Encountering the Psychotic Lady in the Dream and Washington DC

Last weekend I went to Alexandria, VA, to speak at the Magfest convention, and I met a psychotic elderly lady I’d seen somewhere else, I think in a precognitive dream, who told me that…

Ah but before I tell you about her, I want to tell you that I took half a day after the convention to have a quick look at Washington DC, at least to get an impression of the place. I went to the National Air and Space Museum, saw the Wright Bros 1905 aircraft, saw it ramify into space craft in other parts of the museum, went to the National Archives and saw the Declaration of Independence, badly faded but clearly the real deal, saw one of four copies of the Magna Carta, saw the Bill of Rights…with scribbled annotations on it. Saw the Capitol bldg, saw limos…had lunch with a friend…noticed that everywhere, everywhere, everydamnwhere I went, I was waited on, guided by, watched over, sold tickets by, black folks. And a few Hispanics. Obama has been President, there are black people in Congress, and I’m sure black owners of big businesses in that town. But it was almost entirely black people serving white people wherever I went in Washington DC. I was startled by how thoroughly this was the case, wherever I looked. The class roles seemed starkly differentiated…

Finally I took a metro train to the airport. On the way a woman–she might have been 70?–who was neatly dressed, her dyed-red hair neatly combed, wandered up and down the Metro subway platform, talking to everyone she saw. Ranting, it must be said. To a young lone black man she intoned, “You have a demon. I see that. It is surely grown strong in you. But don’t take it so personally–consider that demons have a place in creation too. They have a role to play. You’re its nursemaid, almost. It’s not so bad.” He told her to “Go on about your business somewhere else and do it quick.” She broke into a Latin song, perhaps Cuban. I could see she’d been pretty once. She made me think of some aging Warhol superstar gone mad, for some reason. She pushed a little cart, with odds and ends in it, limping along behind it.

She got onto the same train I was on and she stopped and stared at me. I was wearing a t-shirt that had a sort of warped image of a planet with a leering face in it. She looked into my own face, said, “Oh, a man with an intelligent face, aware, I don’t see that much…on your chest, that picture, it could be a planet that’s also a god, talking to us from another world far away in the stars…I’m sorry. But you know, there will be computers they’re going to put in our brains, and the computers will control what we say, they’ll keep us from speaking the wrong things, and I’m not complaining, that’s a good thing, I want that because, you see, I cannot control what I say. I can’t stop what I say. I’m sorry.” I felt I should speak to her but was nervous about making my flight, and only smiled at her…and she hobbled away. All the time she spoke to me, I thought, “I’ve heard that before.” I remembered the dream, a long time ago. Of that platform and that woman…saying just that to me. Take it or leave it, that’s how it was.

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