Dream of: 10 January 1998 "Understanding God's Will"

The bus on which I was riding was crammed full of unfamiliar people. I had paid little attention to the comely woman sitting next to me on my right until I heard her say something unintelligible to me. Adjusting my position to lean toward her instead of toward the man on my left, I scrutinized her more closely. Her long brown hair fell over her button-up shirt. She had a pleasing figure accentuated by her firm breasts. As she continued gibbering, I tried to focus on what she was saying, but still had trouble understanding her. When I heard the word "biting", I thought she might be flirting with me, suggesting I bite her breasts, which were jutting out so prominently in front of my face. When I caught her glimpsing down between my legs, I thought she might be teasing me by suggesting she could bite my member. But since I was uncertain I was correctly reading her, I just sat and listened without making any advances.

Finally I did clearly understand something which she said – she asked me what made me feel the best in life. I hesitated for a moment, trying to review the things I enjoyed. I thought I might mention that writing brought me pleasure. But with a wave of emotion the answer spontaneously surged forth, not what I had expected, but a truth of which I had recently become aware. I emotionally told the woman what made me feel best was understanding what God wanted me to do, and then actually doing it. Only recently had this two-fold process become clearer to me, and only recently had I realized that first understanding God's will, and then actually implementing it gave me the most pleasure in life.

The woman acted as if nothing were special about this, that people always did what God instructed them to do. I replied that I definitely didn't always follow God's mandates, that I only obeyed God part of the time. I still hadn't learned how to always follow God's will, and even when I knew what God wanted me to do, I often failed to follow course. My disobedience to God's will was difficult for me to explain, even to myself. If following God's will brought me more pleasure than anything else in life, why did I persist in being so recalcitrant?

These weren't subjects which I normally discussed with anyone, especially a stranger on a bus. But the woman seemed like such an interested listener, I felt somewhat at ease with her. I even hoped I might be able to continue talking with her once we left the bus. But when I asked her where her stop was, she said we were still an hour and a half away from where she would get off. Since we had almost reached my stop, I quickly saw we would be parting company in a matter of minutes. I thought of asking for her name and telephone number, but decided I didn't know her well enough for that. It appeared she would simply become one of the many people in my life whom I would meet for a few minutes, then never see again.

When the bus abruptly pulled to a stop, I realized we had reached my destination: a college located in the middle of the city. The only reason I was visiting the college was to use the cafeteria, for which I had a meal ticket. I knew the ticket wouldn't be valid much longer, and I wanted to eat as many meals as I could before it expired.

I stood up and headed toward the back door of the bus. A man in front of me reached the door ahead of me and got off before me. Just as I reached the door, I suddenly realized I had a problem: I was barefoot and had left my shoes under the seat where I had been sitting. I hurried back down the aisle toward my seat. When I reached it, I saw several different pair of white tennis shoes lying on the floor. I picked up my shoes (an old scuffed pair) and quickly put them on. Unfortunately, by the time I had finished, the back door had already closed, and the bus was once again in motion.

I stood in the aisle and hesitated for a moment, uncertain what to do. Finally I decided to walk up to the front of the bus and ask the driver to simply let me off at the next corner. I shuffled down the aisle, pushing my way past people leaning out in the passageway.

It now occurred to me that several other pair of tennis shoes had been lying on the floor next to mine, and that I could have taken a better pair than my own. I knew one especially nice pair had belonged to a young black fellow riding on an upper deck of the bus. He had taken off the shoes and left them lying there before going upstairs. No one would have been the wiser if I had simply taken his more elegant shoes instead of my old beat-up pair. Nevertheless, I was glad I hadn't filched his shoes; I didn't really need that kind of complication to bother me at the moment.

When I reached the driver, I immediately asked him if he could let me off at the next corner. He was much friendlier than I would have anticipated, and indicated it would be no problem. He even went further and said he would circle back around the two blocks which we had already covered and let me off at my stop. Such consideration was far more than what I would have expected, or even what I wanted ? I was afraid the other passengers would become upset that the driver was going so far out of the way for me.

We had just passed by some exceptionally luxurious homes located along the side of the street. The driver commented that the homes belonged to college professors at the college where I was headed. I unabashedly rejoined that I was aware of the fact, and that every time I saw the capacious homes, I cursed the professors who lived there. The driver seemed a bit surprised by my caustic words, and I attempted to clarify what I meant. In general, I felt immense disdain for college professors. They lived their cushy sycophantic lives without ever having to worry much about accomplishing anything. In their arrogance, they had forgotten what it meant to struggle. I found them despicable. Still (I thought to myself), even for me, it seemed a bit severe to say I "cursed" them. I wasn't even sure of the implications of cursing someone, and I wondered by what authority I had the right to be cursing anybody. What did it mean, to "curse" somebody, anyway?

The driver, a fleshy man (probably in his late 30s), was extremely affable. His wrinkled clothes, his tee shirt, his unshaven face, all betokened his unconcern for outward appearances. His old hat, which looked like something which the captain on a ship might wear, sat well atop his head; I couldn't help but like him.

As he continued talking, I had trouble understanding him. From what I could make out, he appeared to be asking me if I ever frequented a certain establishment located on the docks. I thought I heard the word "titty" in the jumble of words, and concluded he might be referring to a strip club. But I knew I had never been to the place to which he was referring, and I doubted I would ever go there. Yet I listened amiably as the driver clattered on. I reflected how it took so little effort to be friendly like this – it might be beneficial for me to do so more often.

Our conversation didn't last much longer. After the driver had circled all the way back to my original stop, I soon found myself standing outside the bus, somewhat disconcerted and unsure of my location. I had thought I would be on the university campus, or even in one of the buildings. Instead I was standing on the shore of a wide river where people with fishing tackle dotted the shore line.

Even more befuddling was the rod and reel which I was now carrying in my hand. I couldn't explain to myself how I had suddenly acquired such an object. Had I bought the rod and reel and simply forgotten? It was the only explanation I could conjure up. I must have stepped into a store after leaving the bus and purchased the fishing tackle.

Standing on the river bank, I realized I had already thrown my line into the water and was fishing. Again, I couldn't remember having cast the line out – but as long as I had done so, I thought I might as well continue fishing for a while, even though fishing was highly out of character for me.

The bank of the river was high, perhaps four or five meters almost straight down to the edge of the water. I had started out standing safely on top, but somehow managed to step down onto the side of the bank, exposing myself to the danger of falling all the way to the water. I scrambled to pull myself back up, managing to grab onto a small tree at the top of the bank, and hoist myself up.

Relieved I hadn't tumbled into the river, I held onto my rod and reel, and looked out into the river to where the line drew taut into the water. I knew a worm was on my hook, which must be lying on the bottom of the river, because I wasn't using a bobber. Other people in the area were using bobbers, which I could see speckling the water's surface. The other fishermen also seemed to have much better fishing tackle than I. My little reel looked as if it were made for children, and the line seemed all tangled up, probably completely useless. Besides that, it appeared my hook was caught on something on the bottom of the river, perhaps a log. When I tried to pull the line out, it wouldn't budge and I thought I would probably have to break it off. I overheard someone nearby mention that it was rumored the body of a dead Negro might be in the river, and I wondered if my line might have become caught on the body. That would certainly be strange if I pulled a body out of the river.

As I kept trying to dislodge my line, I noticed a man fishing not far from me on my right had caught something and was reeling it in. He must have hooked something big, for he was straining for all he was worth to land his catch. As he finally pulled the creature onto the shore down below us, I was astounded by what I saw: the thing was huge. At first the head came out of the water and resembled a large black alligator. But as the rest of the animal appeared, it looked more like a dinosaur, about as tall as a man. It had four ponderous legs and a long neck. When it stepped fully onto the shore, it looked green, roughly resembling a shrubby bush which had been cut out and shaped in the form of a dinosaur.

About the same time, I realized my line was moving. It appeared that my hook wasn't snagged on something on the bottom after all, but that I had actually caught a fish. I struggled to reel in my prey, straining under the enormous weight of the thing. As my catch finally emerged from the water, I was staggered to see I also had hooked one of the green shrubby dinosaurs, which stepped onto the shore below me. Only now did I realize that up and down the shore, several other people had also pulled dinosaurs out of the water. There must have been a whole colony of them here!

I didn't have time to marvel at the incredible find – suddenly I realized my dinosaur was climbing up the steep bank, headed straight toward me. I backed up as fast as I could, and when the dinosaur reached the top of the bank, I took off running. I hadn't planned on anything like this! The dinosaur rushed toward, moving like a bear, flashing sharp pointed teeth at me. I tried to run as fast as I could, but my legs felt weighted down; only with the most extreme effort was I able to stay ahead of the dinosaur.

Other people were also running away from their dinosaurs which they had caught. The man who had been next to me was almost overtaken by his dinosaur – but suddenly the creature stopped in its tracks, reached its front paws up to its head and pulled off its own head. Only now did I see that the head was simply part of an outfit, and that inside the dinosaur suit was a man, whose head was now clearly visible.

The dinosaur which had been chasing me also stopped behind me, and the man inside the suit pulled his head off. Obviously all the dinosaurs had been part of an elaborate joke designed to scare the wits out of the fishermen. I didn't know what to think. Mostly I was just relieved the monsters weren't real.

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