Dream of: 09 July 1986 "Four Thousand Days Ago"
It was a Friday and I was in a law school classroom filed with students. The professor was Lowell Adams (my high school physics teacher).
I asked Gary Altizer (a schoolmate from the fourth grade), who was sitting behind me, what he was going to be doing tonight. He said he was going to party. I did not have anything to do tonight, but it did not seem that Gary wanted me to go with him. I understood. It seemed to me that "party" was just another word for going out and drinking alcohol. I had gone out with Gary once before and he had become intoxicated. I had not drunk anything alcoholic and he had looked rather foolish. So, I figured he was not going to invite me to go again; I would not go even if he did invite me. It did interest me, however, that he had turned into someone who drank alcohol and partied a lot. I figured he did most of his partying near Rio Grande, Ohio, close to where he lived.
The class began to draw to an end. Even before the class was finished the students began leaving. When about half the seats were empty, I began picking up my things and preparing to leave. I had some schoolbooks with me; but I also had four black notebooks filled with dreams. My dream notebooks were really the only things I was interested in taking. I decided to just leave my law books behind. I was interested in working on my dreams and I was not particularly interested in law.
The students had earlier turned in some papers concerning a legal appeal. I said something to the professor about his grading the papers and he called me up to his desk. He told me I had been given a score of 154 on the paper. That was apparently a low grade. He said that a grade of 134 was an E4, which would have been failing. He seemed disappointed in my work.
I had only prepared the paper the night before I had handed it in. I thought some people in the class had probably spent a lot of time preparing their papers and had done well. Wendy McCall (a former high school classmate), who was in the class, had probably done well on the paper.
I figured I had probably made a D on the paper. I thought that might be the first time I had ever received a D, although it seemed I might have possibly gotten one other D in my life. I knew I had received a low grade on a previous paper I had handed in; so, this was the second low grade in a row I had received.
Although I had not put much effort into the paper, I thought my reasoning for the appeal had been good. Apparently the professor had not agreed with my reasoning. I asked him what would have been a better reason, but he did not want to discuss it with me. What he did want to discuss was the fact that I was not producing good quality work in law school. He indicated that I was capable of much, much better work. He asked me whether I was concerned about getting into a good law school. He was referring to my going into a master's program after law school. I told him I was sure I could get into a master's program if I wanted to.
He asked me about my ex-wife Bonnie and what she and I planned to do. I replied, "Well Bonnie and I aren't even married anymore."
He was surprised to hear that. I continued, "Yea, she's married to a guy named Vernon Johnson who's a student here."
The professor did not know who Vernon was. To my left and to Lowell Adams's right was seated Charles Adams (the dean of my high school). Adams said that Vernon was not a student here. I replied, "Oh yes he is. I've seen him here."
I walked over to Adams and said, "You want to make a bet?"
He said he would bet. I said, "Well letís bet fifty dollars."
I reached my hand to him to shake, and he reached his hand toward me. He said, "No letís just bet 75 cents."
George Heller (the principal of my high school) was standing behind Adams. Adams said, "Ask George there."
Adams turned around and asked Heller. Heller replied that Vernon was indeed a student at that school. I said, "Well where's my 75 cents?"
Adams began searching through his pockets for the money and handed me some.
I walked back to my desk to finish gathering my things. My billfold was lying open on the ground next to my desk. I picked it up and thought, "It certainly was a good thing I noticed that lying there. If I had lost that I'd have been in trouble. Or if I hadn't discovered it was missing until I had got out of the school room and then had to have gone all weekend not knowing where it was that would have been a problem."
I began walking out and, on my way, noticed a pinkish, reddish balloon lying nearby. Its shape reminded me of two women's breasts. I picked it up and felt it. It even felt a bit like a pair of women's breasts. I wondered if someone had been sitting in the class feeling it.
I left the schoolhouse and soon came to Richards News, about two blocks from Portsmouth High School. I was walking in the direction toward the school instead of away from it. There was a light snowfall. I thought of going into Richards News, but then noticed that a television set was in front of the store. I stopped and looked at it. A news story was on dealing with Berlin. A woman was being interviewed and suddenly I saw myself on the screen standing behind the woman.
I thought that while I had been in Berlin on a tour looking at some of the monuments in a park, someone had been interviewing the woman and I had also been filmed. Finally, the camera focused in on me. The camera began on one side of my face and went all the way around to the other side. It finally came close to my face, and I got a good look at myself. My hair was gray, and I had a gray beard. My face was broken out somewhat around my mouth.
The man taking the interview began asking me questions and I began talking on the television. Finally, I said, "Four thousand days ago in Berlin I thought you were dead."
As I watched the television, I thought many people would see the program and realize I had been in Berlin. It seemed important that I had been on a news broadcast like that, and it pleased me.
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