Dream of: 05 June 1996 "Working Assets"

I was walking and browsing around a large one-story well-lit department store. But my focus of attention was more on what I was wearing than what I was seeing; I was dressed up as a policeman. Or at least I was partially dressed up as a policeman. I was wearing a policeman's jacket and a policeman's hat – but I didn't have on a shirt. My jacket was open, revealing my bare chest.

As I walked around the store, I sensed that other people were looking at me, thinking I was a policeman. Their looks lent me a certain feeling of authority, and I found myself enjoying slipping into the roll. I especially liked the feel of the hat, propped up on my head. I almost never wore a hat, so it felt unusual to have one on. I noticed another woman shopper wearing a small hat, and I thought how some people were accustomed to frequently wearing hats. I thought that after a while for them it must seem natural to have something on their heads and they could carry it without problem; but for me it was a bit cumbersome.

I finally decided to take off the jacket and hat, and I laid them on top of a rack of clothes. Now I had nothing on from the waist up. I strolled around for a short distance, noticing what a good physique I had. But at the same time it occurred to me that this really wasn't the proper place to be going around without a shirt. What were people going to think? I walked back over to where I had left my clothes and put my jacket and hat back on.

Since I was already in a department store, I decided I could just buy a shirt. I walked over to a large dressing room and went inside. The shirts were kept on a rack in the dressing room, and I began looking at them. However it quickly became clear that only a few shirts – three or four – were for sale. I thought I probably would be unable to find anything I liked, but finally I saw one shirt made of coarse cotton, a dark bluish-green color, which caught my fancy. I thought this was actually the kind of shirt I liked to wear. I took it from its hanger and looked at it. The neck size was seventeen and a half, which I thought was a bit large for me since I thought I normally wore a sixteen and a half neck size, but I thought the shirt still might fit, and I tried it on. It was a bit large on me, but still it didn't feel uncomfortable.

As I had been trying on the shirt, another fellow had walked into the dressing room and had also started going through he rack of shirts. This fellow was taller and bulkier than I; in fact he seemed unordinarily tall, probably about six and a half feet. He was probably in his mid twenties and had black hair. He finally found a shirt on the rack and tried it on. The shirt had to be one of the strangest shirts I had ever seen. It was a black shirt with all sorts of strange irregular designs sewn all over it. It hung on the fellow lake a drape, far below his waist. I didn't see how anybody could be interested in this outlandish shirt, but then I realized this was apparently exactly the kind of clothes this fellow liked to wear. He was accustomed to finding the most garish clothes possible – sort of a reflection of his personality.

But what bothered me about the fellow wasn't his manner of dress, but his behavior in the dressing room. Although there were two mirrors, one of which was right in front of him, he insisted on using the mirror which was right in front of me, actually nudging me aside in the process. I could look right into the mirror and see both of us standing there like clowns, trying on our shirts. I wanted him to go back to his mirror, but he didn't seem so inclined. Finally I decided that this was all just too much. I needed to get out of there and back to the place where I was standing.

***

I awoke and found myself lying on a bed. I knew it was early morning. As I sat up and looked about me, I began to remember where I was: a small quaint hotel somewhere in Germany. I could feel how fresh and clean my sheets were. My neat and immaculate room had dark walls of rough-hewn wood. I knew I was on one of the upper stories of the hotel, on the third or fourth floor.

Just before I had awakened I had sensed that someone had been in my room. And now I saw that I was correct, because sitting next to my bed, on a tall stool, was a plate of warm food. The food looked like some sort of brown mashed beans, which seemed a bit odd for breakfast, but which still looked edible. However I wasn't really thinking about eating because something else was on my mind.

I was concerned about how I was going to pay the bill for the hotel. As I finally stood up, I reached into my left pants pocket and pulled out three credit cards, the top one of which was an American Express. The problem was that I had learned that this hotel didn't accept credit cards, and I didn't have any cash with me. I had already been at the hotel for several days and had run up a bill. Now I didn't know how I was going to pay. I also felt bad because the people at the hotel had been so nice to me. I looked at the waiting food and thought that was just an example of how they had looked out for me.

I kept searching through my pockets. I vaguely remembered having been at the department store before, and how I had only had credit cards there also. I was also looking though my pockets for yet anther master Card which I had which I had received from a company called "Working Assets." I recalled having given that particular credit card to Carolina the day before when we had eaten at a restaurant so that she could pay the bill. Now I realized she hadn't given it back to me and I wondered what had happened to it.

But the main problem was still figuring out how I was going to pay the bill. Maybe I could leave one of my credit cards at the front desk as security, go get some money, and then come back and pay. That seemed like that might be a workable solution, although I hated to put the people at the front desk through all that inconvenience. And I thought it would be embarrassing for me.

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