Dream of: 04 September 1995 "Waste"
I was in a large room, something like a gymnasium, where some people were gathered for a sale. I was interested in the contents of a smaller room off to the side: it was filled with toys. Everything being sold was second hand. But I had been able to look at the toys, and they were all in good condition. I was anxious to get into the toy room as quickly as I could.
However, the sale hadn't yet begun, and more and more people were showing up. I had come early and was second in line. The only person ahead of me was a large, black-haired fellow (about 30 years old) who looked as if he were probably retarded. I hoped he wouldn't know which toys were good and take them all before I had a chance at them.
A thin woman sitting at a table was in charge. It was morning and she said the sale would begin at 8:30. She explained that only one person at a time would be allowed into the toy room. Each person would be allowed to take what he or she wanted, and then the next person would be allowed in. Having said that, she let the retarded fellow go in.
All I could do then was wait. I waited and waited. At one point I walked into the toy room to see how the fellow was doing. He really was retarded. He had put some things in a box to take, but I saw that he had left many toys that I would like to have. But he seemed in no hurry and appeared oblivious that other people were waiting.
When I went back out to where the woman was seated, I saw that the crowd had increased and that people were thronging around the woman. I became concerned when I saw she was writing a new list of people's names. I spoke to her and reminded her I was number two. She confirmed my number and asked me how long I would be in the room. I looked at a clock and saw it was five till nine. The other fellow had already been in there 25 minutes. But I didn't think I would need more than five minutes. I told her I would only be there ten minutes. She seemed satisfied with that. Since she also seemed to indicate the first fellow had been in the room too long, I walked over and went into the room.
Even though the first fellow was still there, I thought I could begin. But now, to my chagrin, I saw the toys I wanted were gone. In fact it only looked as if a few unappealing toys were left under a table. I did see a round, metal can which interested me and which I thought I could put other toys in. The can was about a foot and a half long and had a diameter of about eight inches. On the side were pictures of Mickey Mouse. The can had a price tag attached to a string taped to the top of the can. It said the can was $1.10. For a moment I thought I might not be charged extra for the can, but then concluded I would be charged. I saw some other rectangular metal cans which looked like bread boxes, but I thought the one I had would be sufficient.
I looked under the table, pulled out a flat cardboard box about two feet long and six inches wide. I opened it up and at first thought it contained a model airplane. It looked as if there were pieces of balsa wood which had to be cut out to make the plane. But then I realized it wasn't a model, but paper dolls which had to be cut out of cardboard instead of balsa wood. It didn't interest me much, but since there wasn't much else left, and it was rather old, I decided I would take it.
Since there wasn't much else of interest in the room, I walked back out to the large room. As I did so, I passed a woman who looked at me straight in the face. I thought I recognized her as someone I had met while practicing law, but I couldn't place her. I just hoped she wouldn't recognize me. It would be very embarrassing for anyone to know that I was a lawyer and that I was here at this second hand sale. It was just not somewhere I would want to be seen.
But no sooner had the woman gone past than another fellow (about 30 years old) walked up to me and looked at me. I also was about 30 years old, and I had black hair. The fellow immediately began talking with me and asking me questions. He said he thought he recognized me as someone he had known many years ago, back in high school. The person he had known had been a thief. As he told the story of the person, it appeared the person had been caught and even spent some time in jail. At any rate the person had been gone for a long time. Now as he looked at me, he commented on how much I looked like the person.
I knew I had a problem now, for indeed I was that person. I had been the thief he was talking about many years ago. I had thought I would be able to come back without being recognized, but now I had been found out. And I recognized the fellow. He had always been someone I hadn't cared for. And here he was right in my face.
He continued talking, comparing me to the person. He said I had the same hair, the same eyes, the same nose. Finally in triumph, he proclaimed that I was the person.
Obviously I couldn't stay. Without saying more I slipped away and made my way to the outside of the building. Dejected and confused I looked around me. I was in a residential neighborhood. I had the feeling that the sale that was inside the building was also being conducted outside in front of some of the houses in the neighborhood. But I was no longer interested. I just wanted to move on.
Right next to the street I was on I noticed a small stream. I also noticed water coming from a house, and it appeared that waste water from the house ran straight into the stream. Indeed, I saw a piece of toilet paper floating on top of the muddy water. Looking on down the stream I saw many pieces of paper and cardboard boxes floating on the water. It was disgusting that people just flushed their waste right into this stream. I wondered where it ended up. I thought I would follow the stream a ways to see where it went. As I moved along beside the stream, rather than walking, I seemed to be floating, following the course of the stream. More relaxed, I continued floating. Up ahead I could see where the stream passed into a large culvert. I could also see a large accumulation of paper swirling on top of the water right before it went into the culvert.
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