Sitting in an audience. Conan O’Brian sits in it too, and insults a celebrity guest and her kid. I’m cringing, but he has commitment to keep going with his bit until it’s funny. Reminds me of Chicken John.
While part of some kind of battle or mission, I’m underwater and spot a mermaid with a full head of wavy red hair, but I don’t approach or bother her. I’m not sure she even notices me.
Later my wife and I are sitting in a large semi-outdoor movie theater. This must be toward the end of the war/conflict that’s been going on — posters and screens begin flashing ‘PROGRESSIVE’, as we’ve unwittingly sat in the ‘far left’ of the auditorium. As she’s pulled from her seat by the Conan/Chicken leader, I tell my wife to play along, as if we’d sat there as part of a dramatization (which is indeed what it is). I pretend I can’t be lifted out of my chair, and the performance moves on with us separated.
The rows of chairs rotate, such that I’m now sitting with a row in front of me. I spot the mermaid (now with legs) walk over and nonchalantly sit in front of me. Her hair is huge and rests in my lap, engulfing my face. I have to wonder how intentional she’s being. As we sit through the show, it becomes more obvious that she’s non-verbally seducing me — I’m smelling her hair, she wraps my hands around her waist, and we snuggle our heads together.
We’re also sharing a few sodas, and my wife asks me to pass her the Dr. Pepper. I manage to reach down and behind me, but I don’t notice it’s a half-size can that’s barely got any left in it. I’m a bit embarrassed by this, but I’m thoroughly occupied — even glamoured, maybe.
The redheaded mermaid and I go off alone into a wide, dimly-lit stairway alcove. I take the chance to ask her now that we’re alone… something important. Did she see me? Does she know I know she’s a mermaid? Was all the seduction on purpose? But not her name. I now realize I never learned her name.
Meanwhile, the war is in it’s last days. Members of our side are roaming the streets here and there, solidifying the narrative of our victory. Neither of us is committed to the cause, but are interested in the pretending to for our own survival. The mermaid and I join a group to go hunt for rats, venturing off a New Orleans-style street into a disused sideyard full of groundskeeping equipment. I see some jumping across stacks of tiles, and I know we’ll probably let them go while continuing the pretense. It’s an odd sort of romance, but these are unusual times.