Dream of: 14 November 2007 "Singed Dragon"

I was on Chillicothe Street in downtown Portsmouth, Ohio, close to the U.S. Grant bridge which crosses the Ohio River into Kentucky. Standing near the bridge was a gigantic red-brick building, all of whose contents were going to be sold that day at an auction held by a local auction company called Allens' Auctions.

I walked inside the building and looked around. At first the interior looked like a department store, but then I realized the building was actually a big church. I thought I might buy something at the auction, although I really didn't think I needed anything. I actually needed to get rid of some of the possessions I already owned, rather than buying more.

First I saw a wooden pole (about three meters tall) covered with carvings which appeared to have Christian import. Then I walked into another room and saw some beds, including a couple intriguing wooden bed frames displaying intricate carvings. The foot piece exhibited a scene with carvings of people walking along a street. I thought I might like to have it.

I found a box which appealed to me, opened it, and found three or four Barbie dolls inside. I liked the box, but I didn't want the dolls, so I took out the dolls and laid them on a bed. I thought when the auction took place, the box would now be sold alone, and I might be able to buy it.

When I walked back out of the room, someone who appeared to work there immediately walked back into the room. I wasn't sure, but it looked as if the person might have put the dolls back into the box.

I walked around inside a little more, then went back outside, where people were standing around on Chillicothe Street. Suddenly I looked at the church and realized it was on fire. Hot flames were shooting up out of the roof. The fire department quickly showed up. A wind seemed to blow up and other nearby buildings also caught on fire.

Another building (where the contents were also apparently going to be auctioned) looked like a Chinese restaurant. Atop the front of the building were several figures of large dragons. The fire spread to the restaurant but was quickly brought under control. Some fellows (who looked Hispanic) quickly began pulling down the dragons. Apparently the fellows had planned to buy the dragons at the auction and they were trying to save them. One figure appeared to have been singed, but basically they were all still in good shape.

It looked as if the auction would have to be cancelled. As I continued to survey the scene, I was surprised to run into my old friend, Steve Weinstein. A woman was with him (both were probably in their late 30s) and the three of us walked together around the area. Steve wasn't particularly friendly and he didn't look the way I remembered him. He was thin and taller than before.

As we talked, the subject of drugs arose. Thinking Steve might be interested in some crack, I told him I had never done any crack, but there was a lot of crack in Portsmouth. He didn't seem interested.

The conversation turned to literature and I recited a poem I knew which had been written by a woman. Steve said he didn't care for the poem and he acted as if it were beneath him. He suggested we read something by another poet of whom I had never heard.

He pulled out a dictionary and he and the woman began talking about certain little punctuation marks which could be used in writing. I wasn't familiar with a couple of the punctuation marks and I thought I should know about them, since I thought of myself as a writer.

Steve was also critical of my pronunciation. I began thinking I had been in Portsmouth too long - I couldn't even speak right anymore. Even though I thought of myself as intelligent, I seemed to have lost my edge in Portsmouth. Steve, on the other hand, had been living in New York. Nevertheless, I reflected that Steve hadn't really accomplished anything in New York and I didn't see why he thought he was so much better than I. But obviously he did, and obviously I also felt somewhat inferior to him. At the same time, I didn't feel terribly bad about myself.

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