My head toward the aisle and feet toward the window, jacket over my midsection and seatbelt pulled tight to prevent me from rolling off in the considerable turbulence, I am in that strange state of alert sleep, one in which I *am* asleep (I’m dreaming), but still aware of certain things happening around me.
I dream we are flying over the Himalayas, though the captain says Hong Kong. It occurs to me that maybe it’s neither, that perhaps we’re actually flying over China, but I don’t get stuck on this; it doesn’t matter. We have an insanely beautiful view of a temple and an opera house or theater, and a cemetery, the buildings open–no roofs. The cemetery is semi-circular, arranged on stepped hills, and small golden Buddhas are stacked together tightly. “There’s Ganesh!” I hear someone say. All I can think (and I am still in the dream thinking this) is that this is the most visually gorgeous dream I have ever had- these golds and reds and greens.
Then I hear the captain–the real captain, not the dream-time captain, say that if we look out the left side of the plane, we will see “the pyramids of Mexico.” That’s how he says it–“the pyramids of Mexico”– as if all of Mexico’s pyramids are right there.
When I ask the woman across the aisle if she saw them, she looks at me blankly and then laughs. “No,” she says. “I had no clue what I was looking at.”