I just woke up from a long, strange dream that I want to write down.
It was the mid-to-late 19th century, after the Civil War. I was a passenger on a train heading west. On the train was a rich, cruel woman who had power over many people and used it to make them suffer for her own profit. I was part of a group that included my brother and sister-in-law who decided to take power from the woman by stealing the entire train and taking it somewhere else. My brother and some friends were somehow able to switch their own engine for the engine driving the train–while the train was on its journey. (For reasons that were never made clear, the color of the engine was very important. Our engine was purple, which was symbolic of something.) When it was too late to do anything about it, the woman realized the train had been hijacked (by a purple steam engine, which was the final insult to her) and all of her wealth and power was gone. She’d been foiled!
The train was taken to a small city in New Mexico, which had been turned into a colony for artists, writers, inventors and free thinkers. The town had no mayor or government as such. The police reported to the newspaper publisher/editor, who was also the trade negotiator with Mexicans and Mexican-Americans (making him the most powerful man in town). An old cathedral in town had been converted into a labyrinthine display space and performance space for painters, sculptors, actors, musicians and dancers. The people of the town were multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, being Caucasian, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and Native American. Everyone seemed to get along with everyone else.
My brother and sister-in-law were in town, but they’d decided to move out to California with some friends, looking for further opportunities on the West Coast. The newspaper editor, George Takei, had also decided to move on and had named me as his replacement, making me the de facto head of the town. I was honored, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Wouldn’t a democratic government be better for this artistic, free-thinking town? How is this better than the way the rich woman controlled things?”