Dream of: 19 September 1987 (2) "Don Quixote"

I was walking around in a building which seemed something like a shopping mall. I was searching for a religious sanctuary in the building and I had the idea that a Moslem mosque might be there. Although I wasn't Moslem myself, I thought I would like to find some place quiet where I could be alone to think and meditate. As I walked up to the second floor and continued circulating, I found nothing like what I was searching for. Instead all I saw were small stores lined along the sides of the passageways.

As I passed one store I noticed a suit of bronze-colored armor standing in front of the store. The armor also appeared somewhat like a skeleton and inside the armor, there appeared to be a slender bronze head, which I identified as Don Quixote. It seemed this store was selling the type of cheap, metal, art works commonly found in towns on the border between the United States and Mexico.

I continued on until I found a box about knee-high sitting in the passageway in front of a store. I looked inside; it was filled with video cassettes. I picked up one; the price had been marked down once from twenty-some dollars to nineteen dollars and then to nine dollars. It seemed to me that I now owned a video recorder and I considered buying one of the video cassettes. I began rummaging through the box and quickly realized all the video cassettes seemed to be about the art of making movies and had been prepared by directors and actors. One was by Alfred Hitchcock.

A video cassette by John Wayne caught my attention. On front of the cassette was a particularly poignant picture of a small emaciated black boy whose ribs were clearly visible. His face was turned away so I could only see him from the back. Most peculiarly, he was in a dingy little toilet sitting inside an empty commode. Apparently he lived in the commode. I was unsure, but it appeared that Wayne was interested in some humanitarian project and had been trying to point out the plight of some of the world's impoverished and starving people when he had made the cassette.

***

I sat down in what looked like a cafeteria in the mall. I had the feeling that I was close to the sea and that I had come there for a sort of vacation, but I didn't really feel all that comfortable. Something seemed to be missing in my life and it was causing me a dull discomfort and dissatisfaction.

Two fellows (probably in their mid 20s) who knew me were sitting across the table. One was conducting a sort of pantomime and telling a story by simply using gestures but no words. He acted as if he were handing something to someone and he was putting the thing in the other person's hand. Then he acted as if he were lighting a cigarette. I quickly understood him to be describing a transaction in which someone had obtained some marijuana and then smoked it.

Sitting there, I finally realized both the fellow and I each had a joint which we were smoking. Since quite a few other people were in the room, I was somewhat concerned about smoking the marijuana so openly, but I had the feeling that smoking marijuana was accepted practice in this place and that drugs were used quite freely there.

When a look of alarm suddenly passed over the face of the other fellow, I realized the police were approaching me from behind. In a flash I crumpled my joint up in my mouth and swallowed it. I had a bit of difficulty swallowing the paper, but it went down.

Two policemen walked up next to me; they seemed to be aware that we were smoking the marijuana, but they didn't seem particularly concerned. However they did want me to accompany them somewhere; I left with them.

We walked a short ways and then began ascending some steps in a circular stairwell. We climbed probably five or six stories and finally arrived at what appeared to be an apartment. The police officers opened the door and took me in. I realized this was the apartment where some friends of mine were living whom I was visiting in this place. It appeared that the officers thought it would be best for me to stay up there. As they turned to leave, I noticed that one officer (probably in his mid 20s) had a pierced ear; he was wearing an earring in the form of a small silver cross. A police officer wearing an earring struck me as particularly odd; I had never seen such a thing in all my life. I thought this place must indeed be particularly liberal.

After the officers had departed, I looked over the spacious comfortable room with its light-blue walls and large windows which appeared to give onto the sea. I remembered having been up there before; I also remembered having met another policeman up there, an older man, who had told me not to spend all my time up there but to go out and see the area. Now I was unsure quite what to do; my restless uneasy feeling remained with me.

Several men (probably in their late 20s) were in the room. We seemed to all know each other, although I didn't feel particularly close to any of them. Marshall (a Portsmouth attorney) was there. He, unlike the others, looked neat and lawyerly. I had the feeling that he was the lawyer of some of the others. Bob Bell (a Portsmouth acquaintance whom I barely knew in 1979) was also there; he seemed friendlier to me than some of the others, although I didn't feel like reciprocating his friendliness and I felt a bit embarrassed to even be associated with him in any way.

One fellow seated in a large easy chair began telling me a riddle or joke about the musical group "Chicago." He began by talking about how two members of the group had left the group and had gone to play music elsewhere. Then he told the joke and gave the punch line. I feigned laughter, but then felt rather silly because I hadn't understood the joke; finally I came right out and told him I hadn't understood. He seemed surprised, especially since I had laughed when he had given the punch line. He looked around the room as if looking for someone else to explain the joke to me, but the others, who had also laughed, suddenly had puzzled looks on their faces as if they likewise hadn't understood the joke.

I picked up a photograph and began looking at it. I recognized it as a picture of the living room and hall of a place where I had once lived with my ex-wife Louise. In the hall, sitting on the bottom shelf of some shelves, was a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. But what was most peculiar about the picture was that a flood had obviously taken place in the house. In fact, when I first looked at the picture, it appeared that water was still standing in the living room about waist deep, although there didn't appear to be any water in the hall. But then I realized that it was just an optical illusion due to the way I was holding the picture and that the water had already receded from the living room.

As I looked at the picture, I imagined Louise talking to me about the house; her voice was so clear, it almost seemed as if she were there speaking with me. She was talking about the fact that I had wanted to get some of the rent money back from the apartment after it had flooded and I had had to move out. She said that not only had the landlord refused to return the money, but that he was insisting I pay several months more of rent apparently due under the lease. I adamantly asserted that there was positively no way that I was going to pay any more money for that apartment.

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