Dream of: 01 March 1998 "Lost"

About 20 men, including myself, were sitting in a classroom, listening to the boring monotone of the professor standing before the chalkboard at the front of the room. My mind was practically numbed by the professor's drivel. I could hardly believe I was wasting my time here. The class reminded me of one I had taken over 20 years before in Jackson, Ohio. At that time the state of Ohio had sponsored a program which paid students to go to classes to learn a skill. I had needed the money, and had signed up for a program in drafting. But except for the money I had earned, the whole class had been a waste of time. Now here I was again in a similar situation, sitting here, wasting my time.

Someone lit up a marijuana joint and handed it to me. For the next several minutes, I busied myself smoking, further clouding my mind. By the time I finished smoking the joint, I was so bored with the entire situation, I didn't know how much longer I could stand it. I had hoped the pot would help make the class more interesting, but it hadn't helped any. The marijuana was only mediocre and not nearly as powerful as I would have liked. All I could do now was sit there, trapped, and stare at the round clock over the professor's head, waiting for the lunch hour.

When noon finally arrived, everyone jumped up and ran outside. The small school was in a quiet neighborhood with a few small shops. I rushed over to one of the little stores and looked inside. But I only saw candy and pop, which didn't interest me, and I quickly stepped back out. I only had one thought in mind: I needed to get out of here. I had no intention of returning to the class for the rest of the day. I thought I knew a fellow from the class who might lend me his car. If I could just borrow the car for a while, I would be free.

***

I was driving a car through the country, uncertain of where I was or where I was headed. In the car with me were a woman and her two children — boys (maybe 9-10 years old). I was glad they were with me, and I thought we might all spend the weekend together. But first I had to figure out where we were. I turned onto a small road which I thought might take us somewhere. Gradually the road became smaller and smaller until it was only about 15 centimeters wide. Although I was still able to drive on the tiny road, it was extremely difficult, especially since the road began to run along a wall on my left, rising higher and higher, so a steep drop-off fell off to our right. If I were to make the slightest mistake, we would crash off the side.

I soon saw a chance to get off the road — a tiny tunnel led into the side of the wall. But just as I turned to drive into the tunnel, I feared I had made a mistake. I told the others that the tunnel appeared to be too small. What if the car broke down inside the tunnel? The doors of the car would be so close to the sides of the tunnel, we wouldn't even be able to open them.

It somewhat seemed that driving along the tiny road was a test. If I could just pass the test, I would be free of these problems. It seemed that I had little choice at the moment.

***

I had pulled up the car on the edge of a beautiful rolling-green hill and stopped. All of us piled out of the car and began surveying the area. We were still lost, but at least we now seemed to be in a safe place. One of the boys and I began walking together, trying to see if we could find anything which might give us an idea of where we were. The boy began telling me that he and his brother were planning to go out into the forest this weekend with a group of people and camp out. Apparently they would take a bunch of dogs with them and let the dogs chase animals at night through the forest. It sounded like fun, but I was a little disheartened to hear about the planned excursion, because I knew I hadn't been invited, and I had hoped to spend the weekend with the boys. Obviously I wouldn't be able to do that.

As we continued walking through the green field, on the border of the forest, it began to seem that a little robot, about two feet tall, were leading us. The robot was indistinct, a bit like a fantasy which I was making up in my mind. I imagined that the robot had the ability to lead us to where we needed to go, if we would just follow it.

But something soon caught my attention and I stopped. A small cat was standing by the side of our path. I bent over to pet its dark gray fur. It was very friendly and rolled up into a little ball, allowing me to stick my hand right in the middle of the ball. It was wearing a tag, and I tried to read the name. Obviously it belonged to someone, which I thought was good, because that meant that someone must live nearby, someone who perhaps could tell us where we were. Soon another cat, and then another cat showed up. Finally four or five cats were gathered around me, all quite clean and pretty, all allowing me to pet them.

I noticed not far from me the figure of a person in the field – a young black woman. Then a young black man walked up. I was happy to see someone and walked over to them. They were quite friendly and explained that they lived nearby in a black community. As the described their community, I was already jumping ahead in my mind, thinking that I might like to simply move her and live in their community. It was so pleasant here. These seemed exactly like the kind of people I would like to live with. They were outside the mainstream of society, which was where I wanted to be. I could relate enormously with these people.

The man and woman picked up on my thoughts, and seemed uncertain of whether my idea would work. They mentioned that there was one place in the community where I wouldn't be able to go – a bar frequented only by black men. In fact I could now see the bar sitting not far from us on the road. It was a white frame building with several cars parked around it. I could see some black men milling around outside. Apparently it was taboo for any white people to go to this particular place, and I would have to avoid it. Even out here, prejudice and discrimination still existed. Obviously the place wasn't as idyllic as I would have hoped.

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