Dream of: 03 March 2001 "Disconnected"

Even though my father and I hadn't been connecting lately (we had hardly been communicating at all), I had moved into the small cottage where he was living, and I was even sharing a bedroom with him. I felt under pressure to be tidier. I thought I would need to keep my bed made and pick up any mess, such as the white tissue paper lying on the floor. Living with my father wouldn't be comfortable, but for the present I would have to endure.

Unlike myself, my father enjoyed having people around him, and already (even though it was still morning), people were coming and going in the house. Several black-haired young men, who vaguely seemed like distant relatives, perhaps step-cousins, were milling around the living room. Strangely, one had a little jar with a fly in it. I found the fellows a bit annoying, but I would just have to endure.

As people came and went, I was surprised to see Louise among them. I could only see her head, lying over in the corner, barely visible. I was happy to see her and I wondered why she had come. But as I moved toward her, I slowly realized the object at which I was looking wasn't Louise at all, but a bright orange which had rolled onto the floor. The contour of the orange resembled Louise's face, but the closer I moved toward the orange, the more it simply looked like an orange.

When I heard a knock at the kitchen door, I went to answer it; a man who represented himself as a radio repair man stepped in. I immediately remembered that I had called this man yesterday to come and look at an old radio I owned which I hoped he might be able to fix. I also remembered having been informed that the service charge would be $19. As I pulled out the radio and handed it to the man, I told him the radio would probably only be worth $10 if it were working, but I was still willing to pay the $19.

The man, along with several other men who had either come with him or who were already in the house, began examining the radio. One quickly said a certain component of the radio was broken, and the component would cost $150. I was disappointed; I definitely wasn't going to pay that much to fix the old radio.

The radio itself wasn't even especially pretty. It was beige, probably from the early 1950s, one of the old vacuum-tube types. I had owned it for quite a while and had never given it much attention. Nevertheless, I would have liked to hear it working.

When the repair man heard I was unwilling to pay $150, he seemed ready to pack up and leave. But, since I had to pay him the $19, I felt as if he should at least look inside the radio to see if he could find anything wrong. He obliged and began unscrewing the screws which held the cover on the radio. He extracted the innards of the radio, and set them on the table. Now, sitting before me, was something which looked like a huge vacuum tube or a glass bell jar, with a curved top, transparent, about a half meter high, and about a third of a meter in diameter. I didn't even notice that the jar which had come out of the radio was much larger than the radio itself. I was too busy looking at the inside of the jar.

The inside of the jar hosted several shelves and on each shelf were displayed a variety of small objects, similar to a display case. I could also see a set of wires which ran from the cover of the radio to the inside of the jar. I immediately concluded (and the repair man seemed to agree), that the wires inside the jar were supposed to be connected to one of the small objects in the jar. If we could discover that the wires had become disconnected, and then reconnect the wires, we might be able to make the radio work.

I scrutinized the objects  – mostly small collectibles. On one shelf sat several Matchbox cars. Suddenly, I saw on the top shelf what I was looking for. The wires inside the jar were running to a small statue of an antique kitchen stove. The little statue, which might have been made of porcelain, was about eight centimeters tall. I strained to see if the wires were disconnected from the stove, hoping we might be able to reconnect them and fix the radio.

***

I had suddenly remembered where my father had gone that morning: to court. My father was a lawyer, in his prime, with dark black-hair – an imposing presence in the court room. I was also a lawyer, but still inexperienced. This morning, my father was supposed to be trying a case, and I was supposed to accompany him in the courtroom, either sitting second chair, or just sitting in the audience and watching. I couldn't dally any longer. I needed to dress as quickly as possible and hurry off to the courtroom.

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