Dream of: 04 December 1994 "Lost Car"
I was in an unfurnished room with concrete or brick walls painted light blue. As I talked with a thin, neatly dressed lady (probably in her 50s), a man (also probably in his 50s) walked up and interrupted me. He was heavy set, was wearing a black suit and was carrying a brief case. Although I didn't know it at the time, he vaguely reminded me of John Clark (a used car dealer who had been a creditor in several bankruptcy cases in which I had represented debtors). The man immediately launched into a verbal attack on me, wanting to know where his car was.
Slowly I recalled that I had managed to obtain a car from the man, a car which I still had and even now was driving and had parked on the street outside. Although I couldn't remember the details of the transaction, I knew the man had never actually signed the car over to me, but that I had been able to keep the car and that he was unable to get it back. As he complained, I took on a rather superior and disdainful attitude. I could tell the woman was startled by the man's tirade, and I imagined she must be somewhat impressed by the way I was handling him. The man grew more and more frustrated at my unresponsiveness and he finally left.
I soon finished my business with the woman and I was about to leave, when another man who had walked into the room began talking. This man was also rather burly and dressed in a black suit, but he was younger, probably in his 40s. On a counter in front of him was lying a turkey sandwich in a hamburger bun. The man picked up the sandwich and spoke about the fact that bits of celery were in the turkey. He appeared to want to present himself as an expert on this particular subject, and he wanted to explain to us his theory on the matter.
Again, haughty and disdainful, I turned to him, and asked what he did for a living. I wanted to determine if he had any qualifications for being able to advise us on the nature of turkey sandwiches. I asked, "Are you a biologist?"
I immediately felt that was the wrong question. A biologist probably wasn't the proper occupation for someone learned in turkey sandwiches; but I couldn't think of what the proper occupation would be. Although the man clearly heard me, he didn't answer my question. I asked again and again for his occupation, stepping closer to him, trying to torment an answer out of him. Finally he blurted out that he didn't know. Now I had the opening for which I had been waiting. I loudly announced, proud in front of the lady, that I certainly couldn't be expected to listen to the opinion of a man who didn't even know his own occupation. If he didn't know that, how could he know anything about turkey sandwiches. Angry and humiliated, the man walked up some steps leading out of the room.
I had finished my business and was also about to leave. The woman said something to the effect that I should wait until the man had departed, that he might try to retaliate against me if he saw me outside. I told her I couldn't wait for that, that I had matters to attend to. I took my leave, picked up my suitcase and headed for the stairs. We were in the basement of an office building, and as I walked up some stairs to reach the street, I saw the man walking up the stairs ahead of me. We were dressed alike, both wearing black suits. For a moment I almost regretted how I had berated him; perhaps he had some lowly profession, such as a janitor, and was ashamed to admit it in front of everyone.
I didn't have time to concern myself with such matters, however, and upon reaching the street, I turned to the right and headed in the direction of my car. When I reached the corner a few steps away, I again turned to my right, walked past my car to the parking meter, and pulled out the key. I noticed a car slowing down on the street, apparently wanting my parking place. I always disliked it when someone waited for my parking place when I was getting ready to leave. I didn't like feeling as if I needed to hurry up for this person, so I took my time. I took out my key and began trying to stick it into the parking meter, a necessary procedure, I thought, to get my car.
At the same time I was musing about something completely different. I was thinking about how sometimes in court, when a judge would rule against someone, it was almost as if the judge had taken his fist and hit the person in the chest. I vaguely remembered that I myself had experienced that sensation once in front of judge Abramson, but I also reflected that I had never had such a thing happen to me in front of judge McGuire.
When my key didn't fit the parking meter, I realized I was at the wrong meter. There was no car parked in the space; the car was parked a space farther back. As I walked toward the car, however, although it was black like my car, I realized the car wasn't mine. Befuddled I looked up and down the street for my car. It wasn't there! What had happened? Quickly I realized my car must have been stolen, and just as quickly I realized the first man to whom I had talked must have taken it.
My mind was stunned. What did this mean? Had the man towed the car or had he had a key which he had used? How could I have not thought about the possibility of his doing this? My thoughts raced back to how I had obtained the car. I realized I had never gotten the title. If I now reported the car as stolen to the police, I would need to show ownership which I didn't have. I was trapped. I couldn't prove the car was mine. I remembered I had left a few unimportant things in the car – they wouldn't even be worth the trouble of trying to track down. The man had beaten me. I had simply lost the car, and I saw no hope of recovering it.
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