Only in a dream!
I was trying to get to a special event in the mall, so I started by going up to floor 8/9 (the floors all were double-numbered) in the Donaldson’s (a now defunct department store which was bought out by Carson Pirie Scott which was subsequently bought out by Meryvn’s). I needed to be on floor 10, but the next escalator brought me up to 12/13, and I was lost in the corporate part of the store, with a maze of halls leading to offices. Finally I watched a group of people exit through a hallway near the escalator, where the main mall was.
When I finally got out of the administrative parts of the building, I walked through a food court and noticed one of the Pandamania pandas wrapped up in cardboard. Oh, yeah, I thought, they’re shipping those off to the auction winners. Then I noticed a dog laying on the panda and thought I should take a picture because it was very cute, but I didn’t want to take the time to get out my camera.
I then went down the escalators outside the food court into a big courtyard in the mall. As I got off the escalator I was startled to see giant panda faces peeking down from the floor above. Then one of the giant (20 feet tall) pandas then jumped over the railing, scaring the crap out of me until I realized that they were people in inflatable panda costumes celebrating some Pandamania-related thing (maybe the auctions?). The other three pandas then jumped the railing, and one noticed me staring at him. He came running after me, which terrified me, and I started to run. He caught up and grabbed my pony tail, but I weasled out and started back up the escalator. He then left me alone, and I returned to the courtyard.
I sat down and enjoyed watching the giant pandas for a bit, and then the program I’d come for started. We were there to listen to Joyce Carol Oates (I’ve never read a JCO book, so I’m not sure where this part of the dream came from). JCO answered one question, and then the pandas performed for a bit, and then JCO answered another question… after a couple questions, I really had to go to the bathroom, so I crawled along the floor, so as not to disturb the proceedings, and finally got to the bathroom.
The first stall I chose was overflowing, so I went around to look at the other ones. Most of the floor was wet, and none of the stalls looked all that great (nothing gross, just a lot of water). One of the other women said that stall #53 looked good because there was a personal attendant in that one. I asked what she meant, and she said that there was someone who constantly looked after that stall. This “steward” was not actually employed by the mall, but was mentally ill.
Then I woke up…Oddly enough, I had to pee.