Front gate of my building. An unfamiliar Asian hoodlum-looking guy demands I push in his gate code for him: 626. Feel like I must sneak into my own home afterwards, to learn what apartment is his. Clambering outside of the spiral stucco wall; a view of a wide green backyard lawn beyond the scaffolding support beams. There’s no railing, but through tiny castle-like windows I can regularly peer in to navigate my way up.
One apartment has a broad sun-facing window with only two chairs in it, with a large dropcloth backdrop with plants hanging on it. The people are similar to some I know, Allegra, Creech, SF-adjacent folk. Empty glass aquaria are stacked behind the blacked out window, with a single long blanket trailing through all them. I spot a few drying mushrooms under there.
Then: to Mars. Somehow I offend my wife’s mushroom dealer (who she’s been texting recently) when I stare at him beside a bed, not knowing if he’s real, and trying to imagine his face as an older me with gray hair. He doesn’t speak though; he’s too shy. He’s like my cousin, Gabe. In the sky, and on my conveniently motion-synced watch screen, I view the tightening spiral trajectory of his return ship to earth.
I’m wearing an unusual two-level belt: the top part green, the bottom red. My wife takes off red part and squeezes it out, making it yellow. Supposedly a symbol of feminine renewal or something.
In a tower, in a room near the top of the tower, a group of black kids treat me as if I’m Bart Simpson (maybe I am?). An odd family feeling pervades, as if we all know this is only because we’re all together on Mars. But perhaps for different times and reasons.
It’s a rather wonky tower, a group construction project made from 100% scavenged parts — some from a creative reuse place like Urban Ore, some even some from of my apartment (I see my own bedframe post with the electric blanket controller still attached, and feel a a twinge of sadness/nostalgia). Frustratingly, even though I’m on Mars I have the same view out the window, the same corner here in the Mission District, with the same laundromat.
On the tower’s top floor, I can see the freeway traffic moving below, and our tower itself moving on freeway. The vibrations here on top are terribly strong; I wish we could’ve have used metal. Yet we’re still in the process of digging out a pool — structured like an inverted tent, a frame of PVC parts. But we discover it can’t be slid into the dirt, so we’ll have to undig it and start again. This exact pronouncement is made our Patrick Stewart leader figure, more like Q actually, sitting in judgement on a floating chair atop a pike.
Later we have to improvise a new navigation protocol on our spaceship (Enterprise-like, with shovel-spade front and flat-sided shape) in order to avoid murder-class planets. Funnily enough the algorithm still keeps suggesting homicide-class planets (sounds just as fun), which the crew has to manually decline.