I'm in the lobby of a Chinese movie theater with Richard Owens, one of my best friends from grade school. Richard is tall like me, but has blond hair. There's a lot of people milling around. Somehow we've slipped through the entrance without paying, and now I'm wandering around wondering why I'm in China. Just as I'm thinking this, a lobby attendant who looks like an American (a white guy in a black vest with long brown hair) approaches me and says something in English, probably about money, but I'm not sure. I pretend I don't understand, because I don't, and because this trick has worked for me before in Europe. It doesn't matter because he goes gliding away to bug somebody else.
Richard and I become separated. I notice this place has several large elevators, I get the feeling I'm in a building with many floors, and I see large groups of people moving in and out of these elevators continually. I have no idea what floor I'm on and I don't care. I'm trying to find Richard. I finally see him on the opposite side of the lobby waiting for an elevator. For some reason I can no longer cross the floor to him directly. It's as if there's a giant invisible and impenetrable wall between us. I reckon in the waking world that wall is time, but here dreaming, I know there's a loop hole.
For some reason, I'm not supposed to actually enter the theater where the movie is playing, but it's the only way to get around the wall. The doors are still open and I imagine they're just starting to show trailers, so I do it anyway. Nothing happens except three young polite Chinese women move aside for me as I'm traversing the aisle. When I exit out the opposite door on the other side of the lobby, Richard has either taken the elevator or left. In either case, he's no longer here. I should probably go back in and watch the movie, but I do enough of that when I'm awake. The Chinese women probably don't need some weird American guy sitting next to them anyway. Go back to the dream you came from, Yankee!
Seeing no reason to remain, I teleport (for lack of a better word) into a pretty green park by the ocean. I'm still in China, now walking around with two other people, one male and one female. Seems that one of us is a child, and it might be me. My relationship with the male figure feels like he is a mentor or wise person, and we're just hanging out in the park on a sunny day having fun.
We go to the shore and jump from rock to rock as the tide comes in. I'm into it but I don't want to get my feet wet, so I don't try jumping to rocks that are too far from me. He demonstrates his jumping prowess (or the lack thereof) and that he doesn't mind at all slipping off missed rocks into the wet and slimy green stuff that's beneath the surface. Like a fool, I follow suite, and end up with my shoes and socks soaked. It's not a big deal, but I'm done playing in the ocean, and I'm irritated as I walk back across the park making squishing sounds in cold wet shoes I know will take hours to dry. I hate when people influence me to do things I don't want to do.
Some would say I'm a poor sport. Maybe so. I remember spending the entire summer following eighth grade graduation practicing basketball with Richard in order to make the team at Riverside the following year. That was a goal we both worked very hard for. He made it. I didn't. As a result, our six years of friendship ended. I shouldn't feel bad about it, but the memory comes with a certain amount of melancholy. It doesn't take long in this life before people start going their separate ways.