Is this the afterlife?
For some reason I had the impression that it was, but I don’t know why.
A large barn set up to cover an artificial slope. On the bank of this slope congregated a large number of people. I recognized a few: Lorena, a crabby old woman I worked with at my first job. Leslie, the proto-goth girl I had my first sexual crush on. Maybe a few others.
We are all casually naked, and nobody seems to mind or notice. This may be part of my reasoning for thinking it was some sort of afterlife- it’s hard to imagine living people being so blase (although I know there are plenty of people who are).
Many people are sitting on towels, but some are on sort of flexible mats or sleds- I get the idea this is a sledding hill we are gathered on. There are a lot of people gathered, so I thread my way to an adjoining section of the barn. Here the hill is covered with either meatloaf or lasagna; I’m not quite sure, but it’s about four feet thick. I slide down the hill on a section of it, which seems perfectly normal. Amused with myself, I wander outside and find a place to sit in the sun near someone else I may or may not recognize. Around the back corner of the barn, I see a big mecha or powerloader stomping around, each arm a long barreled gunlike apparatus; but instead of bullets or lasers or napalm, these weapons are firing solid streams of water, like two fire hoses. Maybe it was on loan from the fire department, I don’t know.
I comment to my closest neighbor that the hoses are a clever idea- as long as you can keep the pressure up, your rate of fire is 100% and your reload time is nil. Someone comes around from behind the barn with a regular hose and waves the nozzle in our direction. I recognize Emily, a girl I briefly dated a few years ago. I am in the process of draping my towel over myself for some shade, and I warn her against spraying me. She does anyway, laughing as my towel gets soaked. Irate, I leap to my feet and twirl it into a rat-tail, striding after her as she flinches against the barn wall. I unfurl the improvised weapon toward her and it just misses, producing a loud CRACK! that echoes off the wall. I scowl at her as she cowers in the shade and walk off, unwinding the towel and draping it over my neck and shoulders, the moisture cooling me.
I come around to the back of the barn, finding a large circular aboveground pool and an elevated patio deck, both populated with laughing revelers. I wonder if this is meant to be Shangri-La, or some variation thereof.
Then I wonder if any of that meatloaf/lasagna is still edible.