Dream of: 14 February 1996 "Iranian Mental Hospital"

I had composed four short stories in my mind, all of which were somehow related in a series. I thought the stories were quite good, but unfortunately, after I had written them, I had fallen asleep and forgotten them. Now, try as I might, I couldn't seem to remember them, and I was even having doubts about whether I had even composed the stories. Perhaps they had just been dreams.

However, I did remember that the setting of at least one story had been a mental hospital in Iran. I also thought an Iranian mental hospital would make a good setting for a television situation comedy series. Of course I realized it might be difficult for an American audience to relate to such a situation. And I also realized that by its very nature a mental hospital would have to have a serious side to it, and not be pure comedy, such as for instance "Married With Children." But I thought I had seen television comedies which also had serious moments and I figured I could work that out.

***

I was sitting at a bar with a woman whom I had only recently met. She was probably in her mid 30s and had only average looks, but I was enjoying her company and what she had to say.

Apparently she had once worked in a mental hospital in Iran and had quite a bit of information to give me. She described the hospital as quite an awful place. What she seemed to think was worst were certain religious rites which the inmates were forced to perform. The woman talked of a garden containing 80 white statues of the virgin Mary, and how the patients had to every day undertake some kind of ceremony involving those statues.

When the woman finished her drink, she rose to go get another one. I thought I should buy her drink for her – they were only 40 cents apiece. But she had stepped away so quickly I didn't have a chance. And I didn't think it would be proper to just hand her the money for the drink. So I just sat and waited for her to return.

***

I was a patient in an Iranian mental hospital. I was lying on a bed and next to me was another bed with another patient, a black-haired fellow (probably in his mid 20s). I had come to admire this fellow. He was wild and reckless, but possessed a becoming charm. I looked up to him.

As we lay here, I discovered that if I were to unscrew three wood screws at the top of my bed, I could push the bed back from the wall, revealing an opening to a hallway. After doing so, I stood from my bed and stepped out into the hall. Feeling adventuresome, I walked along the hall, peering into the rooms which I passed. In one room I saw a man and woman wearing white robes getting out of bed. They resembled Wheat and Melanie.

I continued on to the end of the hall until I came to a room which appeared to be used by the hospital personnel. Peering into the room, I thought I saw some people who worked in the hospital, and fearing that they would spot me, I ran back down the hall to my room. But as soon as I reached my room, I discovered that my friend, the fellow sharing the room with me, had also been out in the hall, and that he had likewise just run back. When we compared notes, I realized it had been he whom I had seen in the room at the end of the hall, and not the hospital personnel. He also had been startled when he had seen me, and that was why he had run back to our room. When we both realized this, we decided to venture back out, and we headed back into the hall again.

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