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Dream of: 01 November 1986 "Barney Miller"

I was walking on a college campus, heard a bell ring and realized I needed to go to class. As I walked toward the class building I noticed that students had piled many stacks of books all over the ground around the college buildings. I remembered I was going to need some books and paper myself because a test was going to be given today. I had no books or paper with me and I thought about simply taking someone else's things which were sitting on the ground and then bringing them back later. But I didn't take any and I headed on to class with nothing.

I looked at a clock and saw that it was seven after eight. It occurred to me that the bell I had heard ring was for undergraduate classes. But I was in a graduate class and was therefore seven or eight minutes late.

When I finally walked into the classroom it was very quiet and I surmised that the test had already begun. I noticed some tablets of paper in the room and thought I might be able to use some for taking my test. Finally, I found a seat which seemed somehow raised up higher than the other seats. I sat down in the seat and saw Leah sitting next to me on my right with her seat pressed close to mine.

I still needed some legal-sized notebook paper to write on and I thought Leah might be able to give me some. However I realized the test hadn't yet begun because a professor (a black man about 30 years old) was standing in front of the class talking.

Also lying on my desk were about a dozen copied papers which the professor apparently had passed out for the students to read. There were two copies of each paper and I realized Leah's papers and mine were mixed together. I began looking at the numbers at the bottom of the papers and separating them.

The professor began lecturing about writing television shows and was concentrated on the show "Barney Miller." He actually showed a small portion of one of the episodes of the show on a screen in the room as he talked about it. He had been concentrating on that particular television show all through the course; I however hadn't been paying much attention in the course and I didn't know precisely what was going on.

Suddenly, I heard the professor call out, "Steve Collier." I was startled and I didn't know what to respond. He repeated what he had been saying and asked me what I would do in a certain situation. He wanted me to act as if I were saying something on the show. I tried to respond but the professor didn't seem satisfied with my answer. I uttered, "Well it would be much different writing it than acting it. I could write it but I'm not too good on acting it."

He admitted that was true. But he continued and wanted me to act as if I were a black kid from the ghetto coming into the police station where Barney Miller worked. Before I began I noticed that four or five black fellows were sitting on the other side of the room. I said, "Well I would probably come in and say, 'Hey man, how's it going'."

I then added, "Those are the words they almost invariably use when they come in and meet somebody."

But the professor wasn't satisfied with that response either.

I slowly recalled that the professor had earlier told us the test wouldn't be until later in the afternoon and that we would have a session in the morning to go over material just as we were now doing. The professor kept talking and he mentioned the papers he had handed out which were apparently designed to help us on the test.

He said many questions were going to be on the test. He mentioned that if we came to a problem where we were asked to write dialogue and we had difficulty with it, then we should write the dialogue as if a crazy person were speaking. He said it was important to remember that point.

The professor then walked around the room and said something to the five black fellows over on my right. He walked over to me then and I said, "I didn't understand that."

He smiled. I then realized he had purposely spoken in black slang and I wasn't supposed to have understood.

A couple other black fellows were in the room. One was over to my left and one was up in front of me. It was obvious that those two black fellows were of a higher class than the other five blacks. The professor asked one of the higher class black fellows if he had ever played basketball. He replied that he had at one time, but not much. He then said something about how he had tried to enjoy life.

In the meantime I was still separating the papers on my desk. I dropped one and the professor, standing in front of me, picked it up and gave it to me. He walked to another part of the room and I managed to drop three more papers on the floor. He looked at me in disbelief as I picked up the papers myself. He didn't say anything and he continued walking around.

As I had picked up the papers I had noticed Leah's long, well-formed, attractive legs under the table. Her dress came down to about mid-thigh. When I sat back down, I whispered in Leah's ear that I was getting more out of the lecture today than I usually did. I thought it was probably because the professor had actually called on me.

Leah then tried to show me something and in the process pressed her left cheek against my right cheek. I was glad I had just shaved and my cheek seemed very soft against hers. Her cheek also felt smooth and soft and it felt good being pressed against mine.

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