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Chapter 8. The City of the Dream

Once, while on a walk, I went up a street and exited out onto, as it seemed to me at first, the famous Kiev street, Yaroslavov Val. After walking along it a little towards Lvovskaya Square, however, I began to notice striking discrepancies with reality, and it became clear to me at some point, that this was a dream. The focus of the mind is truly amazing. I could literally feel the exertion of my brain in the crown of my head. With some effort I stopped the progress of the dream, and looked around. It was a warm sunny summer afternoon. Here and there, passers-by could be seen. Compared to my usual dreams, there were very few people around. With curiosity, I began to examine the facades of the surrounding houses. The city looked quite modern and well maintained. The lawns had been mowed, historic houses had been restored, and new ones had been built in between, made of glass and concrete. One of the large avenues stretched out towards the far-off sea. Closer to the coast, the number of skyscrapers with 20 floors or more increased as well.

I decided to take the advice from Castaneda's books, and gradually follow the flow of the dream while maintaining self-control and awareness. Now I could even recall what had brought me to this city. I had been on my way to buy paint from an art supplies store. In the pursuit of this goal, I now asked a passing young couple, how I could get there. At the same time, I made sure to keep in mind that I was dreaming. They were glad to help me out. Even though they did not know the place where the store was located, they were happy to give me a tour of the city, when I expressed my admiration for such a beautiful place. I learned from them that they were students and had recently started seeing each other, that this was their city and there were many interesting places we could visit. We walked around the city for a long time, maybe a couple of hours. They even showed me the local chocolate museum where they handed me different types of chocolate to sample. This long tour only ended in the evening, and they invited me up to their apartment in one of the skyscrapers on the coast. The apartment was large and very high tech. In the direction of the sea and the port, there were huge floor-to-ceiling windows opening out onto a stunning view of the evening sky over the port city. On the opposite side, there was a wall with many video wallpapers that could reproduce any landscape you wanted to see, from a dense jungle to an endless desert. The apartment left a strong impression, as if I had seen an artifact from the near future.

After some time, I thanked my companions for their hospitality, and having said goodbye, I decided to walk around the already dark city on my own. All this time, I had managed to remember that I was in a dream. I knew who I was and what I was sleeping in my home, but at the same time I had been walking around the unusual city of the dream for 12 hours without feeling tired. It was wonderful.

The night was warm, and I walked towards the old part of town where narrow streets mixed with small squares. I encountered snovids there, from time to time, but they were not interested in me, as long as I stayed calm.

The entire old part of the city was built into the side of the mountain, with roads descending to the sea. This layout was clearly inspired by the cities of the Mediterranean. In many places, huge stone walls from a distant past stood, propping up the slope of the mountain above. I noticed that there were many stray cats walking around the city at night. From their well-groomed appearance I could tell that they were content with their lives. The locals clearly loved them. I saw some of them disappear into little houses for cats that had been constructed on top of old buildings. It was dawning, already.

At some point, I discovered a small shopping center that was open around the clock. The variety of shops was small, and none of them were specifically for art supplies. There was a crafts and souvenirs shop, however. I went in to see if they had any paint, and quickly determined that they did not sell any. They mainly sold items for sewing and embroidery, but the souvenirs piqued my interest. They were standard in appearance, no different from any other city: Postcards with panoramas of the city, cups, bottle opener and key chains, fridge magnets and some kind of model car that had an obscure connection to the city. I felt urgently that there would not be time to look for another store, so I decided to buy some souvenirs, which acquaintance might appreciate which souvenir. Having filled my hands with trinkets, I went to the cashier. It dawned on me that I didn't have any cash in my pockets, and moreover, had no idea what kind of currency was used around here. The cashier and the security guard were already growing nervous as I continued rummaging through pocket after pocket of my pants. If you are looking for something in your dream, just keep looking, and you will eventually find it. It was the case this time around. In one of the many pockets, there was a credit card, which I could use to pay with no issue.

Heading out into the street, I wandered further towards the morning sun. After some time, I came to a large square that connected the old and the new city. In the square, there were many flowerbeds, arranged around palm trees and well-trimmed bushes. The sun slowly started to rise over an old arched gate that lead to some kind of park with dense vegetation. People were already sitting on benches, there, clearly enjoying the first rays of the sun. I got to talking with one group of elderly visitors. I told them that I was sleeping, and had walked around their beautiful city all day. Oddly, it came to me that philosophizing with snovids caused an incredible sadness to wash over me. It was as if I had been a fool, believing it all. And despite it all, I was still lost, looking for something incredibly important to me. I just couldn't remember what.

I took the souvenirs I had collected, out of my pockets.

- I bought this model car for my nephew Danchik, and this magnet for my niece Ivanka. This postcard is for my sister, and this is... even though you and I both understand that all this will stay in the dream, and I cannot take it into reality.

- It's true. You can't.

I waslost in thought again, the sun was coming up. The alarm clock rang.

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