when i emerged from the bushes, everything had changed. the one building on the other side of the river was now a sprawling industrial park, although the one building was still where it had been, now it was part of a lot of single-level buildings that were all connected together. randy was there, and we talked as though he had never died. we walked back across the river towards the industrial park, and i noticed my car, ganesha, parked in the parking lot next to the spy headquarters, so i decided to show him what i had been talking about. but the closer we got, the more suspicious i got that the people were really spies or something, and so when we got to the building, next to my car, we walked into the spy headquarters, and then turned the corner and walked out again, through a different door that lead to a kind of courtyard between the buildings. some of the people in the spy headquarters recognised me and commented that i shouldn’t have brought somebody else there, but they didn’t make a fuss about it when we immediately walked out again, although i did feel rather nervous about the whole thing, and i remember commenting to randy that they were all dangerous spies in this place.
we walked through the courtyard, which ran parallel to the river, behind the building complex, and eventually came to a place where there was a real agarbathiwallah – a guy who sold incense – at first he didn’t appear to be indian, but the more we talked to him, the more indian he appeared, although i was still convinced that he was somehow connected with the spy headquarters, and i was very suspicious about him for a long time. when i told him that i ran an incense business online, he told me that he wouldn’t sell incense to me because it was too “electrical and complex”. he did, however, sell incense to randy – really exotic, bulk incense for $4.50 a kilo – and i watched as randy wrote him a check, and he signed with his signature which i remember being exactly like the signature that randy signed when he was alive. more people came into the agarbathiwallah’s shop, who were apparently related in some way to the owner; an old man with a beard, and a young kid. the agarbathiwallah had a thing that looked like a shoe, only made out of wood, and he started doing something with some incense and a thing that looked like a pestle, also made out of wood, which he set on fire until it was smoldering and then ground the incense in the bottom of the shoe-like thing. i finally convinced him to sell me some incense: three large boxes and three small boxes of “pitha” incense. The Stars And Stripes Forever was playing on the piped in music thing in the store, and now i’ve got that march stuck in my head.
i dreamed that i was running an indian import business in the basement of a corner building in an old part of town – somewhere (possibly bellingham?). the basement was completely lined with wood, on the floor, on the ceiling, on the walls, and there was a huge wooden beam that supported the roof in the middle of the room. there was also what used to be a stairway to the upper floor, that was at least 100 years old, and was no longer a stairway, but was a bin for holding firewood. somehow this all came out of a previous dream in which i was selling indian imports at something like the oregon country fair: i remember a huge booth with flashy, twinkly lighted toys and doodads at the close of the fair, after everyone had left, but i don’t remember the context. anyway, i was in the process of moving (back?) into the basement store, and going around the store making sure everything was as it should be. one of my suppliers had an aqua imac that was having some difficulties, and i said i could fix it for him, but it had an operating system with which i am not familiar on it, and a whole bunch of obsolete software and stuff that was interfering with the process of getting it back to “normal”, and i was getting more and more frustrated with it.