Sunday, August 7, 2022

Occasionally I remember dreams

So there I was, dreaming, knowing I was dreaming, strolling through a former workplace, marvelling at the changes, with not the first clue what was going on. At least I was wearing pants and was on time. The place was the City wastewater treatment plant where I worked in the (gasp!) 1980's. Somehow, my dream self never made this clear, I'm older than I am now, and the plant is still under construction, as it had been for much of my time there, and much of the time since. Different construction, but all construction looks the same.

One area was completely new. As near as I can tell, they had added a fourth thickener tank, then put a building on top of the four to seal in the tanks and a floor above that to house a museum of pump and treatment technologies. There were lots of people in it, and a school kid tour. I made my way downstairs to the actual pump room, which was even smaller and more cramped than I remembered. In real life (IRL) I couldn't stand up straight in most of the room because of piping and cable trays attached to the ceiling.

We used to take samples periodically, think about the density of the sludge in comparison to the what the density meter (which none of us really believed anyways) and modify pump speed and interval timing as we thought best. My dream self was looking at a big glass fronted fridge somehow jammed into a space carved out of a concrete wall. There were lots of samples in there, of course, with notes documenting the time taken to the minute, and what percent the density meter said, but also lunches and drinks for the kids, a dessert tray for a function taking place later in the day, and a selection of fruit. 

IRL after taking a sample the sludge was poured into a sump and the pail was swooshed clean and poured into the sump. Then the choice was to run the pump on hand for a short time, or remember the desired changes and make them on the control room computer when you got there. I decided on that, after arguing with a catering assistant about making the changes. They (not a he or a she, and flamboyantly so) were concerned about the pump noise affecting the museum patrons, and disturbing the vibe.

I carried on. IRL the tunnel runs to number one digester pump house, built pre WWII. This sort of looked the same but gone space age. From there (IRL) a tunnel goes to number 2 digester pump house, with stairs in the middle of it to go up and over a duct that leads from the overflow of primary clarifiers to secondary treatment. In the dream the stairs had been partially replaced by a long gently sloping ramp. IRL there used to be a hatch to look at the duct flow, and shortly before I started it had been removed and replaced with concrete. The only way to tell was a slightly different texture to the floor, and a slightly different colour of paint. In the dream this had been opened up again with a large plexiglass window, sort of like what they've done at the Calgary Tower. (People are freaked out about walking on it, and one guy just about had a meltdown as I jumped up and down on it.) Kids were daring each other to jump up and down, imagining they were risking a fall into dirty duct water. There was a skylight above to bring light to the whole, which IRL isn't that big really. In the dream world it was quite a bit larger and there was a swanky party happening.

And then I was outside looking around for the pump house and the attached control room. This pump house had been built early 60's (I think) with periodic modifications. It was gone entirely, along with the 4 digesters that surrounded it. The 4 tunnels that radiated out from the pump house were still there, threaded through the construction with temporary scaffold fencing and a transparent roof. They were building what looked like a space port there. 

Further along, the next digester pump house (IRL built mid 80's while I was there, all efficient and modern) had a sign on it saying, obsolete technology, to be updated soon. There was construction dust on the sign. There was a temporary control room here, sort of wedged into an electrical room. Several people looking at various screens that made no sense to me were going through a checklist of some kind, with an intensity similar to an Apollo mission to the moon liftoff. Their end result was to start one of the thickener pumps I'd been looking at, and let it run for 3 minutes. Not 2 or 4, but 3, and yes my dream self was flashing on Monty Python. Then they all turned to look at me to sign off on the paperwork documenting this momentous decision, and ask what was next.

About then I struggled awake, looking to get going for a swim meetup with Michelle. For a while I kept notepad and pen on my bedside table, and wrote down what I remembered of my dreams as soon as I sat up. My dream brain is a very strange place. I usually remember my dreams as I get up, and if I think about them a bit they translate out of my dream brain into my day brain. Otherwise they're gone, just like that thing I was going to look up, or the thingie I was looking for.

To continue the story, we both had a great swim, and like in the days when I was teaching her to swim, we got a coffee and breakfast, and had an amazing chat. Some of her discoveries are leading me to think about things I took for granted, and that gets interesting very quickly. Something I read yesterday by another friend worked into the conversation, and it's been echoing around in my brain. Read it here.

I went a while thinking about what photo to put here. Normally I like to have the photo relate somehow to what I've written about, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any photo that relates in any coherent way to dreaming. Or rebuilding your life. Or deciding who you are. In desperation I went through the folder of photos that do not have a 'blogged' tag. There are 4984 such photos, though I'm pretty sure some have been blogged and I either forgot to tag them, or it was done before I started tagging. 

In any case, a photo of Curtis and Celina from October 2016 popped up. I still miss my big orange kitty, and though I'm pretty sure this has been blogged, I don't think I'm going to hear any complaints from my small but loyal band of readers. In lots of ways, I think the dream life cats have is more important than what we call the real world. After all, they spend so much time doing it. Even though his eyes are open, Curtis is paying little attention to me or what I'm doing. Who knows what they're thinking in those little furry brains?

Of the Day




I call this waiting for moonrise.

Green Fools
The clowns doing their thing.

Film (GW690 Acros II)
Shot during the great selfie shoot by Michelle.

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