i’ve been thinking about this all day, and getting the details straight, because in spite of the fact that it was fairly dark (most of the dream took place underground), there were a lot of details, and a very specific order to them that is an important part of the dream:
i was in bellingham, and i was freight-hopping to seattle because i was supposed to meet moe and someone else (male, familiar, not micah, more like bruce borntraeger. if it was him, it would be really bizarre), so that the three of us could freight-hop somewhere else (california? oregon?), but i missed my train.
i decided that since i couldn’t catch my train, that i would take a “short cut” through the balmer yards (the freight train yard in south seattle, near the sodo district). somehow i took the short cut that leads from the train tracks just south of bellingham, and connected up with the freight yard south of seattle, although when i was in bellingham, i was headed south, somewhere in between i ended up in the south part of seattle, headed north.
i was supposed to meet moe and my other friend near the freeway, at the south-west corner of capitol hill, so i figured that i could cut through the balmer yard.
the balmer yard was a much bigger place than it is in reality, and much of it is in what is the seattle “underground” – long intersecting train tunnels with a switch-yard, miscellaneous interconnected buildings of different sizes, a “hump” and a tower, and long sections of track for making up trains. there were a lot of people and freight cars around, and i figured it would be easier for me to “sneak” through without being noticed if i was dressed like everyone else, so i stole a raincoat and a pair of rain pants with suspenders, and a hard hat from an employee locker. i was already wearing freight-hopping clothes, with rain boots and leather gloves, and with the rain pants, coat and hard hat i looked like everybody else at the yard – the perfect disguise.
a lot of my journey involved cutting through stationary trains, or jumping on slow moving trains, moving to the other side of the car, and jumping off, but most of the other people – the ones who were supposed to be there – were doing the same thing, so i got quite a way without being noticed at all. at one point i got off a moving car and encountered a couple of “employees” who were talking about keeping clean, and one of them was complaining because he had to buy a new rainsuit because his other one had been stolen. i was convinced that this meant that they knew who i was, so i took off in a different direction, and eventually found my way to an “employee” lunchroom. i knew that if i crossed the lunchroom, the path i wanted was on the other side, but just as i was going in to the lunchroom, an “employee” mentioned to me that the rules were that you had to clean up before entering the lunchroom. i was already covered with grime and sticky goo from the trains – which is a fairly common occurrance when you hang around with freight trains – so i said “yeah, i know”, but i immediately exited the lunchroom through another door than the one i wanted because i was convinced that, if the “employee” had said something to me, that “they” were probably keeping an eye on me. unfortunately, because the door wasn’t the one i wanted, i was headed into a part of the underground that i wasn’t familiar with.
despite the fact that things hadn’t been going very well – missing my train, being paranoid about getting caught, getting lost and so forth, i was upbeat and enthusiastic about continuing with my journey. i found my way to a swich yard and had to get out of the way, because they were “humping” cars. i saw a caboose(!) rolling down the hump, and they had swiched the track so one of the caboose’s trucks went down one track, and one went down an adjacent track, so the caboose was crossways across two tracks, but it had not derailed.
eventually i found my way to the north end of the yard, and walked out onto the alley that the “employees” parked along, which was between the freeway and the waterfront. there were hundreds of people along the alley, and along the freeway, and this HUGE helicopter was touching down at harborview hospital. i asked somebody what was going on, and they said that the helicopter had been shot down in iraq a few days earlier. there was also an elevated train track that ran along side the freeway, coming out of the yard.