Dream of: 02 July 1989 "Indian Gods"

I was sitting on the right side in the back of a room filled with perhaps 100 people who were sitting in folding chairs lined up in rows of perhaps 15 chairs per row. Weinstein was also sitting in the room at the left end of the row directly in front of me.

A woman who reminded me vaguely of my high school history teacher, Mary Krausz, was standing and speaking in front of the room. She had passed out a copy of a book written by me to everyone in the room. Actually I had rewritten a book written by Salman Rushdie. Although I had indeed written the book, my book had been based on Rushdie's book.

The woman directed each person in the class to select a passage from the book which he or she liked and read it aloud. She began by calling on someone in my row to my left, and then continued calling on people in my row, moving away from me to the left. When the far end of the row was reached, she began calling on people in the row in front of me, beginning at the far end where Weinstein was and coming back toward me. But Weinstein didn't read; I figured he was merely a guest here and he hadn't read the book.

As each person read a short excerpt, I gradually became aware that the people were applauding wildly at the end of each reading. I slowly realized the people very much liked what they were hearing, and I began to think the book might actually become a commercial success. I wondered if Weinstein was realizing the same thing. I could possibly make $1,000 from the book. How exciting.

As the reading progressed, I also realized I was having a difficult time remembering what the book was about. In fact, I seemed to be drawing a blank. I recalled it had something to do with people falling out of a plane, and something to do with some Indian Gods. But I didn't remember much else about it.

As the people continued reading down the row in front of me, the person reading came closer and closer to me. I looked at myself. I was actually not sitting in a chair like the others, but was reclining on a couch in the corner of the room. Since I wasn't wearing a shirt, I wondered what would happen if I were introduced as the author of the book. I could just see myself, without a shirt, standing up in front of the class and being applauded. I figured my shirtlessness would be accepted since I had written the book.

But I really didn't want to stand up, because I was afraid I would be asked to read, and I had no idea what I would read. The others seemed to know exactly what passages they wanted to read, and the reading and applause continued closer to me. Finally, the fellow directly in front of me read a short passage. But unlike everyone else, he didn't receive any applause. I wondered if that was a sign that the popularity of the book was beginning to fade.

Suddenly after he finished, the woman in front pointed me out as the author and asked me to stand and read. Someone handed me an original copy of the book, which was written not in English, but in what looked like German. A passage was pointed out for me to translate into English. I began looking at it; but it was so dark here where I was, I couldn't see it well. As I edged to the side of the room, I tried to decipher the words. With as much aplomb as I could muster, I spoke out a few words, but then halted, not being able to understand what the words meant. It looked as if the sentence which I was reading had four different clauses, and I couldn't tell for certain which clause went first.

Finally I saw someone in the back of the room who I thought might be able to help me: Gerhardt Von Horth, a Venezuelan attorney whom I had met in Dallas. I knew that Gerhardt's parents had been German, and that he spoke fluent German. Thinking that he could help me translate, I signaled to him to come up front.

Before Gerhardt could walk to the front, someone handed me an English version of the book, and asked me to read a specific passage on page 111, one of the last pages of the book. I walked with the book to a podium in front of the room and laid the book down in front of me. Looking out over the sea of faces staring back at me, I began reading. The first words seemed like strange place names or names of people. As I read them out, a black woman (perhaps 25 years old) sitting in the front row repeated the names, calling them out to everyone. Apparently she knew the names by heart. I then continued reading out loud, "Sense orders on strong crimes, WTBS ...."

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