Dream of:25 January 1997 "Unprepared"
prepare in your dreams
for the work ordered to be
accomplished in life
Like a rock in the forehead, it suddenly hit me: I was supposed to be acting in a play in just a couple hours – a play which I had not even read, let alone rehearsed. The tangled mess began to come back to my memory. I recalled how my friend, Wheat, had contacted me and told me about a project with which he was helping at a local school. Part of the project was a play by Shakespeare. I thought the play was Richard II, but I was not even sure of that – it could have been Henry IV or Henry V. I was only sure that the lead actor in the play had dropped out less than a week before the play, and that Wheat had beseeched me to step in and take over the role. For reasons which I could not now remember or fathom, I had agreed to do so. But then I had completely forgotten about the play until right now, just two hours before the first performance was scheduled to begin. I remembered I had read the first couple pages, but I did not know what the play was about, and I had not memorized anything.
I was shocked at my foolishness for having accepted the part. In the past I had had numerous dreams of this kind of debacle – so many dreams that I knew what they meant: I was unprepared for something which I needed to do. This situation, however, was much different - because I was now actually awake and not dreaming – and a sense of panic began to overtake me. I could not possibly stand up in front of a roomful of people without knowing my lines. Maybe I could simply take the playbook on stage with me and read the lines, even though reading from the playbook would be devastatingly embarrassing. I definitely was not going to do that. I saw only one solution: I simply was not going to go.
What could anyone say? No one had even contacted me since I had agreed to take the part. We had not had a single rehearsal. Maybe they had forgotten about me. At any rate, I did not see how anyone could complain much if I simply did not show up. And that was what I decided to do.
I still needed to go to the school for something completely different, however, and I began getting ready to leave.
When I reached the school – a large, old, brown-brick building – my father was with me. He and I walked inside and down some dour halls until we stepped inside a little room. All the while I kept my eyes peeled, hoping not to see anyone connected with the play.
Inside the room were sitting a man and a woman with whom I had an appointment. The matter at hand concerned the inheritance of either my grandmother or my grandfather. With me I had brought a letter opener made of dark ebony wood, and I handed the letter opener to the woman. She in turn used a knife to scrape off a little bit of the wood into an envelope. She then sealed the envelope and handed the letter opener to the man who put the letter opener into a separate large envelope. I was then told that the interview was finished.
I was a little surprised because they had not returned the letter opener to me. I was uncertain why they had wanted the letter opener in the first place, and I could not see how it had anything to do with the inheritance of one of my grandparents, but I just accepted what was taking place – I did not want to start asking a lot of questions. Instead I simply stood up, and my father and I walked out of the room.
Only when my father and I were back out in the hall did I realize something: the woman in the room had been Donna Griffiths (a woman with whom I had been sharing dreams on the internet). This realization came as a complete surprise to me, and I wondered what kind of impression I had made on Donna. I thought I had looked all right, except I was wearing a pair of black wingtips made of imitation leather. These shoes were rather shoddy-looking; I would have liked to have been able to explain why I wore them, not because I could not afford better shoes, but because I preferred, as much as possible, not to wear leather. I was not a fanatic about it, because I did have some pairs of leather shoes. But even though I knew leather looked better on me, as much as I could stand it, I tried to wear imitation leather. If I had been able to explain all that to Donna, she might have better understood the cheap-looking shoes.
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