Dreams are a lot like movies in that you have no control over their content and just walk into each one hoping it will be entertaining. Plus, the ratio of good ones to bad ones isn't very promising. Fortunately, last night was one of the few that actually didn't disappoint. Bear with me as I attempt to describe it in as non-surreal terms as possible.
I'm in Alaska. Not sure why. Internship? School program? That part never got answered, or I forgot it. Anyway, it's the late afternoon and I'm wandering around the Alaskan streets. They don't look like Alaska (to the best of my knowledge), but more like L.A. In fact, they look like a studio backlot. I'm standing on the sidewalk and a bunch of police cars start tearing around the corner. More, and more, and more. Some of them are regular cruisers; others are unmarked cars. They just keep coming, and some of them start pulling over a couple blocks away. Eventually I realize they're there to block off all the streets ahead. I try to walk up towards where they are, but signs start appearing telling me that I can't go any farther. They're not even real signs; they're painted into the streets and sidewalks.
I walk back in the direction I came, and the streets start getting crowded with people heading in the same direction. It's like the whole place is being evacuated. At one point I follow some people into a big old-fashioned building, and some people are heading upstairs. I go a different way and find a marked door that says "Official Mapping and Planning" or something like that. Inside are three people sitting in chairs holding maps or blueprints. I ask them what's going on, and they tell me there's been a big earthquake. I get out of there and find myself inside this giant cruise ship type of thing. Apparently it's a safe place to go to get away from the earthquake. The whole middle of the ship is a giant pool, and I'm in the pool treading water and talking to other people. I ask them if they're sure we're safe in here, and they say, yeah, of course, we'll be fine. About a minute later another earthquake hits and the whole ship tilts way down in one direction, plunging lots more water over us all, and people are frantically trying to swim back to the edge to climb out. Some smaller people and children are being helped out of the pool by adults, and as the adults toss them out of the pool they tell the children's names to the people up above -- I guess so they can be recorded as survivors, or something. I climb out by myself, and find out that the earthquake was so big that it hit L.A. too. There's some kind of hotline to call so you can be listed as being okay. I consider calling it but then decide to call my parents instead, to see if I can get through or if the lines are too busy with other people calling home. (Luckily, my cell phone stayed in my pocket the whole time I was in the pool.)
I get through to my parents and ask them if they know what's going on. They don't; they haven't heard about it yet. I tell them this is a pretty big deal and will be all over the news by the end of the day. As I'm talking to them, I walk out onto another street, and a whole section of wall from a storefront falls in my direction; however, it's light enough that I can stop it with the hand that isn't holding the phone. I go across the street to a little bar/restaurant and see most of my friends from college inside. I get off the phone and go inside the bar and talk to my friends to make sure they're all okay (though I never question why they're with me in Alaska). Two of my friends who basically haven't seen or spoken to each other since college (because of bad blood which I won't get into right now) are hugging each other, and I realize that I had always wondered if a life-threatening incident like this would be enough to get them to reconcile and forget about their little feud, and I now have my answer. Then I feel guilty for thinking about that, because it's such a trivial thing in light of what's going on around us. One of them comments on my new haircut and glasses, and interestingly she's now turned into teenage actress Michelle Trachtenberg (who played Dawn on "Buffy" and was also in "Eurotrip").
Then it's over.