I am walking with a group of twenty-somethings, down a brightly lit and crowded street. I catch a glimpse of us all as we pass retail windows bright with lights and souvenirs. I am also a twenty something. A part of me knows I am currently 65, and raises an eyebrow.
We appear to be in a Las Vegas style place. Bright lights obscure the skies, so you cannot really tell how late it might be into the night. Everyone is scurrying about, in search of the next exciting thing. I am both part of it and apart, watching it.
We are carried along by the crowd to a "grand opening" for a new Casino...people eagerly hoping to win some prize for being one of the first to enter and make use of the wonders it offers up.
As we pass the doors, I laugh at the inscription - "Abbandonate ogni speranza voi che entrate qui..." which of course, is Dante's caution for the Inferno. One of my party asks what is so funny, and I translate the glowing warning. They laugh, too.
I ask one of my group what the name of the new casino is, the answer "Pandemonium". I laugh again.
The waiters and waitresses offering free drinks are all perfect doubles of various political and cultural figures. A recent president is offering cheeseburgers and fries as h'ors d'ouevres. Another well-known figure is offering Kool-aid cocktails. I am becoming uneasy, and so remembering mythology, I decline to eat or drink anything, and begin to look for an exit.
I know that if I can get out at all, it will probably be without my friends. And I cannot look back.
I start to recognize other people in the crowds milling through the slot machines. An old boss waves from the roulette tables as he munches on a cheeseburger. Finally I recognize someone I know for certain has passed away, and I am beginning to get very anxious to find the exit. The part of me that remembered my current age, starts to tell me I am dreaming. I am dreaming, so to exit, wake up.
I wake up this morning, tangled in the bedding, with a dog pressing his cold wet nose into my neck. I obviously woke the dog (hubby was still snoring) and so Logan and I got up. I am sipping coffee at the moment, wondering what my dream was instigated by, since it has been 30 years since I have been to Las Vegas, and I am not sure what prompted the locale of my dream. I do think that the "perfect doubles" were from reading so many "year in review" pieces in the news yesterday.
Good bye 2022. Hopefully 2023 will be filled with more hopeful events and less "Pandemonium".