I had this dream last night where I was at a story gaming convention at a hotel. An ex was there (one who in real life never played story games). A friend of hers comes over and it's someone I know, a girl who maybe I saw once a year at conventions. She was familiar in the way that I knew we had hung out before but at the same time I had no firm memories of her. She seemed to remember me better than I remembered her which made me feel a little guilty.
We all go out for dinner and... at some point she turns into a cat. I could tell in the dream that she just had decided she wanted to be a cat so she became one. A little black house cat. There was nothing strange or silly about it.
When we got back from dinner, I took a bath in this fancy hotel bath that I could barely figure out and sprayed water everywhere from misuse of the jets. Then I gave the cat a bath. Despite regarding her as a person who was only temporarily under the guise of a cat there was no romantic subtext to this bath. It seemed a matter of course, the cat wanted a bath so I gave it one. Much like one might give their pet cat a bath, though this cat was unusually happy to be given a bath.
Afterwards I'm sitting on a couch drying the cat/person off with a towel. The cat reveals to me that she's dying, and I realized she had become a cat because she wanted to be pampered in her final moments. She began to slowly fade right in front of me, and as an attempt to ease the pain of her death I started scratching her on the head, finding a special spot behind her ear.
She pushed into the scratching amenably, but her mind seemed to be deteriorating quickly. A sudden swell of senility and fear of death caused her to start yowling and trying to bite and scratch my hand, while I struggled to hold her down and calm her and keep scratching, whispering soothing words. She vacillated between being calmed by the scratching and increasingly violent attempts to attack me, though it was clear that she was only attacking me because she was scared and confused and dying.
At this point a movie began to play on a projector screen before us. It seemed to be shot on film and be playing from an old style film projector somewhere. The film was made by +Vincent Baker , apparently the woman was a fan of his games, and he had made the video in appreciation of her. The film was a series of scenes of characters she had played in story games over her life. It seemed to have very high production values. It was as though the film was saying, "This is your life, this is who you are." and all these characters felt like watching through her past lives.
There is a frequent voice over that asks questions about the choices of her characters. For example in one scene she's on a date with a man in a white sailor uniform. He orders a corona and she argues with him about it, not wanting him to drink. The voice over asks philosophically, "Should a sailor not order a Corona?" This constant questioning makes it seem like the film is meant to make us think about how we decide what is right and wrong.
We have both been caught up in the film, and she has grown calm. I look over at her every few moments and her eyes are slowly sliding shut, and after a while she is so still I'm not sure if she's she's alive or dead. My concern grows and at the height of it I look and she's a woman again, staring into my eyes. I can only think about how terribly sad and traumatic this is going to be for me, how watching this woman die in front of me is going to leave a permanent mark on my soul. But I am also filled with the conviction that I have to do it, that it's worth it somehow, if only for her sake.
And then before she dies, while she's still staring into my eyes, I wake up filled with the incredible sadness of that moment.