The driver does not know how to get across from where we are to downtown, but I have a map, and unfold it. There's a close-up section of downtown on one side and the whole city on the other, but I can't get them to line up. And after maybe 10 minutes of this I show the map to the driver and he says "no wonder you can't find it, we're in New York". Oh. Which is when it dawns on me that we're on our way to the airport because I'm heading home. So I tell the driver to just keep heading for the airport.
I put the map away and the next thing I know I am in a suburban house. The taxi driver has taken me there, it's an alternative to spending the night in a hotel airport. The house looks unoccupied and sparsely furnished, which makes sense because it is being rented out to people like me who want a place to stay overnight away from hotel row. There are cheap wooden shelves on L-brackets on the livingroom wall. One of the boards is missing. I look over at the similar shelves by the door, and the missing board is stacked on top of one of the shelves there. This makes me want to explore the house.
The first thing I see is a door, open to a stairway going to a basement. I hear a dryer working down there, so I go down the stairs, and it is a big basement with a big washer-dryer pair. "I can do my laundry!" I shout, knowing it would normally be a day in a laundromat when I got home. I go back upstairs and discover a bedroom. Someone is sleeping in the bed. I somehow know it is my little sister. There is a second bedroom, and I somehow know the lump under the covers is her husband. Around the corner is a space which might have been for storage, it is long and narrow and has a platform which is about as high and wide as a twin bed, but much longer. The taxi driver is lying on it dead asleep. His shirt is off and he is wearing jeans. He is skinny and Hispanic - I had not noticed that before.
I realize that this is a house my sister and her husband have rented for a short stay, and think to myself but also say under my breath "this must be expensive. I wonder what they are paying for it?"
I start looking for my luggage, so I can do my laundry. The dryer is on but the washer was empty. As I look, through the open front door I see the next door neighbors, whom I know are thinking I am their new neighbor. They are wondering why there is an umbrella holder outside the front door with a bunch of fishing rods in it. I am wondering the same thing.
I can't find my luggage. I try to remember if I even have luggage. I can't remember putting it in the taxi when I got in. Total panic - I forgot to bring my luggage. I am on my way to the airport and I left my luggage in the hotel.
Wait a minute, why would I have luggage? I'm home in Mountain View, CA.
I wake up, Pumpkin is curled up against me, his head is near my shoulder. As I lift my head to look around, he makes his little "you're disturbing me" grumbling noise.