The Mutant Room

Supposedly, I had some bad dreams last night. I remember startling awake a few times, but I do not remember any details. What I DO remember is the excellent and realistic dream I had just before waking up. It was mainly about a place — a club or bar — that my brain insists is a real location somewhere in the world. My brain feels like it is just on the cusp of knowing what and where it is, and that I will remember where I read about it and where it is — much like the way it feels when a specific word is on the tip of my tongue. Repeated Google searches do not bring up anything at all like it.

The dream itself was set in a club/bar (the one my brain insists exists, but my searching cannot find.) The club is in a taller, older building, with storefronts on the ground floor. Stairs beyond the front door take you up to the second (and beyond) floors where the club itself it — much like the Fez, for instance. The club itself consists of a number of indirectly interconnected rooms — maybe half a dozen or more. I say “indirectly” because the club spanned two (or more) floors and there was no easy way to get from one room to an adjoining one. To get between two rooms on the same floor, you would have to go up some stairs and then down a different flight of stairs. There were a few interconnecting doors/hallways, but they were off-limits (I believe they were reserved for staff and emergency exits.) The partitioning prevented noise from one room to get to others, so they had a great variety of music and clientele. It wasn’t a goth club, per-se, as there were lots of Bro’s and just average hipster club-goers, but there was at least one room playing goth music. There was also one very surprising feature to the whole thing — a “secret” room — which I will get to in a bit.

Throughout the dream, I was trying to catch up with a friend.  He was always just ahead of me and wearing a red shirt.   I could see him duck out of a room, or would see him a floor below me through open slats in the stairs.   We were supposed to meet up in that secret room, but I always kept getting delayed.   For instance, in one room, a “nubian princess” type of girl was trying to get past a sea of people.  She was a little timid and afraid of something (or someone.)   I helped push through people as she followed behind, holding on to my shoulders so that we were not separated.  Once across, we run into her boyfriend, whom she was there with (and who, I discovered, was what she was afraid of.)  I remember the boyfriend being very large, very strong, and sort of a black version of Mr. Clean.  With her hands still on my shoulders, she was using me as a human shield as her and her boyfriend verbally attacked each other.  I managed to slip away into the crowd and saw my red-shirted friend exit through a door across the room.

The ultimate destination in this club was a rumored “secret” room.  The fact that it was there wasn’t secret, but its location and method of entry was known only to a few people.  It was an exclusive V.I.P. affair that not everyone could get into.  There were some vague rumors of the entrance being in the bathroom, which I managed to find.  The bathroom (well, the men’s room, at least) was fairly central to the whole setup. It had three doors, all of which went to halls or stairways such that it could be reached from most anywhere in the building.   Presumably, based on where the secret exit stairs went, it was one flight up from the ground floor.  As I said, the bathroom itself had three doorways.  One of them, though, had a sort of latch thing on the wall next to the door.  If you pulled on this at the same time you opened the door, it somehow opened differently.  I can’t really imagine the mechanics and will chalk it up to dream logic, but I think there was something related to the latch in conjunction with pulling the door inward vs. pushing it outward, or the direction in which you turned the knob.   However it worked, I managed to find it by accident, and the door that I came in through (which previously had a hallway beyond) opened to the top landing of a flight of stairs, trailing down to the left.   A Victorian-looking sign said “Mutant Room” with a diagonal arrow pointing down the stairs.  This was the famed “secret” room.   (After waking, I somehow worked out that there was normally supposed to be a bathroom porter-guy standing there handing out towels and mints, to act as the bouncer to the secret room, but he must have been on break.)

Descending the stairs brought me to a Victorian-themed room.  It immediately struck me that not only was the room themed that way, but the clientele was also in period attire.  I did not remember seeing anyone up in the regular club with such clothing, so I came to the conclusion that some were staff posed as customers and some where customers who left their clothing there in lockers or closets or something.   This room was obviously one of the storefronts below the club.  Directly in front of me was a large window along the entire wall, covered in thin curtains.  You could see the silhouettes of people, lit by the streetlights, walking past the window.   The only way in to this room was the stairs from the bathroom.  To the right was an alcove that hid a hallway with a double set of exit doors.  Like an air-lock, this allowed people to leave, but prevented people from cutting in through the exit.  To the left was a large wood bar and a jovial bartender.  There were tables and chairs throughout the room and to my left flank were a few general-store-looking shelves housing art supplies (presumably so you could draw as you drank or waited for friends.)

I ended up getting a few wooden pencils, a heavy metal sharpener, and a badly mimeographed booklet of logic puzzles.  I ordered a drink, claimed a table, and sat down to wait for my red-shirted friend.  I felt a little bit out of place, but there was a sort of Disneyland feel to it, as if I was the tourist surrounded by cast-members in character, so it was no big deal.  I had my iPod (errr, iPhone) out and had to explain it to someone.   The simplest explanation was that the headphones were listening tubes so that I could hear the clockwork band encased within the iPhone.  I neglected to turn it on, fearing that I would have to come up with a description for how the screen worked.

At a particular time, there was a rumbling from deep underneath the floor.  Lights flickered, chandeliers rocked.   Some of the walls started “breathing” a little and the frame of a doorway behind the bar stretched and warped and curved a little.  The bartender ran across the room, pointed to a picture above the alcove and next to a clock.   He explained that this was a photograph of the original creator of the bar.  I didn’t catch his name, how he died, or what date it was, but understood that this was the time of night that he died.   He asked everyone to silently pay respects in whatever fashion they desire, just as the lights cut out.  I gave a little yoga “namaste” with a bow because it felt appropriate, and the lights came back a few seconds later and everyone went back about their business.   I never did meet up with my red-shirted friend, but had some interesting conversations with the others in the room.

So, does anyone know of a club with a secret door in the bathroom leading down to “the mutant room?”   (That was very specifically the name of the room, and I knew that before I even stumbled across the sign.)  No?  Didn’t think so.

Posted in: Dreams

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