I dreamed last night that I was riding an elevator to the top of the Chrysler Building. I say that it was the Chrysler Building because it looked like the Chrysler building from the outside, except that it was a colossus, with a footprint the size of an entire borough.
The elevator was huge, too. Room-sized. Maybe 10×20. But no walls, only a floor and a ceiling made of wood attached to each other by wooden beams. No barrier between the passengers and the shaft.
A man and a woman were riding in the elevator with me. They were changing a baby’s diaper on the floor, which I thought was rude, but I was more concerned about staying near the center of the car as it shot up like a rocket. The sight of the shaft whizzing by was frightening.
We arrived at the roof, a flat roof, and the car traveled horizontally along a track laid at the edge of the roof to another shaft for the trip back down. Nobody got off or on.
I noticed that I was sitting on a smiling Indian woman’s sari. I handed it to her and she told me that it wasn’t a sari, but something else. We exchanged business cards.
I’m rarely able to read anything in dreams, but the name on the card she handed me was clear: Dota. Her name was Dota.
Outside again at ground level, I watched the elevator car drive away into the city, then realized that my backpack was missing.
A man approached me carrying a green Crumpler pack in his arms. It looked just like mine, but he said that it belonged to him. “Isn’t it a Crumpler?” I asked, and he said that it was a Crumpler, but it was his. My Crumpler was gone.
Another elevator car after that, this time re-entering the city by way of a gigantic bridge. Many, many lanes of traffic. I was thinking that, if I could find my way back to the Chrysler Building, maybe the first car could be located before my pack was stolen.
But then I was on foot, and New York was an incomprehensible maze of elevated roads and tunnels. I was lost. I had no money or wallet or phone. And no pack.
End of dream.
Disappointingly, when I googled “Dota,” I found that it’s an acronym for “Defense of the Ancients (DoTA),” a video game variant of “Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.” But I know nothing about video games and I’ve never met anybody named Dota.
Maybe I will one day, though. If I do, I hope that I remember to tell her that I know her from a dream. “We were riding an elevator inside the Chrysler Building,” I’ll say. And she’ll tell me what that garment is called, the one that wasn’t a sari.