I am at the ocean. It is warm; I’m wearing a ragged swimsuit, and the sand is chunky and soft, alternating those warm, tide-shuffled shades of beige and brown.
We are in a group of perhaps three hundred, young and old men and women, a gaggle of college sororities and fraternities, and some much older, Hemingway-looking men. We all share bungalows dotted along the shore, and I am sharing with a group of young wealthy women: some sorority.
Everyone is arranged in a massive circle. A Hemingway-looking man comes out pulling a boat, and extending from it is another smaller boat, and from that an even smaller boat. These are the only boats on our portion of the beach. There is a contest, and each must explain why she or he should be selected to take a trip on the boat train—to look for treasure. The little boy I do not know (except from his cameos in many of my dreams) makes an appearance, says nothing, and climbs into the smallest boat wearing water wings, a mask, a snorkel, and flippers. We proceed around the circle and each makes a case, self-promotes. It becomes oddly Aristotelian in diction. I am not there; I am still at the bungalow, trying to find a different swimsuit. I finally arrive late, only to say, “I will appreciate this most. I love the ocean more than anyone. I would never have the opportunity to explore it if you didn’t choose me.” Lame.
The Hemingway-looking man doesn’t select me; in fact I’m not sure who wins the privilege of taking the boat out to hunt for treasure. One of the sorority girls talks to me as though I am pathetic. She has crimson lipstick and unnaturally red hair. “It was him.” I look, and the man selected is the character Jesse from that television show Breaking Bad.
Oh. Not a bad choice.
I decide to swim out instead, to hell with the boat, the sharks, the riptide, and the bizarre group. Everyone else follows. The water is delightfully warm and calm, and I make it to a cove about a mile out. Treasure. Sort of. On a little sandbar there are stacks and stacks of wrought-iron furniture, mostly chairs, ornate and lovely. Pleather couches. Silver silverware. I grab as much as I can an start to swim back to shore.
End of dream.