Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day
cleanskies

The Green Hotel

I seem to be back having regular, persistent dreams, and once again they're all in a hotel, although this time it's a new one -- the Green Hotel. It's not very green -- a cast in the air, an off-green on the clean cream walls, a quality of light in the emergency stairwells, but the tone is certainly there, as is the menace.

Unlike the White Hotel, where the occupants were threatened by an external environmental disaster, often from the sea (it was a big old seaside hotel), the threat in the Green Hotel appears to come from within, some sort of chemical, biological, or psychological danger which the people investigating refuse to take seriously.

The hotel is urban, modern, with that environmentally-sealed, climate-controlled identikit luxury, all glass and brass and wall-to-wall carpets. The menace is slow-moving but too late to stop. This time, instead of a resident, I'm on the investigating team, and the hotel has been (at least partially) evacuated. Some of my team are young, idiotic, take foolish risks. Some are sensible, careful, and proceed according to the rules, to better rules they've made themselves, or to rules that are more superstitious than logical. In that disaster-movie way I have the sunk-stomach feeling that this will make no difference, that the sensible will perish with the foolish, that pre-learned behaviour and wisdom will not help us here. The idiots are canaries, but the gas will kill us all, eventually.

The dream is only a thin slice of something that goes on over time, though, and I could be wrong. It could be nothing; my presentiment just a stray artifact born of my powerlessness to affect my colleagues' actions. I am junior, my suggestions are ignored, people find my anxiety amusing, and play on it with false messages, practical jokes (a young soldier screams he's being attacked (they look like a mosquito larvae, but almost a foot tall) and I run in to help, only to find him clutching a baby one, barely as long as my thumb, to his stomach, writhing with mock-agony. I'm torn between fury and anxiety, because at this point in its life-stage, maybe it's small enough to parasitise) and all these things will make me more anxious, inevitably.

Maybe it's nothing, but the disaster is subtle, and by the time the dream ends, I have no idea if it's irrevocable or not.
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