Dream of: 03 February 1997 "Maurice"

I was sitting in an aisle seat of a movie theater. The room was still lit up, and people were moving about, taking their seats. I had never been to this theater before; in fact I had never been to this town before. It was a small Texas town through which I just happened to be passing, and I would only be there a short while. I had a room in the town, a room which came into clearer vision as I thought about it.

A couple things about the room were bothering me. First, I recalled that I had bought a large number of cantaloupes – perhaps a hundred – and I had peeled all the cantaloupes before I had left the room. In my mind I could still see the piles and piles of orange cantaloupes which I had peeled. I couldn't explain to myself why I would have done such a thing. It seemed that I had intended to eat all the cantaloupes, and I had simply peeled them so that they would be ready. But this idea now seemed ridiculous: I should have known that I couldn't eat so many cantaloupes all at once. And now I was concerned that the cantaloupes would start to rot.

The second thing bothering me was something else which I had left back in the room. For some reason I had bought a small brown rat – about the size of a mouse – which I had intended to raise as a pet. But after I had taken the rat back to my room, I had had second thoughts. I had put the rat in a large glass jar – a jar over a foot tall – surprised to see that the rat was able to climb right up the inside of the jar. Of course I had a lid on the jar so that rat couldn't escape. But what had surprised me most was how the features of the rat had seemed to change. The rat seemed to be growing very quickly, and large white sharp teeth had begun protruding from its mouth in a most minacious manner. As I had looked at the scary little creature, I had realized it was hardly an ideal pet. And now that I was sitting in the theater, I was concerned both about the danger of having such a pet, and of how I was going to take care of it.

I was growing somewhat impatient with where I was sitting and I moved across the aisle to another seat. Actually I wasn't even sure that a movie was going to take place in the theater. The place seemed a little bizarre. Most of the people seemed to be of a younger set, and it appeared that some of them might belong to gangs. In fact, with chagrin, I noticed that a group of what appeared to be gang members had sat down across the aisle, with one of them in the seat in which I had been sitting. But the bad part was that I had left the black Levi jacket which I had been wearing in the seat, and the fellow was sitting on it. I decided to wait until a little later to get the jacket.

After sitting a while longer, I forgot about the jacket, and in my continuing restiveness, I stood and began walking around. Finally I again remembered that I had left the jacket in the seat and I returned to get it. But when I reached the seat, I saw that both the fellow who had been sitting there and the jacket were gone. I was alarmed, thinking I would have to try to find the fellow and confront him. I began walking around, only now realizing that there seemed to be quite a few gang members also milling about. I began to feel intimidated, and as I passed some tough-looking characters, I saw how difficult it was going to be to get my jacket back. But suddenly my fears vanished: I looked down at myself and realized I was actually wearing the jacket – I hadn't left it behind at all. Immensely relieved, I once again took a seat.

Almost as soon as I had sat down, a couple women probably in their late twenties sat down on my left. They began talking to some other women who were sitting right in front of us, and during the course of events, one of the women in front of me turned, looked at me, and spoke to me. Our eyes fixed on each other, and I saw that she was rather attractive and I liked what I saw. We began talking and soon I was taking part in the conversation of the entire group.

From what was said, I quickly gathered that these were local women who frequently went out together like this. This theater was just one place where they stopped, and apparently, as I had suspected, no show was actually going to take place here: people just came here to meet and talk.

One of the women suggested that it was time to head over to a restaurant on the other side of the street, and as they talked about it, I was included in the plans. It seemed that I had just become a part of their little group. That seemed fine with me. I was more than happy to go with them – except for one thing: I certainly hoped that they didn't think that just because I was a man, that I was going to pick up the tab for everyone. Usually this was the case, that when I went out with someone, I paid for everything. But I didn't feel comfortable doing that with five women whom I hardly knew. I thought perhaps I should say something now to make everything clear. But then I decided to just wait. When it came time to pay, I would simply pay for my portion. Hopefully that would be what they expected. And if they expected something else, I would just have to point out that I never invited them, and that they were the ones who ate the food, not me.

Finally we all stood to leave and began walking through the lobby area of the theater. In response to something one of the women said, I blurted out, "I'm a lawyer." I had been impatient to let them know that I was a professional, knowing that this tended to impress people. But no one heard what I said. And suddenly I was glad no one had heard, because I realized how stupid I had sounded. I didn't repeat my words.

However, I couldn't help myself from wondering what the women did for a living. I thought they were probably all secretaries. But I couldn't be sure. It was possible that one or all of them was a professional woman. Overcome with curiosity, I finally just had to ask them what they did for a living. But I was quickly put in my place and informed that it was none of my business.

By this time we were in front of the theater and we started to cross the street. Only now did I see the face of one of the women for the first time. I was stunned. She was my picture of beauty. She was perhaps 30 years old, with coal black hair cut in somewhat of a Cleopatra-style. As I stepped closer to her, everyone else seemed completely unimportant. The other women had just been vague people with whom I was trying to have a bit of a good time. But this woman was something completely different. This was a woman I would like to know. I managed to ask her name, and she replied that her name was "Maurice." I had never heard of a woman being named Maurice before, but I liked it – I liked everything about her.

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