Dream of: 13 November 1995 "Ethics 101"

While on the campus of a university which I was attending, I ran into my old high school schoolmate, Austin, whom I hadn't seen in many years. He looked as if he were in his late 30s and seemed hale and hearty. He still had his coal black hair and mustache.

In the past Austin had never seemed interested in spending much time with me. But now he expressed a desire to talk, and we loafed around together a while. Finally we walked into a cafeteria, sat down at a table and ordered a couple bottles of Pepsis. When we finished, I needed to go to the restroom, and I excused myself. I walked out of the cafeteria and took some stairs up to the restroom on the next floor.

After using the restroom, I walked to the sink to wash my hands. As I did so, I noticed some coins lying on the counter. I also noticed a few small pieces of jewelry, including some pendant earrings with pale strawberry-hued stones. The gemstones were each about a half centimeter long. The golden backs of the earrings were also lying here.

Austin walked into the restroom and continued talking with me. As he talked, I said nothing about the money and jewelry which I had seen on the counter, but instead I began picking everything up and sticking it in my pockets. Austin didn't say anything about what I was doing; he either didn't see what I was picking up, or he just thought the things were mine and I had laid them down while I washed my hands. The last thing I picked up was a small black leather camera case. When I picked it up, I was surprised to also see behind it an obviously expensive camera. I quickly also picked up the camera and stuck it in the case to take with me. Austin said nothing.

Together we both turned and walked out of the restroom. I hadn't been listening carefully to what Austin had been saying, but now I began to pick up on his conversation. He was asking me if I wanted to take part in buying a large amount of drugs – about $10,000 worth – so the drugs could be sold at a profit. I was surprised and a little shocked that he would be making such an offer to me. I turned to him and told him I wasn't in any way interested in such a proposition.

He informed me that I could use the items I had just taken out of the bathroom to help pay for the drugs. I stopped and looked him in the face. It suddenly all became clear: I had been set up. The objects had been left in the bathroom as a test to see how I would deal with them, whether I would take them. Obviously I had failed the test, and now I had put quite a lot in jeopardy, including my continuing on in the college. It looked as if I would probably be expelled.

I didn't know what to do. I could remonstrate that I hadn't stolen the items, but had just found them. Or I could say that my intention had been to turn the items over to the proper authorities. But such a statement would be a transparent lie. I might have somewhat redeemed myself by having refused to take part in the proposed bogus drug deal – but I doubted my refusal would be enough to save me.

Other students were hurrying to classes. The place looked a lot like the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

What a clever plan had been put together to bring my downfall. How had it been devised so carefully? How did they know I would even go to that restroom? Looking back I saw that all the time Austin had spent talking with me, had been part of the plan. Even the drinking of the Pepsi, to fill up my bladder, had been part of it. And now I didn't know what I was going to do.

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