I had walked into the kitchen of the Gay Street House, carrying in my hand what appeared to be a nickel. The edge of the nickel was strangely formed; I thought it might be a badly struck coin. My sister was in the room; I showed the coin to her. Suddenly it occurred to me what the problem was: I pried on the coin and it came apart revealing that it had been two coins – apparently magnetized – stuck together.
The coins now looked large – almost the size of silver dollars. One coin looked as if it had been formed into some kind of clasp; I vaguely remembered someone having lent it to me. I picked up a piece of cloth sewn together almost in the shape of a shoe and I passed the clasp-coin around the cloth. It seemed as if the cloth could thus be used for carrying something – perhaps a pair of glasses.
Some other people walked into the room. One was Mohl (a Portsmouth acquaintance). I thought at first he was the person who had lent me the clasp. I didn't really want to return it, but showed it to him nevertheless. Then I realized not Mohl, but someone else whose name sounded like his, had lent me the clasp.
It occurred to me that I was dreaming; I needed to wake up and write the dream down. I began struggling to awaken. When I suddenly did awake, I found myself standing in County Criminal Court No. 3 in Dallas. It momentarily puzzled me how I could have arrived here so quickly. I was wearing a white shirt and a blue tie, but I didn't have on a jacket.
I looked around at the large number of lawyers who were milling about the court room (there must have been 40) and I tried to recognize some faces. I began thinking that I had actually returned to the court about a week earlier to begin working here again. I had come in and told the judge and all the clerks that I had returned. Therefore, it should not be a surprise for them to see me here again. However, I hadn't come back to court for a week and most of the lawyers had still not seen me. So I would have to speak to them as I encountered them.
I wondered if Louise would be in the court today. I wasn't anxious to encounter her. It would probably be painful.
I was surprised to encounter Ramey (about 20 years old). He was sitting on a bench against the wall and was likewise wearing a white shirt and a tie, but no jacket. When I walked over and greeted him, he seemed glad to see me, but he wasn't effusive. He was somewhat restrained. He was also a lawyer. I told him I was surprised he was here and I asked if he was going to do some criminal appointments.
He told me he was here for other business and he wasn't planning to do criminal appointments. I suggested to him that he might want to try it since he was here; but I quickly gathered that he thought such work was beneath his dignity. I admitted to him that as far as legal work was concerned, doing criminal appointments was the lowest sort of work one could do. Nevertheless, I thought Ramey might be hesitating to do it simply because he didn't know how and because he was somewhat afraid to try.
I told him that all he needed to do was write his name on a piece of paper and put it in the box out of which names were drawn. If his name were picked, I would show him what to do and he could earn a quick $100. When he still declined, I suggested that he wanted to remain at least one echelon above that kind of work. He said that one problem with doing the appointments was that a lawyer only learned criminal law. He seemed to be somewhat disparaging criminal law and to some extent I agreed with him.
We parted and I found myself standing by the benches in the audience section of the courtroom. I looked to my right; Peggy was standing beside me. However I was distracted by other things and at first I didn't say anything. Finally however I turned and looked squarely at her.
She also was wearing a white shirt and apparently was also a lawyer. She looked as if she were probably in her early 30s, but had a youthful air about her which made her appear to be much younger – perhaps in her early 20s. It was quite pleasurable for me to see her and I spoke to her. As we spoke I said, "I saw you standing there and thought, 'Peggy' but for some reason it still did not register."
I found her extremely attractive. I knew she had married Clifford, but I didn't bring up that subject. What was on my mind was something that had happened between us almost 20 years before when we had both been in the ninth grade of school. I began thinking over the incident.
At that time I had been quite attracted to Peggy. I had never really had a genuine girlfriend before, and I had been afraid to admit to her my feelings. She had lived in the same direction as me from school and I had sometimes walked part of the way home with her. I had thought she had liked me too, but I hadn't been sure. Finally she had told someone at school that she liked me and the word had spread quickly until the news had reached me. I had reacted haughtily. I had suddenly decided I didn't care for her at all and I had proudly stated as much to whoever asked.
Peggy had obviously been abashed and we no had longer spoken with each other. I had no longer walked her home and all communication had ceased between us. She had been humiliated and I had succeeded in avoiding a relationship which I had actually wanted.
It also seemed to me that the same type of thing had repeated itself between us latter in high school; but I could not remember that exactly.
As I now looked at her, I knew that what I had done was still an unresolved issue between us. Peggy had never known how much I had secretly cared for her. I mumbled to her that the first thing I really wanted to do was to apologize to her for what had taken place those many years ago. I told her I had acted reprehensibly and I sorely regretted it. I said, "I was a real heel wasn't I."
She replied, "The worst of the worst,"
I said, "The worst part about it was that I really cared for you too."
As I continued looking at her she seemed so innocent and beautiful to me. I ached for having hurt her as I had done. I could tell she had suffered, but the pain seemed to have long ago healed. She was no longer a girl but an accomplished, professional woman. And she certainly didn't seem sad. To the contrary, she rather radiated a sense of well-being. She seemed pleased to have heard my confession, and as we talked I had the distinct impression she was still attracted to me.
She began telling me of her feelings during the affair. She told me of her attraction to me and of how she had tried to fight against it. She added, "But I wanted the rebel."
When she referred to me as the "rebel" the Spanish word "rebelde" passed through my mind. I thought such a description of me was quite appropriate.
I had seated myself on a type of a bench in a recess in the wall. By degrees Peggy's face moved closer and closer to mine. I would have liked very much to kiss her. Her lips seemed so crisp and inviting; but she was married and being with her seemed so futile. Nevertheless she pressed closer till her thin, taut lips finally met mine. Her lips felt wonderful as they opened up to my mouth. Yet she only opened her mouth a small ways.
I was chewing some gum and I tried to keep it in the back of my mouth. I realized she was also chewing gum and I felt it with my tongue. Except for the intrusion of the gum, the kiss was very enjoyable. I closed my eyes and tried to shut off the world and the courtroom around me.
Suddenly I thought I perceived her jolt as if someone had grabbed her. I opened my eyes and broke the kiss. I had had a fleeting glimpse of her husband standing behind her grabbing her. It was only my imagination, but it was enough to startle me into realizing we were acting rather foolishly here in the court room. And perhaps we were acting dangerously. Plus I did have distinct qualms about kissing another man's wife.
I was in somewhat of a quandary. My desire for her was intense and she apparently was still quite attracted to me, but she was married. What should I do?
The judge, whom I had never seen before, walked into the courtroom. A lawyer walked up to put his name in the box, but someone told him it was too late and that he should have done it a half hour ago. Like lightening it hit me that I had completely forgotten to put my name into the box. I could hardly believe it. I sputtered to Peggy, "I forgot to put my name in the box. I can't believe it. I've never done that before."
Peggy tried to calm me down; she picked up a paper with her name on it and said she likewise had forgotten to put her name in the box. I quickly saw through her; she had indeed been alert and had already put her name in the box. She just happened to have another slip with her name on it. She finally admitted as much.
She said she had to do something and she walked over to a pay phone on the wall to make a call. I thought perhaps she was calling her husband Clifford. I likewise began walking down the hall. My tie was very long and was actually hanging down to my knees. I had already passed the tie through one of the belt loops on the left side of my pants. I thought about passing it through still another loop, but I decided to let it hang instead.
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