Dream of: 07 May 1998 "Feeding The Elephant"

A white van was pulling away from the curb, headed down the street. I had run out of the building to catch the van, but I had been too late. The van was supposed to transport me to work, but now I had clearly missed my ride. As I turned back toward the building, my pet Dalmatian Picasso and my pet Dalmatian Chaucer bounded up to me. Suddenly I realized my missing the bus had been providential, because if I had caught the bus, I wouldn't have known my dogs were out running loose. Anything could have happened to them. After calling the dogs to me, I headed back inside.

The interior of the building resembled a library, with books stacked on the shelves of the spacious circular room which I entered. I felt at home there, and I wasn't disappointed that I had missed my ride to work. I was sure I could find something there to occupy my time.

No sooner had I taken a seat, than a man walked in and stood in front of me. I immediately recognized him — Cosby (a former fellow law student). I hadn't seen Cosby in many years, since we had been in law school together. We had been in a study group together during my first months of law school and had become well acquainted. I was happy to see him. He sat down and we began talking with each other. Our conversation quickly turned to what I was doing with my life. Cosby seemed completely unsurprised to learn that I was no longer practicing law. He said, "You're completely different."

I understood what he meant. He was saying that I wasn't like other lawyers, that I was set apart, that I would never fit in. He he wasn't talking disparagingly; he was simply making a statement of fact. I in turn replied, "We're completely different." I was simply agreeing with him, pointing out that he and I were very different from each other. As if to confirm that despite how different we were, we would remain friends, Cosby replied, "You'll always be my girlfriend."

Another old classmate from law school had also taken a seat behind Cosby. I quickly recognized him as Coppock. I had never known Coppock well. I recalled that he had been a police officer before going to law school, that he had made excellent grades while he had been in law school, and that he had been expected to prosper once he became a lawyer. He joined in our conversation and interjected that the only thing he wanted was to own his own home. When I heard this, I reflected how low Coppock had set his sights. But of course this was typical for many lawyers. The only thing they really wanted in life was a little security. They would work their lives away just so they could have a house. In the process they would lose any ambition they ever had for more elevated goals in life. I mentioned to Cosby that I already owned my own house. I was glad of that fact, but I definitely didn't consider the owning of a house as my paramount goal in life.

I hadn't asked Cosby anything about what he had been doing since law school. I thought he had worked for the Texas Supreme Court after he had graduated, but I was unsure he was still working there.

Before I could find out what Cosby was doing now, however, my attention was distracted by something else. Another man had also walked up to our little group, and with him he had two young elephants. One elephant was just a tiny baby, about as big as a medium-sized dog. The man held the baby elephant in his arms and didn't let go. With the man was another young elephant which stood a little higher than my knees. This elephant walked over to me and allowed me to pet it. It had long soft hair all over, the feel of which was exquisite. The elephant even climbed up into my lap and rolled over on its back, allowing me to rub its stomach. I figured it probably weighed a couple hundred pounds, but it didn't feel at all heavy on me. Finally the elephant rolled off my lap and onto the ground. It lay on its back, still allowing me to pet it.

When I asked the man how much the elephants cost, he said the little one which he was holding cost over two hundred dollars, while the bigger one which I was petting cost over six hundred dollars. That seemed cheap to me. The elephant I was petting was so wonderfully charming, I even thought about buying it. But then I began to realize what I was thinking about. Surely feeding an elephant must cost a great deal. What would happen when the elephant grew to an adult. Where would I keep it? As much as I liked the elephant, I began to see how impractical actually owning it would be.

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