Dream of: 24 September 2001 "Intelligent Bumpkin"

I was in a hurry to get into a department store. Some photographers had set up their equipment in the store so they could take family and baby photos, just like I once did for about six months in the mid 1970s. When I finally entered the store, I was a little concerned about the way I was dressed: I was wearing a beige tee-shirt with some writing on the front. My arms were muscular, but I wished I had worn a button-up shirt instead. When I finally reached the area where the photographers were set up, a line of people was waiting to have their pictures taken; but it looked as if the picture-taking would not begin yet for about a half-hour, so I still had time. I decided to look for an empty room where I could prepare myself.

But prepare myself for what? Only when I walked into an empty room and sat down at a table did I realize I wasn't there to take pictures, or even to have my picture taken: I was there to have my writing examined! I wasn't exactly sure how the other photographers fit into the scheme, but it seemed that they, like I, were part of a writing class, and that all of us would be handing in papers to a teacher (I envisioned a blonde-haired woman, probably in her 30s) in about 30 minutes.

I was carrying a bundle of papers in my hands, all of which had some of my dreams written on them. I needed to pick out one dream and prepare it to hand in as my project for the day. I also had access to a computer and printer – sitting on the table – on which I could re-print the dream. But I needed to act quickly; time was running out.

As I frantically began leafing through my stack of dreams, I became aware that someone else was sitting at the table – a man (probably in his early 40s), who looked exactly like the actor Brad Garrett (who plays the role of Robert Barone in the television series "Everybody Loves Raymond"). I had met him before. He was also a student in the class I was taking. He didn't seem like a particularly bright person, but I was impressed by the palpable amiability which he projected. With a winning smile, he asked me if he could help me; he said he could check for errors in the dream I intended to hand in. Normally I wouldn't have accepted such an offer; but I was in such a hurry, almost desperate. I smashed my eyes through the papers, unsure which dream to choose, finally fell upon a one-page dream, and jerked it out. I handed the dream to him and he immediately set to studying it.

Within seconds he pointed out an obvious error. As he showed the error to me, I realized I hadn't even reviewed the dream for errors after I had written it; I felt embarrassed to have him see the sloppy work. But he didn't seem to condemn me, and he went on to point out another error. As I looked at the second error, I noticed the word "coke" on the page. Obviously he must have also seen the word. Had I unwittingly handed him a dream about drugs? Would he now freeze and reject me? He made a few more marks and with the same good-natured smile, returned the paper to me. He politely asked me if I would like for him to check another one.

I looked into his wide dark eyes. I had previously thought of him as somewhat of a bumpkin; but now I could see the hidden intelligence in his eyes. He was quite bright! I asked him what kind of grades he had received on previous papers. He said he had received 90's. I told him I usually received between 85 and 90. So we were pretty much on a par.

I began looking though my stack again, for another dream for him to review.

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