mean like the inside-out pompidou in paris, but like what we humans would do, taking our stuff out to hang and air once in a while.

It didn't startle me at all. I was fascinated and continued to wander down the street and a building went sauntering past me nonchalently like a cartoon figure would. No kidding, it was a bank building with the familiar lines across. It said UOB at the top.

So I had my moment of truth - that the city had come alive, not with human activity, but activity of everything else once fixed and controlled by humans, but now breaking free and behaving like how their human masters would, except with a lot more zest. The energy and movement was exhilarating.

Before I could go on exploring, I was suddenly in a shopping mall and it seemed that it was the second floor above my original dungeon abode and I was trying to get back to it. I wandered and wandered looking for a way down, but turn after turn, tunnel after tunnel, just led me to strange rooms, and it seemed further and futher away from my bed..

And then the alarm rang. I desperately wanted to go back to this fascinating city but could not. It was the end of my strange urban dream.

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