a dream I had about a five-part Steven Spielberg movie

I don’t know where I was; it was a large room with a lot of people, mostly black girls; but we were watching a movie. It was one I’d never heard of and it was weird in the sense that the plot seemed to be all over the place. It wasn’t until I looked at the packaging; perhaps it was a Blu-ray Disc; that I realized it was a Steven Spielberg movie; a new one I must’ve missed the build-up for.

It was promoted as a “five-part epic”. It might’ve been another pretentious term instead of “epic”, but I clearly remember reading it being described as a five-parter, which made sense because it seemed like a mishmash of different movies from different genres. It also made sense that it was a Spielberg movie because the grandiose production suggested it cost a lot of money to make.

One part had a full cast of people singing and dancing like West Side Story, but the part I remember the most is the one I woke up at the end of; a poignant religious sequence about life and death. It started with two women giving birth or one woman giving birth to twins. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of people there, in a church, engaged in what seemed to be some kind of baptism.

Except for the guys who were down on their knees, apparently praying thru the whole thing, everyone was dancing, shouting and carrying on as the first baby emerged, the umbilical cord was presumably cut and one of the members raised the bloody thing up above his head. That’s when the celebration came to its peak. It wasn’t until the second baby emerged that things started to go astray.

The second baby wasn’t crying or wiggling around like the first one. It was DOA; dead on arrival; or what the medical world euphemistically refers to as a stillbirth. The guy who was supposed to hold it up above his head like The Lion King looked down to the guys on their knees. One of them was almost as still as the baby. The baby holder or someone kicked him over to his side. He was dead asleep.

That’s when the pandemonium began. Apparently the prayers were there to ensure nothing went wrong during the childbirths. When they realized he fell asleep, he was instantly to blame for the death of the baby. I thought they’d beat him up or something, but what happened was even worse as they dragged him over to a tub of water apparently reserved for baptizing the babies.

He surprisingly never awoke as they put him face down in the water. He was a somewhat heavyset Hispanic-looking man probably in his 20s with decades of life ahead of him. His only sin was falling asleep during a church ritual; poor thing probably stayed up late the night before; but they didn’t care. In their minds, this was justice; an eye for an eye, as the saying goes; and he deserved death.

As he lay there motionless; eventually two or three girls casually went over to sit on top of him; I thought about dying that way. You’d think a person would awake when they start to drown, I thought, but apparently not. I thought about Whitney Houston and her daughter, though they were reportedly subdued by drugs. I thought about the transition from sleep to death. Then I awoke.

2022 [ February 05 ]