Dream of: 21 June 1997 "Gift From A Stranger"

I had just arrived at the stately brownstone Tarrant county courthouse in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, dressed in a blue suit and tie, ready to conduct some legal business. Once I was inside the front door, a man – strong, straight and tall, (perhaps 50 years old) – approached me and asked me if I could help him. He seemed a bit confused, and was asking me if I could direct him to the elevator or the stairs; he was trying to find a particular courtroom on one of the upper floors. After I pointed the way to him, he asked me if I could also help him figure out how to find his attorney, a woman, whom he thought had an office in the courthouse. I went to great lengths explaining that there was a board by the elevator which displayed the names of all the people who had offices in the courthouse.

The man seemed grateful and told me he was there for a case which was going to be heard in one of the courtrooms that day. He also mentioned that he was known as "the mole." Immediately I recognized that I had heard of the man before and I told him I knew who he was. I had read that the man had been involved in over 30 legal cases, and that he had provided a great deal of information to the government. However his identity was still unknown to all the litigants on the other side of all the legal cases. That was why he was known as "the mole." In fact, the purpose of the hearing today was to determine the actual identity of the man.

When we had finished talking, the man said he would like to give me his card. I thought this was just a little strange, given the fact that his identity was supposed to be a secret. But when he reached into his pants pocket, instead of pulling out a business card, he pulled out a wristwatch and handed it to me. I took the watch in my hand, impressed by the solidity and weight of the watch. It was beautiful. It was gold-colored, and seemed old, possibly a valuable antique. But I couldn't be sure; perhaps it was hardly worth anything at all. However, I did note that the watch was running, and that it had a brand name written across its face: "Murrell."

Obviously the man wanted to give the watch to me as a gift. I told the man that no one had ever give me such a gift simply for showing directions. I hesitated for a moment, thinking the watch was much too valuable for me to accept after such a casual meeting; I wasn't in the habit of accepting gifts. But then I remembered that I had changed my mind about gifts, that I had decided that in the future, if people wanted to give me something, I would simply accept it. I thanked the man and stuck the watch in my pocket.

Instead of separating and each going our separate ways, the man and I both walked together into the rotunda of the courthouse on the ground floor. We immediately saw that folding chairs had been set up in the rotunda, all turned toward one side of the room. The man took a seat, and I walked a little closer to the front and also sat down.

At first I had thought the seats had been set up for court case, that the rotunda was doubling as a court room. But then I saw a man walk into the rotunda and head for the front of the room. He very closely resembled Richard Nixon (in his mid 40s). As soon as I saw the Nixon-look-alike, I began to understand what was going on. The man who resembled Nixon was an actor, and he was part of a presentation which was going to be given here in the rotunda. I also realized the show would deal with the same subject matter as the cases with which the "mole" had been involved. I now remembered that the "mole" had been involved in the same affairs which had embroiled Richard Nixon.

The action began up front. It was more of a narration than a play, but it was done in a dramatic format, as if someone were reading or reciting a long story. I tried to focus, to understand what the players were saying. At one point a man sitting right in front of me leaned so far back he was touching me, and I had to ask him to move. Besides that discomfort, I was having difficulty hearing and seeing everything from where I was sitting. I continued to try to pay attention, but it was no use. Finally I decided to just get up and leave.

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