Dream of: 10 December 1994 "Letter-Opener Sword"

wielding the power to create beauty requires prolonged effort

While I was visiting my old home town of Portsmouth, Ohio for a few days, my father and I walked downtown so he could buy some new clothes. My father looked young, perhaps in his early 40s, and he had brown instead of black hair. We were in a mall-like area, and were just about to walk into Martings Department Store, when I noticed Steve Weinstein (my good Portsmouth friend from my late teens) standing nearby with two other fellows, apparently waiting in line to buy movie tickets.

I had intended to look Steve up while I was in Portsmouth, but for some reason, even though I knew he was in town, I hadn't visited him. However, I was quite happy to see him now. As I walked toward him, I reached in my right pocket for a black wooden sword, about a meter long, which resembled a letter opener. I tried to pull the sword out of my pocket so that when I reached Steve, I could pretend to good-naturedly stick him with the sword.

Before I could pull out the sword, however, Steve saw me, quickly walked over to me and threw his arms around me. I was happy to see him, but he was beyond happy – he seemed almost ecstatic to see me. After he had finished hugging me, I stepped back and looked at him. He didn't have a beard and he looked about 25 years old. He seemed healthy, but I noticed he seemed less effusive and not as haughty as he normally did.

The fellow standing next to Steve was taller than Steve, but looked to be only about 15 years old. The third fellow was also young, and quite overweight. That Steve would be with such young friends seemed peculiar to me and although I wondered if Steve had more than just a friendly relationship with his friends, I didn't say anything. I thought Steve would introduce me to them, but he didn't get around to it.

Meanwhile, my father had left me standing there and had walked down some steps to reach the clothing department of Martings. When he now returned, I told him that he should do his shopping and that I would look for him in a few minutes. He walked back into the clothing department.

When I asked Steve how long he had been in Portsmouth, he said two years. Incredulous, I repeated, "Two years!?"

I could hardly believe it. As we talked, I learned that Steve was now living in Portsmouth with his parents. While he had lived away from Portsmouth, he had apparently had difficulty either making telephone calls or paying for the calls which he made to his parents, so he had finally moved back to Portsmouth. Since I had visited Portsmouth several times during the last two years, I was surprised that Steve had been living there all that time without my knowing it and I felt a bit guilty that I had never contacted him during that time.

It seemed quite ironic that Steve was now in the same position that I used to be in when I had lived in Portsmouth and he used to visit me. Now I was living in Dallas - a large city compared to Portsmouth - and I was visiting Steve in Portsmouth. His having lived in Portsmouth for so long helped explain the diffident aura he now projected; I could see why he now seemed more humble.

As Steve and I conversed, I could see my father and I noticed that he would occasionally glance up at Steve and me. Although I realized he was impatiently wanting to leave, I wanted to talk with Steve – if not now, at least later. I wondered if Steve did any writing any more. Both he and I had once wanted to be writers. I figured if he were living in Portsmouth and if he had time to be watching a movie in the middle of the day, he obviously had time to write. At the same time, I reflected that I needed to be working more diligently on the book of dreams which I was writing. I felt somewhat guilty by my lack of effort.

My father finally stepped up to where we were, but he didn't bother me. Instead he began looking at the walls of the large lobby-like area which were plastered and painted an uninspiring blue. I finally realized that my father either owned or leased this building and that I would someday inherit it.

I also realized my father was interested in painting the walls. My father turned to Steve and asked him if he had a computer communication system with which he could provide my father with information about how to paint the walls. Apparently Steve did indeed perform that kind of computer work and he also began scrutinizing the walls. I knew Steve had a computer system, but I didn't know whether it was sophisticated enough to obtain the information which my father needed. I told my father that Steve Buckner (another old friend from my late teens) was also living in Portsmouth and that Buckner could provide my father with the needed information, since that was indeed the type of work which Buckner did. Steve, however, seemed to think that he could do the work, and he continued examining the walls. After a short while, Steve said that to do the job, he needed to first go upstairs and check on something.

When Steve then walked up the nearby stairs, my father and I sat down on two different couches to wait. Steve's two friends had also sat down. Suddenly an amazing thought struck me. I told my father I had recently had a dream which had contained three elements which I wanted to point out to him. First, in my dream, my father and I had visited this same building. Second, we had encountered Steve in the building. And third, my father had asked Steve to do some work for him. My father seemed surprised to hear that I had had such a dream. I was anxious to also tell Steve about the dream as soon as he came back downstairs. My having had a dream so similar to what was now actually happening gave me a satisfied feeling.

As we waited, some small boys walked around the area. One stood next to my left leg and after a moment I realized he had started rubbing his private area against my leg, almost like a small dog might do. Disgusted, I knocked him down on the floor. I didn't know to whom the boy belonged and I thought some people standing nearby might become angry by what I had done, but I couldn't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Another small boy (about 7 years old) walked up, sat beside me on my left, and told me he wanted to show me something which he could do. He first put his left leg behind his head, then put his right leg behind his head. I thought to myself that I regularly put my legs behind my head to exercise, but I wasn't limber enough to put both legs behind my head at the same time, as the boy had done. Although I didn't say so to the boy, I was impressed by his feat. As he quickly unwound himself, I had the feeling that he wasn't able to remain in the position long.

I told him to try it again, only this time to only do one leg at a time and to hold the position each time for two minutes; that was the length of time I held the position when I did the exercise. The boy sat on the floor to put one leg behind his head. This time, however, I wanted to add something different, so the boy attached what appeared to be stilts, about 60 centimeters long – such as a stilt walker would wear – to the end of each leg. He then started to put one leg behind his head.

But suddenly – puff – the boy disappeared. It almost seemed as if I had been watching a cartoon on television, and just as possible in a cartoon, the boy had simply vanished from sight right before my eyes. It almost appeared as if the boy had been performing, and the disappearance had been part of the act. Now before me, in mid-air, where the boy had been sitting, I saw a paper with some writing on it – a paper which apparently described what would be the next act. I quickly read that in the next act the boy would sleep for ten hours. I was befuddled by what I was witnessing. It seemed quite disconcerting to see in place of the boy a paper in the air saying the boy would be sleeping for ten hours. It also seemed a bit ridiculous. I didn't intend to sit there for ten hours, and I couldn't quite figure out the meaning of the paper. However, I had the vague feeling that the paper was intended to be satirical – to point out that sleeping for ten hours was no act at all – that indeed, such a feat required no effort.

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