Dream of: 17 February 1997 (2) "Wisdom Card"

I was living in, and repairing, an old run-down southern mansion. At present, I was having a large upstairs-room re-painted. A thin man (probably in his late 40s) was busy painting the walls pink and the floors a light gray.

I had walked up to the entrance of the room, because I needed to go to the room on the other side to get the files (stored in the other room) of one of my legal clients. But I was unable to pass through, because to my surprise, the painter had been painting very rapidly and already had the walls finished and had painted half the floor, so I couldn't track across it. The painter asked me if I were satisfied with his work, and I told him I was. But now that the walls were painted, I saw that there was still a great deal of work to be done on the walls. Large areas of plaster had come off the walls, leaving all the walls looking rough. The missing plaster hadn't been so noticeable before, but now, the paint brought out all the defects. I hadn't bothered to have the plaster fixed before painting the walls, and now I saw that I wouldn't be satisfied until the walls were fixed. But at least it did look better with the paint, and I thought now I could live here and plaster the walls more at my leisure. Once the plastering was finished, I could repaint the walls.

But I still needed to get to those files in the other room. One of my bankruptcy clients – a woman – had called me to tell me she wanted to let her bankruptcy case be dismissed. I was always happy to have that happen. After several years of not taking on any new legal cases, I only had 30-40 bankruptcy cases still open. Once those were closed, I would finally be completely free of legal clients, a goal for which I had been longing. As for this particular client, I thought she had previously asked me to modify her bankruptcy plan to avoid the case being dismissed. But I couldn't remember if I had already done so. I needed the file to check so that I could cancel the modification if I had indeed filed it. But since I couldn't walk over the fresh paint, I would just have to wait until later, and I walked back downstairs, where still another client – a black woman – was waiting for me.

In the past I hadn't been accustomed to having legal clients come into my home. It didn't seem proper. But I no longer had a law office where they could meet me. And besides that, I wasn't that much concerned about what was proper anymore. I didn't intend to keep practicing law, so what did it matter if I didn't follow the protocol of a typical lawyer? I wasn't going to encourage clients to come to my home, but if it didn't bother them, I didn't see why it should bother me.

The black woman looked much younger than her normal self. Instead of being in her usual 50s, she appeared to be in her early 30s. She was a thin black woman who talked very rapidly and didn't seem to know when to stop. I invited her into my bedroom at the bottom of the stairs, and we both sat down on the edge of the bed. She began explaining her problem to me, and complained how she had called the bankruptcy trustee's office many times, but could get no help. I was only partially focused on what she was saying, not quite understanding what the problem was.

As she talked, she pulled some papers out of her purse, and among them I noticed a plastic card which I at first thought was an American Express card. I knew that since she was in bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee didn't want her to have any credit cards. However if she had managed somehow to obtain a credit card, I was certainly not going to force her to give it up. I merely wondered what kind of card she had, and I asked her. She held the card up and replied that it was a "Wisdom Card." I had heard of this kind of card before and I now realized it wasn't a credit card at all. It was some kind of promotional card whereby the holder could obtain discounts at certain stores or on certain products. She slipped the card back into her purse and continued talking.

And as she talked I lay back on the bed. I was only wearing a long shirt which barely covered my crotch. I didn't have on any pants or underwear, and as I lay back, I wondered if I was partly exposing myself. It wasn't in character for me to be dressed like this, or acting like this in front of one of my clients. But for an instant, I felt somewhat aroused by what I was doing, and at one point, the black woman even lay back on the bed beside me, and I seemed to sense that she felt the same way. But it was only an instant – we never touched or showed any other sign of affection – and we both quickly sat back up.

With her problem not yet solved, it was however time to conclude the interview, and we both stood up and headed for the large front door. When I opened the door, I saw two colorfully dressed young black girls, each carrying a basket, waiting outside for the black woman. I thought to myself that the girls had probably already spread the news in the neighboring villages that the black woman and I had been in the house together. That wasn't something I would have particularly liked to happen, but it didn't much bother me either. What did it matter, anyway?

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