Dream of: 16 November 2000 "Weltkrieg"

My wife Carolina was sitting on my left in the second or third row of an auditorium, watching a play on the stage in front of us. The play had barely begun when my seat suddenly broke down, collapsing all the way to the floor. The seats were connected together so Carolina's seat also broke down, although not as far as mine, and the seat of the woman sitting on the other side of Carolina also partially broke down.

I handled the situation as decorously as I could, and instead of raising a fuss, I simply stretched out on the floor as comfortably as possible, trying to see the stage. However, I had great difficulty following the play from my position. Earlier, I had taken off my pants and shirt, and had wrapped myself in a white sheet, which I now pulled tight around me. I wasn't comfortable with the situation, and when the intermission came, I was happy to pull my tee shirt and pants back on and head for the exit.

A man and woman who had been sitting directly behind me followed me out, and the three of us headed for my Chevy Lumina. I got into the driver's seat, while they climbed into the back seat. The woman sat directly behind me while the man sat on her right. The woman, quite attractive, had black hair and was probably about 30 years old. The man, tall and slender (was probably about 40 years old), looked exactly like Danny Kaye.

I turned on the car and began driving. Suddenly I remembered why I had come out to the car in the first place: I was worried about my pet Dalmatian Picasso, whom I had locked in the trunk. I stopped the car, jumped out and ran to the rear of the car. To my surprise, the trunk was open, and Picasso was nowhere to be seen. I felt sick. I needed to back up to where I had parked the car and begin a search for Picasso. The idea of his being lost was devastating.

I hurried back to the front door, opened it and hopped back inside. To my immense relief, I found Picasso stretched out sleeping in the front seat. I began vigorously petting him, so glad he was safe and sound. Carolina, also sitting in the front seat on the passenger side, likewise was petting Picasso and was happy to see him safe.

Relieved, I began driving again. A conversation began in the car, and the black-haired woman in the back seat began talking about the play. As I listened to her, I realized I had understood very little about the play. I knew the action had concerned a family and problems within the family, particularly a crippled son who lived in the family. I also had the feeling that the play was about much more than just the family, that if I could understand the basic plot dealing with the family relationships, I could extrapolate a more profound meaning which the author had been trying to project. But I simply hadn't understood and I felt embarrassed to say so. So, when the woman asked me a question about the play, I tried to fake it, and I simply said I thought she was correct in what she was saying.

Wishing I could speak more intelligently about the play, I finally began talking with the man about the play. He seemed well-informed, obviously intelligent and well-rounded. I hardly ever went to plays, but I now remembered I had once before seen him at a play, and I concluded that he must frequently go to plays and that he probably was able to compare one play with another. He never smiled and seemed serious. But he seemed like a likeable fellow, and I would like to know more about him. We talked a bit about the play. I still couldn't say much about it. But now I did remember the play had taken place in Germany. Passing through my knowledge of German plays, I thought of  Bertolt Brecht and I mentioned Brecht to the man. When I noticed the man spoke with an accent, I asked him if he were from Germany. He replied that he was "Hungarian," added that he spoke about a half-dozen languages, and proceeded to list the languages for me. He spoke a few words of German, and one of the words I distinctly heard was "Weltkrieg." I thought of trying to carry on a conversation with him in German, but I hadn't spoken German in so long, I hesitated to begin.

Finally, he asked if I had any classical music cassette tapes in the car and he mentioned a specific tape which he would like to hear. Of course I didn't, since I hardly ever listened to classical music. But I allowed him to go through some other cassettes which I had. He picked out one by Mireille Mathieu, and slid it into the tape player. A beautiful French song began to fill the car and seemed to enliven the atmosphere. I loved hearing French songs and I wondered if the couple in the back seat could understand the lyrics as well as I could.

I began to realize that we needed to get back to the play, that we had only left for the intermission and that the next scene would soon begin. But I was having some difficulty. For the first time, looking around me, I realized I was in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The stores all seemed decked out in festive style, presenting a very becoming vista. At the far end of the street stood an elegant building constructed of white rock, probably a courthouse. It was a pleasure to simply look all around me.

However, some construction had been taking place on my side of the road, and I inadvertently drove into a part of the street which had been torn up. In order to avoid steering the car into a deep trench, I had to swerve and knock down a small pole. The others in the car became alarmed and said something. I retorted, "I don't care …" and tried to explain I had been forced to knock down the pole to avoid crashing. But finally, I realized I couldn't go on, and I put on the brakes. With some difficulty, I managed to back up the car and steer into a vacant lot.

I could see a street with traffic on it just on the other side of the lot. If I could just reach the traffic, maybe we could still make it back to the play on time. But now, somehow, I wasn't driving the car, but pushing it, even though I was still sitting in the driver's seat. The task was so daunting, and I was growing tired. Yet I pushed on. Then I heard the fellow in the back seat say, "Give it the power." It occurred to me that I only needed to turn the key in the ignition, and the car would start up again. I turned the key and the car started. It was as if a weight had been lifted from me. The car was running fine and I steered toward the street, hoping to yet make it back to the play.

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