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disney jesus

June 5, 2011

Pete and I went to my cousin’s graduation last night and ended up eating dinner a little late. I overindulged, with the result being weird, vivid dreams (and a bellyache).

I had a dream last night that I was doing another wedding re-creation (the second one since I’ve started writing this blog). This time, it was at our own neighborhood Disney World. There were tons of them all over the country, and this one happened to be right down the way from the house I grew up in on Sullivan Road. The area we were given for the reception was very large, with a divider between the back of the two halves. This meant you could walk between the two areas easily, or see what was going on in the other one, even though the back portion of the rooms were both hidden from each other. In one room, most people were mingling and chatting, discussing which rides they planned to go on. On the other side of the room, there was a dancing competition among the women, in which guests had chosen specific songs to come out to, one at a time, in large ballgowns. They danced alone until someone, usually a man, decided that their solo dancing was so enticing they just had to join in. It was much like a mating dance, wherein the lady begins and the male joins up. Everyone stood around the room, either watching the dances or waiting their turn.

My friend and former college roommate Diana came in just at this moment to talk to me. She had just driven in from New York and had to go back home to teach the next day. She was wearing pajamas, which I thought was a great idea. She wanted to show me the black dress she brought for the dancing portion of the wedding, and talk with me about her boyfriend. We chatted for a few minutes just about the happenings of the reception, then parted ways: she had to prepare for the dance. At that moment, I turned to watch the current girl’s dance. It was my other college roommate, Kathleen, in a big gold ballgown, sparkling and very impressive. She was dancing to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” swirling around the dance floor alone, and occasionally making provocative  eyes at the audience. At one point in the song she ripped off the outer poof and sleeves, and she was left with a sexy gold evening gown as she strutted this way and that, hoping to procure a dance partner (in waking life she is married). We all felt uncomfortable, because we knew it was an excellent dance, but for some reason, no partners were taking her up on it. The song ended with Kathleen sweating and out of breath from dancing so hard. A few people clapped. She breathed hard and looked around, but nobody stepped forward. I had to go, anyway.

I left the ballroom out a back door and entered a dark stone room. There was a small water tower in the middle of it, so the ceiling was very high. There were a few people around the bottom of the water tower, but it turned out they were Disney “cast mates” (ride operators). I climbed up to the top and flopped into the water tower. It was dark, and the outer edges of the floor had dead pigeons and pigeon excrement lying around. There was no seat, just an empty space in the middle of the floor for you to sit on. Once I got into the tower, I could see through its many windows that directly in front of me and high up on the stone wall was a giant crucifix with a very realistic-looking Jesus on it. The kid at the bottom of the tower turned the key, and the ride started up with a groan.  The Jesus was animatronic, and with his head moving limply from side to side, he occasionally groaned out  some random teachings in deafening volumes. In between his talking there was a mix of orchestral music and other recorded voices (saying things like, “Are you the king of the Jews?” and “Crucify him!”).

The tower’s four legs were connected at the bottom by a large metal circle, allowing the tower to tilt and spin, sending you sailing around the room pretty quickly (in the same vein as the Wipe Out, with some spinning, tilting action). To outsiders the tower looked fast, but inside things moved slowly enough that I could avoid the pigeons and poo, though I had a couple near-misses. Eventually the tower started spinning faster, and at the climax of the ride, the figure of Jesus threw back his head and cried out, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” The lights flickered, the tower shuddered, and the room went dark. I was so afraid that my hand would touch a dead pigeon, but the room I was in was a cylinder, and every time I backed away from one dead bird, I inevitably got closer to another. I stared out the window hoping for the end of the ride.  And then, it was over. The spinning stopped. The lights came back on. The people at the bottom were smiling the same smile people always have when they want to know how a ride was. I climbed down. I dusted off my wedding dress with my hands. I said to everyone waiting, “Ugh, I forgot that Disney makes you do that ride first.” I brushed off my annoyance and went on to do more wedding things.

Then, I woke up.

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