Dodging the Nerve Gas

Jan. 22, ’10 Dream

I sit in an empty parking lot in Canada, waiting to get gassed by riot police. Across from me, a sign has been painted to commemorate a 1992 uprising. Strange blue smoke whips in on me well before the police cars show up. I hold my ground in the lot, wondering where the other protesters are. A second person finally comes in to the lot. He is local so wise in the tactics of the local police. He tells me that the march is down the street, getting blasted by riot cops. We continue to dodge the nerve gas, hiding behind and inside a parked car several times. A jet-propelled gust of wind hits us hard as flames streak down the street to the right of where we’re being blown over. The wind pushes us apart towards the back of the parking lot.

As I grab on to a solid piece of concrete at the edge of the lot, dozens of people come into view while they’re running down the street. The police corral them and force them into the lower section of the parking lot. I try to conceal myself in the rafters above them, but they see me and make me come down to be ticketed with the rest of the protesters.

After being released, my new friend and I walk by a huge piece of machinery. I watch as he knocks a large piece over, and then notice unmarked secret service guards on a nearby roof. Two women see our plight and help us escape in to a nearby building. We come out to a balcony and then hope over to another building’s balcony. The women living there are mixed in the uprising’s support, but a few of them know the local guy. We eat and take a break from the police violence. One woman tells me to go to Union Station after I leave. “That train stop has beautiful waterfalls at its entrance.”

I put my loose items in a plastic bag and leave. I do not get noticed or caught by the police. I also do not find Union Station and the waterfalls.