Dream of: 01 February 1998 "Spider At Work"

only man has free will

Some men and I had sat down to play poker in a shabby little room not far from where I lived. I had previously heard that these men gambled there, although this was the first time I had ever joined them. Even this time I didn't actually play and no sooner had we anted up, than we decided to quit. Everyone began taking their ante money back out of the pot. I had originally anted up a dollar by placing a ten dollar bill in the pot and taking out a five and four ones. Now I had to count the five and four ones back out so I could retrieve my ten dollar bill. The counting was tedious and I almost made a mistake and put in a five and five ones. Finally I counted out the right amount and took out my ten again. I was uncertain I would ever return to play with these men again.

As we were breaking up, the subject of the illegality of gambling arose. I mentioned that the degree of the crime depended on the amount of money which was being gambled. If the amount was low enough, the crime might only be a "class C misdemeanor", which carried a fine of only $20. However for larger amounts, a person might be arrested and sent to jail.

As we further discussed gambling, one man mentioned the horse races. I had never been to the horse races or bet any money on horses. However, I tended to think horse races were somewhat like the stock market, and I did have experience in that field. Just recently I had received my tax forms from my stock broker for the previous year with the list of stocks which I had bought and sold. I wondered what these men would think if I told them that I had bought over ten million dollars worth of stock last year. Of course the ten million dollars figure had been a result of my buying and selling stock over and over, and the figure didn't mean I actually had ten million dollars or anywhere near that amount. Nevertheless, I thought these men would be impressed to hear that I had been so involved in the stock market, but I didn't say anything — I thought it best that these men not know any more about my business than necessary.

One man continued discussing the horse races. He said wealthy men sometimes bet on long shots at the races. These rich men would follow the news on horses which had heavy odds against them. Sometimes those horses would be taken to different tracks from where they normally ran, and at the new tracks, the horses would have a better chance of winning. At the new tracks, the wealthy men would take a chance and bet on the horses. According to the man talking, these bets sometimes paid off big.

As I tried to follow what the man was saying, I wondered how the odds were determined at horse races. I knew the odds for a particular horse sometimes changed, but I didn't understand the mechanics of those changes. However I thought once a betting ticket was purchased, the odds for that particular ticket couldn't be altered.

Still concentrating on the odds-making process of horse racing, I found myself in the corridors of the race tracks in the area where the bets were placed. All the betting windows were closed and wouldn't open for another hour. My father had brought me there in his car and had dropped me off and I expected him to return for me later. Meanwhile I decided to walk around and look over the place more carefully.

From where I was, I couldn't see the track. The area where I was walking was similar to the the enclosed concrete corridors and walkways behind the seats in the bleachers of a circular sports arena. Since the races wouldn't begin for another hour, I was the only person walking through the corridors at the moment. It looked as if no one else had walked there in a while.

I even encountered an intricate spider web stretched across the corridor. As I slipped by the side of the web, hoping not to knock it down, I realized I had pulled a strand of the web onto me, and that the spider was attached to this particular strand. I clearly saw the spider's bright yellow body and jet-black legs. I tried to knock the spider from me without injuring it, and after after several attempts, I was able to swat the spider back onto its web. When I stopped for a moment to look more closely at the web, I was surprised that the spider had caught several other insects, a couple of which were much larger than the spider. One captured bug looked like a large black tarantula. It looked as if the smaller yellow spider were sucking the juice out of the larger ensnared tarantula — a somewhat grizzly sight. As I turned and walked on down the corridor — the sight of the ensnared insects still vivid in my mind — I thought about how all the work of the spider, and probably even the spider itself, would soon be destroyed when the mobs arrived for the horse races and began tramping through the corridor.

I continued walking until I exited the stadium unto a path which appeared to wind around the edifice. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the racetrack had been built on the shore of an immense body of water which stretched off and disappeared into the horizon. I continued walking along the path, which followed the shoreline, with the coliseum-sized racetracks on one side of me and the water on the other. The shore was lined with trees stumps. The trunks of large trees which had probably been cut down to allow for a view of the water lay partially submerged along the bank. I identified the trees as cypress and I and thought it a shame that they had been cut.

A small inlet interrupted the shoreline; but a narrow path lay across the watery mouth of the inlet to the shoreline on the other side of the inlet. I decided to continue on the path across inlet's mouth and I stepped out onto it. At first I thought the path through the water was simply dirt which had been piled up, but I quickly concluded the path was actually the living trunk of a tree which was growing horizontally at the surface of the water. It looked as if after the trees had been chopped down along the shoreline, some of the trees had been able to continue living by spreading their trunks out along the top of the water.

I had only taken a few steps when I slipped into the water. Luckily the water wasn't even knee-deep, and the only damage was that my brown shoes and the bottom of my pants were soaked. I quickly scrambled back onto the shore and decided to abandon the narrow path. No sooner had I returned to the shore than I noticed some rocks seemed to be falling down from above. I looked up over-head; I was standing at the base of a tall rocky cliff which stretched all along the shoreline. The stadium was completely out of sight, apparently somewhere back behind the cliff. I thought if I would simply follow the shoreline, however, it would lead me back to the stadium. The difficulty was that the rocks from above seemed to be falling with increasing intensity and frequency. I had to huddle close to the rock face to avoid being struck by the gray rocks.

The worst was yet to come. As I looked high above me, I could see enormous boulders, several meters in diameter, teetering atop the edge of the cliff, ready to tumble down. I couldn't understand what was causing the boulders to dislodge — perhaps an earthquake. Whatever the reason, I was clearly in grave danger. When I saw the first of the larger boulders come crashing down the side of the cliff, I pressed against the edge of the cliff, pulling myself under a small overhang. The boulder crashed passed me without hitting me. Then another boulder followed, and then another. Each time I braced myself under the shelter of the overhang, desperately trying to position myself so I wouldn't be struck by the ponderous rocks. Gradually the area around me began to pile up, creating a new look for the entire shoreline.

When it appeared that all the boulders had been dislodged and had fallen, I dared to begin moving again. Now I only had one objective — to get back to the stadium. I had the uneasy feeling that my father had already come and gone, and that he had simply abandoned me there. I couldn't understand why he would have done such a thing and I was uncertain what I would do when I reached the stadium. But I would worry about that later.

As I trudged away from the shoreline, the going was difficult. The terrain consisted of brown porous-looking rocks, the kind found around a volcano. This rock, however, had a spongy feel to it – sometimes when I would step on it, I would seem to sink down a bit. The landscape was cris-crossed with desolate ravines and gullies which stretched on without end. I could only guess at the direction of the stadium, and I aimed my feet accordingly.

Suddenly I saw a hopeful sight — two other people, a man and a woman, were also trudging through the desolation. They were rather far away, and I had to holler to get their attention. They saw me and hollered back. I had the feeling they were also lost and trying to find the stadium. I thought perhaps we could team up and help each other.

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