Dream of: 30 July 2000 "Melted Ballerina"

I was riding in the front passenger seat of a car which my father was driving along route 52, along the Ohio River, in the area where New Boston and Sciotoville meet. Unexpectedly, he turned off the highway and began driving up a dirt road ascending one of the high hills which lined the river in that area. I hadn't realized that road was there, and I was surprised when we emerged on top of the hill in a lush green pasture from which we could look out over the impressive river valley below. I was even more surprised when we continued driving and came upon a fair there atop the hill. All the while my father had been explaining exactly how the road wound up the hill and which direction to turn at intersections in order to reach this fair. Once we had reached the fair, however, I was more interested in getting out of the car and walking around than listening to my father. So when he parked the car, I jumped out and began strolling through the pulsating fair.

While I had been with my father, my thoughts had been somewhat preoccupied with the knowledge that my father was running for president of the United States, and had only recently picked Dick Cheney to be his candidate for vice president. I didn't know Cheney well and I had only spoken to him once or twice. I thought it would be beneficial if Cheney and I would get to know each other better. Thus, when I suddenly ran into Cheney at the fair, I saw our chance-encounter as an opportunity. He was just about to go through a door, which I opened for him. As I did so, I said, "Mr. Cheney." I had pronounced "Cheney" with a hard "ch," as I thought was proper. But he responded, "That's a good name but I like Cheney better," pronouncing "Cheney" with a soft "ch" so that it sounded like "Sheney." I was a bit taken aback. I wanted to respond, to continue the conversation, but before I could spit out another word, Cheney had ducked into a room and shut the door behind him.

Somewhat confused, I made my way back to the car, where I found my father waiting. I boarded and he drove off. I told him that I had run into Cheney, and that I was unsure what to think of the man. Cheney had seemed to me to be a rather dour man with no special interest. My father told me Cheney did have some interests. For example, Cheney liked to help his daughter enter little writing contests to win prizes. My father said the prizes were either "pens" or "pins." He only said the word once, but I couldn't tell which he was saying – "pens" or "pins" because I realized the two words sounded alike.

My father told me he had something for me which he had bought at the fair. He pulled out a small case and handed it to me. I opened the case and pulled out a rather elaborate pen. The pen was metal, and the top eight centimeters of the pen were in the shape of a ballerina. The tip of the pen looked like a fountain pen, and when I slightly turned the tip, a musical tune floated out. The pen didn't look as if it were expensive, but it was quite pleasing, and since my father had given it to me, I immediately attached sentimental value to it. My father had a second identical pen which he had bought for himself.

Also in the case was a small bottle of some kind of liquid which I assumed was cleaning fluid. I hesitantly opened the bottle, apprehensive that if I used the liquid on the pen, some damage might result. But I was curious as to the purpose of the liquid, and I poured some onto the ballerina portion of the pen. Immediately before my astonished eyes the ballerina began to melt, quickly dissolving into nothing, leaving only the lower half of the pen intact. The ballerina portion had completely disappeared, even revealing the screw socket on the lower portion of the pen where the top half had been screwed in.

I was aghast. I had truly appreciated that my father had bought me the pen, and now I had immediately destroyed it. I didn't want him to now feel as if he should give me his remaining pen, but I wanted a replacement, and I resolved that I would return to the fair and buy me another one. A replacement could have the same sentimental value, especially if I bought it immediately.

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