no, it is not a good idea to play death cab for cutie in your ears after suddenly waking up from a dream where you swim a la michael phelps, only a bit faster because instead of having a pair of legs to propel your speed you have a huge fishtail that sends you full speed forward and the only thing that can stop you is the popping of your contact lenses out of your eyes.

yes, i do love death cab for cutie but the songs from the translanticism album sends me back to a dreamland much darker and unfamiliar than having a fishtail.

gloom clouds the atmosphere as the cold air bites the skin. in the lobby of what seemed to be an amusement park or a recreation center, people wearing black jackets with marks of dried mud are all engaged in small talks with their peers. i find myself a seat between two groups of people arranging their things, excited to go inside the park. i placed my stuffed black jansport backpack below my seat as i listened to translanticism, a lack of color, title and registration, expo 86, and the sound of settling.

after several minutes of wallowing in the songs, i proceed to the counter where people deposit their luggages, boots and what have you. the guests from various countries lined up to get their black tags and tickets from another counter. the volumes of their voices gradually rise to a deafening noise that occupies all the empty spaces in the area; children screams, shouts and wails, couples chained by each others’ arms giggles, parents yell at their children, groupies who clamor for attention bellow on the crowd. in synch with the building tension of the crowd is the rapid beating of my heart. it races against each and every shout it hears, suddenly, i feel fear.

amidst the budding commotion i remember the black backpack i left under my seat at the lobby. i return to my seat but my black backpack is not there. i search the place, each and every corner of the lobby, every chair- above, below, on the sides, but my black backpack was nowhere. heart beats faster. i cannot lose my black backpack. the stuffs in there are as valuable as my life. that’s what i know.

so i searched the area. somebody must have taken it somewhere. then a security person dressed as a policeman in a black uniform approach my direction and handed me a black bag. “is this yours?” he said. unfortunately it is not. i know my bag. i can spot it even in the middle of the sea of all those black bags smudged with mud. the place becomes darker. all the people in there appeared to be swallowed by the sudden darkness but their voices grew louder and louder. my heart beats faster and faster. i have to find my bag. asap.

each step i make into the darkness creates an alley where people in black all appeared oblivious of the noise and the darkness. i run. i run and run, ignoring the pain crawling up my legs. i just run, looking in every person, in every corner, in every place where my black backpack could be.

then i spot former highschool classmates- the almost-albino bully who always takes half of my lunch. and the geek-turned-tall corporate guy. “please do me a favor. i need your help. “ then the almost-albino bully shoot me with a what’s the matter with you whythehelldoyouthinkilldoyouafavor look.

“i’ll pay you. just help me find my black jansport backpack.”

then off we go on a search for my lost black backpack. webs of alleys and avenues are created as we run in various directions. occasionally, i snatch back packs from the backs of those who wear it to check if they are carrying mine. luck is out of the area. the noise grows louder and louder. sweat stains creates maps of new continents on my black shirt. heart beats faster and faster and faster. the thought of time running out suffocates me. i have to find my backpack soon. then suddenly, as if by divine providence, i realize that i am dreaming, and that everything is just an alternate reality that i can alter if i choose to wake up.

and so i wake up. i found my black backpack beside my bed.

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