Dream of:12 November 1995 (2) "Ace Or Ass?"
I had just debarked from a large passenger jet which had landed in Japan, where I had come for a vacation. All passengers, including myself, formed a group. Apparently we all worked together, perhaps in a large corporation, and we would be all staying in the same hotel. We debarked from the plane right into the lobby of the plush hotel where we would be sojourning; the passengers formed a line leading up to the front desk where each person would obtain the key to his or her room.
Finding myself at the end of the line, I simply walked past the people standing in front of me, and cut into the front of the line, without anyone protesting (although I had the feeling some of the staid people in the line weren't pleased with what I had done). Another fellow (probably in his mid 30s) who was a friend of mine walked along with me as I passed the others and cut in line. He was tall, had black hair, and might have had a mustache. Like I, he was dressed in a business suit. Everyone else was dressed quite casually, but he and I had decided to dress in suits; our attire now seemed to give us a bit of an edge over the others.
Once at the front desk, I was greeted by a young and pretty Japanese woman standing behind the desk; she began looking for my paperwork. Another pretty Japanese woman (only about 20 years old) was standing next to me on my right. She was about 30 centimeters shorter than I and slightly pudgy. I was immediately attracted to her and I resolved that I was going to try to pick her up. I could immediately tell she wasn't allowed to fraternize with the guests and I knew she would be forced to rebuff me. Normally knowing that I would be rejected would have been enough reason for me not to have pursued the woman, but at the moment it didn't matter. I was going to have a good time there and I didn't care much what anyone thought.
So I began flirting with the woman. She was courteous and she didn't snub me in any way. However, she would avert her eyes when I spoke to her and she told me with her body language that she couldn't have anything to do with me. It was particularly clear that I wasn't allowed to touch her in any way.
As I flirted with the woman, my friend and I also kept up a running jocose dialogue. At one point he wanted to see a photograph of something and he said, "Call me a photograph." I could feel a peculiar thought in my mind, something I wasn't accustomed to. The thought was an instantaneous, witty response to what he had said. Normally I had no wit when it came to repartee, but what my friend had said made me instantly recall the character named Simon (played by Harland Williams in the television series Simon) and I seemed to recall Simon responding to a similar statement, and I responded, "OK, you're a photograph." Both of us laughed uproariously and I was surprised to think I had actually said something funny. My response seemed to set the general mood: we were going to have a slap-stick good time.
I was going to need some spending money. I recalled that I had recently stayed at another hotel in a foreign country, and that I had arranged to have local currency waiting for me at the front desk when I had arrived. This time, however, I had neglected to make such provisions. I might ask the woman anyway, just on the outside chance that I had called and forgotten. But that would be a waste of time; I would just have to figure out another way of getting some cash.
Besides, I was growing somewhat impatient with the woman behind the counter: she seemed to be taking longer than necessary to complete the paperwork on us; I finally asked her if there was some problem. In response she handed me a newspaper. I was uncertain of the purport of the newspaper, but she pointed out a particular article for me to read. I looked at the article and read the headline, the first word of which was "Acembly." Glancing at the article, I gathered that the legislative body in Japan had passed some rules regarding hotels: the present delay was due to the new rules. However, I was more interested in the misspelled word, because the misspelling seemed to reflect a certain incompetence, an incompetence which the woman's dalliance showed that she obviously shared. As I held up the paper to the woman to show her, however, I was surprised to see the word now spelled correctly: "Assembly." I was speechless.
The woman directed my attention to the comic page. Looking over the page, I immediately noticed a four panel comic toward the bottom of the page. I didn't read the comic, but was struck by the characters portrayed in it. Two people wrapped in white cloth like mummies were interacting with each other. One of the two was obviously a woman. Immediately in my mind I connected the woman behind the counter with the mummy in the comic strip, and I concluded that the comic strip was meant to describe this woman. In fact, it looked as if the newspaper was actually an in-house paper put out by the hotel, and each of the comic strips was a vignette used to describe different people who worked in the hotel. I rolled the word "vignette" over in my mind. It was a new word I had learned, but I hadn't incorporated it into my working vocabulary. A particularly pleasing word – it seemed to be the perfect word to describe these comic strips. I spoke to the woman, using the word in my sentence.
She was more interested with the business at hand and she now handed me another paper which looked like a questionnaire. Glancing over it, I concluded that the guests would be rated according to their behavior while staying in the hotel. For example, a guest would be given a negative mark if he or she were seen walking through the halls with bare shoulders. I might be getting a few negative marks, because before I was through with this place I would probably be walking around with more bare than just my shoulders.
I was also thinking of ordering something to drink; if I drank something, I would be much more exuberant than what I already was. I turned to my friend and consulted him on whether we should have a martini while we waited. I wasn't much of a martini drinker; in fact I didn't recall ever having had a martini. But it seemed that if I were ever going to drink one, this would be the place.
All the while, in my merriment, I had continued flirting with the woman on my right. I now realized she reminded me of someone: my old girlfriend, Vickie. I hadn't seen Vickie since 1978 when we had had a short, torrid affair. I recalled that I had liked Vickie very much; if this woman was anything like Vickie, I would certainly enjoy being with her for a few days.
Just then the woman turned toward me so that her forehead was close to my face. I quickly kissed her lightly on the forehead, sensing that she was allowing me to do so. She stepped back and coyly stated that I should be satisfied now because she had allowed me to touch her. She indicated that would be the last time I would receive such permission. But as she stepped back, and the woman behind the counter seemed to have finally completed our paperwork, I was sure I would be seeing more of this girl during my stay there.
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