Dream of: 02 November 1997 "Kissing Fire"

I felt as if I were a character in a novel written by Charles Dickens. Dressed in the garb of mid-1800s England, I was involved in some legal controversy, a serious affair. Another man, who was my adversary, and I were reviewing a document, a document which seemed to have been written in the mid 1800s.

The document seemed to be written in story form, and as I read, vivid images formed in my mind. In one part of the story I could see a man and a woman walking. The woman was carrying a burning candle. Suddenly the husband slipped and fell. The next words which I read were, "She bent over her husband's hand with the fire. Then she kissed it."

The images in my mind became confused. At first, I had an image of the woman bending over and actually kissing the fire at the top of the candle. But then I thought that the sentence must mean that the woman had bent over and kissed the husband's hand. I realized I was looking at an example of faulty writing. It was unclear to what the phrase "kissed it" referred. "It" could refer to either the "hand" or the "fire."

I realized that if this passage later became an issue in the controversy between my adversary and me, it would be difficult to argue that "it" referred to the "fire," because most people wouldn't think that a fire could be kissed. But I thought that a fire could be kissed, and I could form an image in my mind of the woman holding the candle close to her mouth and kissing the fire at the top. She might even make a little smacking sound as she did so. It could definitely be argued that the "it" did refer to the fire.

Actually my adversary and I were reviewing two different documents, one of which was supposed to be an exact copy of the other. However as we compared the copy and the original, we began to see the two weren't exactly alike. Since I had previously had access to one of the documents, I saw that the other fellow might suspect that I had changed parts of the document for my benefit. I even joked with him that I had done so. But I hadn't changed the document in any way. I was as uncertain of how the changes had occurred as the other fellow was.

I didn't even know if the changes were to my advantage. All I knew was that I must prevail over the other fellow concerning the documents. That was extremely important. It was nothing personal with the fellow. In fact I even liked him. I told him so, saying, "You know, I like you. I've got to beat you, but I like you."

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