Who: Simon and Pan What: Flash mob!!! When: Sunday mid-morning Where: The mall at Hollywood and Highlands Warnings: Some suggestive language and mild situations
Lately, Simon had taken to coming to awareness at random times, which he found immensely disconcerting. He would go into these fugue states, and he never knew what he was going to wake up to. Literally. It was hard to separate them from the strangely lucid dreams he'd been having as well, especially when he blinked to encounter the face of a Gorgon staring at him with a craggy face and a twisted smile made of nightmare and crooked, filthy teeth. Except sometimes it was no dream, and he'd simply slept through his bus stop and was now at the end of the line only to wake up to some less fortunate, probably certifiable, and likely homeless woman about to try and dig through his pockets. There was one such incident where he met such an apparition with a shrill, girly scream and fended his erstwhile attacker off with a faceful of Lysol spray. Between his screaming and the yelling and the cursing, the bus driver was left in a state. Fit to pee her pants laughing, she had been; with that infectious big, black sister laugh that made even hysterical Simon giggle nervously, still holding that pocket sized Lysol can in front of his face.
Speaking of disconcerting, Simon opened his eyes and on this day found himself sitting under the shadow of a patio umbrella in the mall area on Hollywood and Highlands. There was a small disposable dropcloth on the seat under him, and another served as a tablecloth, where he had unpacked his lunchbox. Simon didn't trust anyone to prepare his food when he was having one of his more paranoid phases. He had been on high alert ever since his meeting with the insane old man who called himself Zeus, and was convinced dirty people were lurking all around him waiting for him to lower his guard for just a second so they could pounce. This Zeus character had featured prominently in his dreams of late, except he wasn't some disheveled homeless person in them. In the dreamtime, Zeus was a regal and, if Simon were to be honest with himself, rather very attractive man with a proud face and a voice full of thunder and authority. He knew they were just dreams and fancies of his imagination because in them he called Zeus grandfather, which was patently ridiculous. The real man had called him grandson, hadn't he? He was clearly carrying over such delusions in his subconscious and into the land of dreams.
He carefully poured some calming linden tea from his thermos and sipped it, eyes flittering about to make sense of his environs. He could not quite remember how he got here, although he did recall packing a picnic lunchbox at home. Yes. Yes, he did remember deciding he needed some air, although what quality of air could be had in the middle of a city made him wonder what he'd been thinking at the time.
Just when he thought he had a grip on reality, all chaos broke loose around him, as a mob of people out of the multi-cultural version of the Arabian One Thousand and One Nights exploded into the mall area all around him and broke into what he was fairly sure had to be a techno rendition of Scheherazade, complete with full out Bollywood dance routine. Mid morning. In Los Angeles. He looked around him with huge, incredulous and frankly terrified eyes. Yes, there was the fountain. And there were the shops beyond, cropping up like an uneven concrete and glass forest all around. He was still on Hollywood and Highlands. Surely he must be dreaming.
In the heat of the moment it never occurred to him that this may just be one of those infamous flash mob performances he had been seeing on youtube from time to time. With all the surreal stuff going on in his life, lately, no one could truly blame him for his confusion. By the same reasoning, thinking he was having a bizarre dream was oddly liberating for uptight Simon. In fact, at some point something like enjoyment had crept up on him unawares. He was shivering like a wet kitten, but he had a huge happy smile on his face as he saw the insanity spread all around him as more and more people, in traditional garb and not, joined in on the dance. Simon even swayed awkwardly in his seat a little. So long as no filthy folks with grubby hands tried to make a grab at him, Simon thought this might be as good a dream as he'd had in months.