Dream of: 05 November 1995 (2) "Back From Europe"

I was sitting in a classroom with perhaps 20 other students. The room was unusual because it didn't appear to have any walls (at least in the direction I was looking there was no wall) and I could see the surrounding countryside. I knew I was on the Gallia County Farm, which happened to be located in Texas rather than Ohio.

I had just returned from a trip to Europe and this was my first day of class since I had been back. The teacher was Dohoney (who had been one of my real property professors when I had attended law school). As Dohoney lectured in front of the class, I paid little attention to what she was saying. Once, when she asked a question and most of the other students raised their hands, I likewise raised my hand, as if I knew what was being discussed. I just hoped Dohoney didn't call on me and force me to admit I hadn't been listening.

As the lecture continued, I again slipped into my own private reverie, and looked out on the surrounding countryside. Thinking that this land might someday be mine, I looked out on it with pride. I could see that a taut wire fence had been put up and the area inside the fence had lost some of the wildness it had previously displayed. I recalled that my father had brought in about 15 head of cows to graze on the land and that the cows were quickly becoming fat as they ate down the lush grass in the field. I hadn't liked the idea of cows being raised on the Farm; but I couldn't object because the Farm didn't belong to me. Besides, the cows were yet another sign of my father's prestige and prosperity, and I would share in that.

My prestige was already considerable among my fellow students since – after all – we were on my father's land – land which he allowed the school to sit on. The chair in which I was sitting even reflected my exalted position. Whereas the other students sat in ordinary wooden chairs, I had a large armchair in which to place my derriere.

My reverie was suddenly interrupted when Dohoney called out my name. I had been partially paying attention to what she had been saying and I made a stab at answering her question. I knew I was the most intelligent student in her class and I didn't want to spoil my reputation by not being able to answer her question. I recalled that even while I had been in Europe I had continued a correspondence with Dohoney, answering questions she would send me. So even though I hadn't been paying close attention now, in general my astuteness for answering questions was highly regarded.

Dohoney's question was about surveying; I understood the question: she had asked how a surveyor would begin a survey if he had no fixed point from where to begin. Even though I didn't really know the answer, I thought I could answer it by common sense. I told Dohoney that the surveyor should sink a metal pin into the ground and sight in on it. Apparently my answer was exactly right because Dohoney seemed satisfied.

Dohoney was standing next to a tripod with a theodolite on top. To demonstrate how a survey could be made without a fixed point, she picked up the tripod and walked toward the outside. As I followed her with my eyes, I saw that the land outside now looked different: like something from arid west Texas – dusty, dry and barren; yet it also contained an unexplainable beauty.

Meanwhile, I had noticed sitting next to me a large cardboard box filled with bananas, most of which were overripe. I picked up one of the bananas which was still good and I began to peel it. When I also saw a large sack of green beans, I realized my father was also apparently furnishing food to the school. Before Dohoney walked out of the room, she turned back to me and mentioned that most of the bananas were going to rot; but it didn't matter to me. I knew we had such an abundance of food that the bananas would just be replaced. In fact it seemed as if I shared in an abundance of many things. Dohoney asked me if I would like to eat something else. I told her no, that I was planning to eat when I returned home. I knew my mother would be cooking something for me.

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