The city was like Venice- all the roads were waterways, except they were full of SEWAGE-water. Sludgy poop was actually covering about a foot's depth along the entire bottom. People were standing around waist-deep in it all over the city, watching some kind of performance or parade in a nonchalant and content manner that wouldn't seem out of place had they been sitting on a blanket at the park.
A not-OLD-but-older-than-me dude on crutches got out of my way, smiling and sincerely wanting to help as much as possible, because I was walking my mom's old racing bike along the upper path. [I was confused- if there's an upper path to walk on, there's no need for anyone to lower themselves down into the filth... but that's just what they do here.]
He was clearly struggling- I insisted he go first but he kept insisting that my bike & I were more important than his injury/disability. Although he was speaking in Punjabi and I in English, there was nothing but understanding, almost as though we each had the HGTTG earfish.
My Luffy hat blew into the water and past some family who refused to help me grab it: "Uuuugh, I'm not putting my hands in THAT filthy water" [yes, while standing waist-deep in the very same filthy water]. I just let it go then, whatever- it's covered in pissy-poop-water by now anyway- it floated away and the [very hot] guy I was suddenly walking along with was wearing a bright white t-shirt without a speck of any grime or dirt. How can it stay so spotless in this place? How does he do that?
Something happened then, that made us happy, but the detail of it escapes me now. Perhaps a part of the performance that was particularly good?
He hugged me and it was really really
nice. I wanted more hugs so I hugged him again - he almost kissed my neck because of the awkward way I grabbed him- but his mom was standing there and I got embarassed in case she figured out that I thought he was beautiful and wanted
him to kiss me, so I let go before I was ready to. I'd told her before that "it would be too weird", and felt like a liar for changing my mind.
Then a long bell sounded, and as a joke I said "oh, we best go in, then!" Meaning it was like a school bell and recess was over, but not clarifying that. They both hesitated and kind of fake-chuckled to appease me yet obviously not knowing what I meant. They just knew they were expected to laugh.
That's when I woke up to the fire alarm going off in the house.