Dream of: 05 December 1996 "Inconsiderate"

I was talking with a young woman (not more than 20 years old) at what appeared to be a family reunion where many of my relatives were moving around the house. The woman and I were both sitting in armchairs facing each other. Another somewhat older sister (of the woman facing me) was sitting nearby – but all my attention was focused on the woman facing me. As she and I talked, I realized the woman was obliquely related to me: she and her sister were grandchildren of my father's step-father Clarence.

The more I talked with the woman, the more attractive I found her. Her only defect (which she shared with her sister) was slightly protruding top teeth, but not enough to detract much from her overall attractiveness. Being drawn in by her beauty, I discounted her being in some way related to me – we were certainly not blood relatives. As I saw it, we were only step-relatives, distant ones at that, and there was no reason why we should avoid any physical contact because of such a tenuous tie. Looking at her tantalizing legs, fully revealed by the short flower print dress that stopped above her knees, I wondered how she felt about the matter. When I let one of my hands brush against her leg, she didn't seem to mind, and I began to see possibilities with her.

Our conversation, however, was abruptly interrupted by activity around us. Other men gathered in the house were moving a piece of furniture which looked like a large black piano, and we had to move. Besides, it appeared that everyone was going to gather in another room, and that I was going to have to move whether I liked it or not. The girl, her sister and I all stood and walked along behind the men who were carrying the piano. I thought I could probably help the men, but they seemed to have the matter well in hand, so I just followed.

As we continued through the hall of the large well-furnished house, I noticed a wristwatch lying on small table standing by the wall. The place seemed obviously inappropriate for someone to have left a wristwatch. Many people were circulating around the house, and any of them might just decide to pocket the watch. I picked the watch up and examined it more closely. It was gold-colored, with a metal gold band, the snap kind which typically comes with a new watch. The watch itself looked new and I thought someone had probably only recently purchased it. I looked for the trade name on the watch and saw that it said "Stevens." I didn't recall having ever heard of that brand. Now that I had the timepiece in my hand, I pondered what to do with it until I finally decided to hang onto it. I didn't plan to keep it, but to find out to whom it belonged. I would just carry the watch around in the open until someone saw me with it, or I would give it to someone in the house and tell them to hold it until someone asked for it.

The men carrying the piece of furniture finally set it down. I now saw that they hadn't been carrying a piano, but a large, exquisitely designed arm-chair. I walked over to the chair and examined it. It was covered with many different kinds of colorful patchwork material, perhaps leather, all of which blended together into an intricate design. I thought I would love to have it, and I wondered if the chair were for sale, or if it were going to be auctioned.

As I had looked at the chair, I seemed to have lost sight of the girl and her sister. I looked around the room, trying to see someone I knew. I thought my father was probably there, and I looked for him. As I thought about my father, it occurred to me that I hadn't been very considerate of him lately. It seemed as if I had been shunning him, and I thought I should have been paying more attention to him.

I realized that part of the reason I had been ignoring my father was that I had been devoting much thought to what I was going to be doing in the future. This thought process had been complicated, but my final conclusion was that I needed to go to Germany and live for a while. I knew my father wouldn't be happy with that decision, and therefore I hadn't been having much contact with him. Now that my decision to travel to Germany had been made, however, I thought I needed to have more communication with my father.

I was excited at the prospect of going to Germany, although I was definitely concerned about exactly what I would be doing there. I didn't want to burn all my bridges behind me, for I thought in about a year I might return to the United States. At that time I might resume the practice of law, and I thought that even while in Germany, I should continue to improve my knowledge of the law. Therein lay my present dilemma. I was faced with deciding what area of the law I should continue to study.

As I thought about it, I switched into thinking in German, which was so refreshing. Although it seemed as if my German had been put on hold for a while, it hadn't deteriorated. I could still use the language quite well, partly because just as now, I often thought in German, continuing to sharpen the language in my mind. However, my German hadn't improved lately, and I longed for improvement. The thought of once again being in Germany, and talking the language all the time, was very exciting.

But my main question was still what kind of law I would study while in Germany. I had basically narrowed it down to two areas: criminal law or international law. I began thinking more about the two types of law.

I liked criminal law. I found the criminal cases much more interesting and entertaining than other types of law. Reading criminal cases didn't even seem like hard work; it was more like reading short stories. And practicing criminal law was relatively easy. I could simply move into almost any Texas town and set up a practice. Getting criminal appointments from judges was always easy. It would be an easy life.

International law was another matter. That could prove to be extremely complicated. However, the advantages of international law were enormous. If I practiced international law, it might be possible for me to stay in Germany. And after all, Germany was where I wanted to be. I would love to live in Germany. But could I actually do it? If I worked in international law, I would probably have to work in a firm with other lawyers. And that was a problem for me, because I liked to work for myself. It occurred to me that it might be possible for me to set up a solo practice in international law. In fact, the idea was rather appealing. I had virtually no idea how I would do it, but it did at least seem possible.

Looking around me again, I saw that I had ended up on a second story verandah, with other people gathered around. I now realized all the other people there were lawyers, and that we had all gathered there to take part in a legal seminar, the kind I had to go to every year to comply with the continuing education requirements for being an attorney. I was a little concerned about so many people standing on this verandah, and for some reason I thought the roof might be unstable and could fall on us. I walked over to the edge, where I could look down on the yard below. I thought at least from there if the roof started to fall, I might be able to jump off, although I would probably break a leg.

Scanning the yard below, I saw my father standing down there. I was still thinking about how distant I had been acting toward him lately, and I still wanted to make it up to him. As the group of people on the verandah began to move toward the seminar room, I followed, and I thought that once I was inside, I would save a place for my father to sit next to me. I hadn't originally intended to sit next to him, and it occurred to me just how inconsiderate I sometimes was, that I would go somewhere where my own father was and not even sit next to him.

As I walked into the seminar room, I saw the many cafeteria-style tables all bedecked with white cloth and place settings. I headed for one seat which had an appealing lamp sitting with it. I sat down and also pulled out the chair at the place next to me, so I could reserve it for my father. I looked back at the entrance, waiting for him to enter.

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