Dream of: 12 November 1997 (2) "Herodotus"

I had just moved into a small one room apartment in Chicago and I was trying to arrange things. However, I was beset by distractions. For one thing, I had been sued by a young attorney regarding Franz Kafka's book Der Prozess. Originally the lawyer and I had planned to read the book together, but our plans had fallen apart. Now the lawyer had called me on the phone to discuss the lawsuit. As I stood at the window and looked out on the street below - I must have been somewhere around the tenth floor - I held the phone receiver in my hand and spoke to the attorney. I explained that I had read the book several times, and that I had even read it twice in German, but the attorney seemed unfazed by any of my arguments, and finally, I simply had to hang up.

Several other people were standing around the apartment; one was a man who was an acquaintance. He was probably in his 50s and lived in Chicago. In the past we hadn't been friends, but now that I was moving to Chicago, he had come over to help me move in. He brought to my attention that I had a luncheon date with his mother at 2 p.m. I had completely forgotten the engagement, but now realized I would have to go.

Some other people in the room seemed to have just come in to sit and wait for something. A pretty young black woman (probably in her early 20s) struck up a conversation with me. When I sat down next to her and asked her if she was on her way to work, she replied no, that she was on her way to school. I asked her where she went to school, and she said she went to a school called "South." I was unsure whether she was talking about a high school or a college. I didn't pursue the subject, and instead we began talking about books. She told me that the so-called father of history, "Heroitus," was her favorite author. I corrected her and informed her that the name was pronounced "Herodotus." I didn't say anything else about the subject, but I deduced that she clearly couldn't know much about Herodotus if she didn't even know how to pronounce his name.

Instead, I turned my attention to an even more attractive black woman sitting on the other side of me. She was dressed in purple and had on just the right amount of makeup. She quickly opened up the conversation by informing me that I had a problem of acting too stuck-up around people. I didn't take offense by what she said; instead, I sincerely thanked her for her observation. I thought that she was probably correct, that I did act too stuck-up, and that I would be much better off if I could learn how to overcome the problem. However, I simply didn't know how to be more humble. I would like to learn humility, but I was uncertain how to go about it.

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