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Dream: Starman?

I dreamt that I had joined an international group of servicemen for a boat, plane or spaceship for lunch. They didn't say which, but they all had uniforms with marks of their designation. They had stopped by Manila for some R&R.

They took a group picture, and as the picture was being taken, one of the men I had been talking to put his arm around me until it became more of a hug.

Then he pulled me aside. "Let's take a walk around this place," he said. The place was like MalacaƱan Palace, by the Pasig River, but I couldn't make sense of the signs. I could read the words, but none of them meant anything to me.

He held my hand as we walked. He was nice and flirtatious, and the conversation was interesting. I wondered if we would kiss.

We went on a small unmanned boat on the river, and the view was amazing. "How could I have known this would be Manila's future?" I asked him, pointing at the amazing colors of the skyline. The buildings were painted to complement the sunset. The riverbanks were clean and filled with tropical flowers.

He suddenly pulled me close to him, just in time for me not to get splashed by a speeding convoy on the the river. Five or six speedboats passed, one of them, the only white one, bearing a sign that said SHEIKH.

"A diplomatic visit, maybe," I said to my new friend. He looked at the armed men on the other boats and nodded.

When the convoy had passed, our boat, still unmanned, started moving, bringing us back to the restaurant where we first met. There were more signs, even a billboard, but I still could not understand the words.

"Where are we?" I asked him. He said something, and in my mind I heard it as places I rarely go to, like Novaliches or Caloocan or Kuala Lumpur.

"Is this even the Philippines?" I wondered to myself. "Earth?"

It was dark. It started raining. The streets were inundated with green sludge. It was starting to feel like Bladerunner.

He let go of my hand and waded into the green sludge. "Yuck, I won't do that!" I said. But I didn't have to. He continued wading away from me, not even looking back as he climbed up a waiting bus.

I stood in the rain, on a step that was slowly sinking into the green flood, the increasingly alien billboards blinking brightly above me, wondering what the hell that was all about.

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