Amber and I are in a space shuttle. It's weird, because it's just a giant, open, cylindrical space lined with padding and wires and other spacey things. We're not strapped in. We're just kind of hanging out. And whoever is driving the space shuttle — later I'll see that it's one of our photo editors — is having trouble getting the thing into space.
We'll feel a rumble and then see from the tiny windows that we've got liftoff, and we'll see the earth beneath us begin to rotate (I doubt this is how actual shuttles lift off) only to, a few seconds later, find ourselves on the ground, outside the shuttle, waiting on the technicians to fix whatever problem we're having.
At one point, we're sitting near train tracks and I start telling Amber all about how Regina Spektor read a short story written by one of my other friends, and how she loved it, and halfway through, I realize I'm telling Amber her own story and I feel so embarrassed and ashamed.
I look over and see the aforementioned photo editor tossing big crates around outside the cockpit in order to solve whatever takeoff problems we're having.
Then we're back on the shuttle. I have some vague memory of us storing food in a tiny fridge even though none of the other passengers thought to bring anything. I feel slightly gluttonous because of it.
We have liftoff again. It occurs to me that we are probably going to die on this shuttle, and I suddenly want very much to be off the shuttle or to wake up (I realize I'm dreaming, but it doesn't go lucid on me because I can't control anything). Once again, the ground outside starts spinning around us as we rise toward the sky. I imagine with horror of what it must be like to be in a shuttle explosion. One minute things are fine, and the next ... what? Does everything just get white hot and you stop existing? Death makes no sense to me, even in my dreams.
I wince as we meet the horizon and rise up through the atmosphere. Out the window there is blackness and stars. And then everything kind of happens in a montage — as I'm standing there, looking out the window and thinking about the relative pointlessness of space travel, I see what human space traveling has wrought on the galaxy (I see giant oil rig things on distant planets; it's unclear if it's Earthlings who struck out to look for oil, or if it's just the technology we shared with other cultures in the galaxy). And while it's really freaking cool seeing all that crap, I feel that at any minute the whole thing's going to explode and I'm going to die.