Dream of: 27 October 1996 "Pa"

As Carolina and I were walking around a large bookstore, I happened to look toward the large plate glass windows and glass doors at the front of the store, and I was surprised to see the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (around 30 years old) standing beside a car parked out front. I hurriedly pointed out Arnold to Carolina. He was dressed all in black, wearing tight-fitting black pants and a black long-sleeved pull-over shirt.

Recalling that Carolina and I had recently secured the autographs of two famous people, and thinking we might also be able to get Arnold's autograph, I began looking around for a pen and something on which to write. I didn't simply want a piece of paper or an envelope, but something more substantial. Or course it would be best if I had a picture of Arnold which he could sign, but nothing like that was in sight. I finally saw some post cards, not exactly what I wanted; but I found one which wasn't too bad: it had a picture from the animated movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" on the front.

By the time I was ready, Arnold had walked into the store, and was now on his way back out to the car. As he walked past me, I held out the pen and the post card, a gesture which he obviously understood. But he passed by me without stopping. I wasn't surprised; I figured he was probably often approached for autographs, and I realized it was an imposition. I followed him out of the store, not intending to harass him, but to stand politely nearby in the hopes that he might change his mind and give me the autograph.

I thought he would probably just get in his car and leave. But then I noticed that he was actually in the process of carrying cardboard boxes into the store, as if he were delivering something there. I politely addressed him, and told him I would be happy to help him carry in the boxes, if he would like. But he declined my offer. However, before he carried the next box in, he lingered by his car a moment, finally looked at me and motioned me to give him my post card. I quickly handed it to him and told him that he could just write, "To Steve" and sign his name. He started to sign the card, but quickly laid the card and pen aside. He had tried to sign but had been unsuccessful, and I saw what the problem was: the pen was dry. Chagrined, I hurried back into the store to look for another pen. Several pens were lying in the spot where I had found the first pen, and I began testing them, quickly discovering that none of them would write. They would each write for a word or two, but then give out. Finally I found one which wrote and I snatched it up.

But now I also thought of something else. On the shelves right in front of me were rows of books, and I thought I might find one by Arnold, or about Arnold, and I would much rather have him autograph a book than a mere post card. Luck was with me and I quickly found a large thin book with a picture on a white dust cover, and I snatched it up. Without paying for the book (thinking I would pay later), I headed back out to Arnold.

Once I was again outside on the sidewalk in front of the store, I was surprised to see 20-30 brown cardboard boxes sitting around on the sidewalk, waiting to be carried in by Arnold, who was standing there over the boxes. Again I offered my help to Arnold, and this time he seemed inclined to accept.

But first he decided to give me his autograph, and he sat down right on the sidewalk to do so. I had not wanted to take up much of his time, and felt slightly uncomfortable that he was sitting down to sign. Nevertheless I opened up the book to the first page, pointing to the large blank first page, and not the back of the inside front cover, where I wanted him to sign. I thought he would still remember my earlier request that he write "To Steve" and sign his name. But I had the feeling that he was going to write more.

I watched as he hesitated for a moment, and then wrote, "Pa,." After writing that, he looked at me as if he had made a mistake. But I saw that he was just acting that way and that he had intended to write "Pa,." But I had no idea why he would write such a thing. I thought he must have some reason in mind, and that he would write something else which would explain the enigma. But he didn't. Instead he just sat there, as if at a complete loss of what to write next. He turned to me and said he would like to know a little bit more about me, to help him know what to write.

In my hand I was holding a crumpled hand-written letter of three or four pages. It was unclear why I had the letter, but I had written it to someone, telling the person about my current situation. Arnold asked me what was in the letter, what the letter said. I explained that in the letter I had written that I was a lawyer, but that I had stopped practicing law so that I could write a book. In the letter I had explained that I intended to first go up to my one-room log Cabin (the Cabin which I have which I built on the Gallia County Farm in the summer of 1979). In the Cabin I intended to fast for a lengthy period before writing my book. I was unsure exactly how long I would fast, but I had concluded that the fast was of critical importance before writing the book. After the fast I would begin writing.

I half jokingly, half seriously told Arnold that I might even write a screen play for a movie in which he might be able to appear, even though I had never written such a play. But Arnold took me seriously, and he told me that he was very impressed with my plans, and that he wished he was doing something like that with his life. I could hardly believe what he was saying, and I pointed out to him that he was a famous actor, one of the best. I told him that I thought that I had seen all of his movies, although it seemed as if there had been one which I had not seen. I couldn't understand how he could say something like he wished he could be doing something with his life.

But as I began to look at him more closely, I began to realize that he was much smaller than he looked in his movies. He didn't appear to have much muscle; I would have expected him to be extremely muscular. I thought of saying something to him about it, but I thought that would be impolite. But suddenly it occurred to me that this fellow wasn't actually Arnold Schwarzenegger at all, that he had just been acting as if he were Arnold. I blurted out, "You're not Howard Stern, are you."

I had made a mistake of calling him Howard Stern instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But he knew what I meant, and he knew he had been found out. He immediately answered, "No."

We both stood up and I took back the book. I wasn't angry; I was too shocked at my own gullibility and the way he had taken me in. Now I just felt like getting away from him. He, on the other hand, seemed to want to be friends. He began telling me about his life and his plans for the future. I now saw just how effete he really looked, and I didn't want to have anything to do with him. I finally turned and walked back into the store.

My main concern now was to return the book. The one word written in the book had not really hurt it. I put the book back on the shelf just as Carolina walked up to me. She was still looking for something on which the fellow could sign his autograph for her. She still thought he was Arnold. I told her to forget it, and I began explaining in detail everything that had just happened with the fellow.

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