• Sleep Cinema

Elizabeth: The Pyramid

We are visiting a Caribbean island and have planned to stay on Trash Island. Trash Island is not a normal place for tourists - it's a spot where all the inhabitants are locals. Trash Island is a stepped pyramid built on a small island in a river on the main island. What makes it so unique is that it's unregulated, so it's sort of do as they please and have a culture separate from the tourism-influenced surrounding area. It's called Trash Island because a lot of the building materials used in the pyramid are salvaged and don't match like a commercially made building of that size. I don't know why I'm going to be staying there, but I'm excited.

I arrive on the main Island for my assignment. I am teaching in a summer program for high school students. I recognize a lot of students from the high school where I work, and also a lot of the other teachers are my co-workers. One student, JL, is giving me some trouble. He's not doing his work or doing his assignment. Also, strangely, he has brought a friend from home to the Caribbean. She is a girl that the music teacher knows, and she is NOT part of the program. I start to shout after him, but the music teacher scolds me gently, telling me to wait until he's a few feet away before I speak to him so I don't have to shout. Embarrassed, I walk after him. They duck into a bathroom and I wait outside. I chat with other students and teachers while I wait, but they don't come out. I've had it with this kid, he's always doing weird stuff and not quite following the rules.

Evening has arrived and it's time to go to Trash Island and sleep in the pyramid. (At this point, the dream is trying really hard to resolve itself and make sense, but it fails). I am in a room with my husband, brother in law, and some other person they both know. There is a bed in the room and on it is a cardboard pyramid about the size of a mini fridge. I walk over to it while they are talking and examine it. It's about four feet high with maybe a three foot square base. It looks like the pictures I had seen of Trash Island, but it obviously wasn't it. I tried to see if I could fit in the little door near the base. I said to the people I was with, "I don't even think I can shimmy my butt-cheeks into that thing, no way we can sleep in it!" Everyone laughs because it's true that I have a prominent bottom. I pull on a side of it and it begins to unfold. The gang helps me and we unfold it into a big cardboard box that covers the bed, bends down the floor, and runs about 8 feet to either side of the bed along the floor. I think that that must be how it works, everybody just crawls into a segment of the opened box and sleeps. But then again, I feel confused because there's no way it could offer any protection - and there's no way the cardboard could be more comfortable than the bed that it's covering. I can't quite make sense of it.


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