Dream of: 19 November 1995 "Character Flaw"

I had gone on a trip to Germany with my father, my sister, and my father's mother Mabel. Shortly after arriving, my father and I had boarded a car and gone off in one direction, while my sister and my grandmother had driven off in another direction in another car. However, I had a small black instrument – somewhat like a portable phone – with which I could communicate with my sister. Over the instrument I was able to not only talk with my sister, but by pressing and moving certain buttons on the phone, I could also guide her along the road she was traveling.

When we had first arrived, I had thought we would be traveling far into the interior of Germany in the direction of Berlin. But realizing it was close to nightfall, and seeing we were on the western border in the vicinity of Luxembourg, I quickly decided we should go to Trier. I knew that I had once lived for several months in Trier many years ago, and that I had also visited Trier at other times. There wasn't much to see in Trier, but since I knew my way around the city, I would still be able to show the others some interesting sights.

I quickly spoke with my sister on the phone and told her we were going to change our direction and head for Trier. Since she didn't know how to get there, I told her I would guide her. Using the instrument in my hand, I began moving the buttons along slots, and by so doing, I was able to show my sister which direction to go. She followed the direction I gave her until she was able to figure out for herself the way to go. I told her my father and I would meet her in Trier, and I hung up.

As soon as I had hung up, I realized I hadn't told my sister exactly where we should meet. I told my father I wished I had told my sister to meet us at the Porta Negra. When my father asked me what that was, I told him that Trier had originally been founded by the Romans, and that the Romans had built a massive stone edifice at the entrance to the old town, an edifice called the Porta Negra. I told him that everyone in Trier knew where the Porta Negra was and anyone would have been able to have guided my sister to it. But now, since we didn't know where my sister and my grandmother would be, we would just have to drive around all the hotels until we found her.

I also told my father a little more about Trier. I told him Karl Marx had been born there, and so Trier could be called the "birthplace of communism." My father seemed unimpressed with that information, and even seemed to consider it one of my character flaws that I would even have such information about communism.

***

My father and I were standing on a crowded street in Trier. I looked about me at all the people, thinking how much they looked like Americans. There was quite a diversity – some had blond hair, some black – and there was no general German type, just as there was no American type. I thought my father would find it fascinating to be seeing the German people, but then I recalled he had been to Germany several times already himself. I remembered that he had been living with Christa for many years, and that Christa was a German. Christa often traveled back to Germany to visit her family and several times my father had gone with her. Therefore, little of what he was now seeing was probably new to him.

Up ahead of us I saw a doorway in the side of a building, and I thought if we went into the doorway, we would come out on the central plaza. However, just as I was trying to direct my father in the direction of the doorway, he said he first wanted to take a ride on the subway, just to our right. I didn't feel like getting on the subway at the present, and I was surprised when my father simply got out of the car, boarded the subway and rode off, leaving me standing.

***

I was alone, walking across the central plaza in Trier. Numerous people were standing around, but the plaza wasn't crowded. Suddenly a rough-looking fellow (in his early 20s) stepped in front of me and grabbed me. I was immediately alarmed and realized this fellow meant to do me harm. But as he tried to pull me over to the side, another fellow walked up and shoved him away, saving me. I quickly stepped away from them both, and I stood back to watch what would happen next.

The two fellows – the one who had accosted me, and the one who had saved me – separated from each other and took up basically the same positions they had been in before I had been assaulted. Then the same thing which had happened to me was repeated with several other people: the one fellow would stop a person, then the other fellow would come along and rescue the person.

I began to realize the two men – the ruffian and the hero – were working in concert. I couldn't discern what exactly was their reason for doing this, since it seemed to make little sense; but obviously they were working together.

Seeing a group of six or seven policemen standing on the other side of the plaza, I hollered out, "Police! Police!" and beckoned them to me. A couple policemen, looking as if they were upset that they had been disturbed, lumbered over to me. I began speaking in German, trying to tell them what the two culprits were doing. My German was rusty, and I realized I was mixing in some Spanish words with the German, but the police obviously understood what I was saying. Nevertheless they seemed disinclined to do anything about it, seeming to feel no harm was being done. I protested that harm was being done, because innocent people were being frightened. I told the police I knew this was true, because I myself had been frightened when the man had first assaulted me.

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