A wispy, attractive woman and I had been made prisoners and placed in the forward hold of a sailing ship. Although the ship seemed as if it were perhaps from the seventeen or eighteen hundreds, the woman and I appeared to be from perhaps the time of the Roman Empire and were dressed as such. We had both been recently captured and were being turned into slaves. I wore little clothing and was extremely muscular.
I began looking around us and saw that I could go right up to the very front of the ship, and that even though we were in the hold, I could see over the edge to the water. In the front was stored a number of items; I noticed some rope there. I walked back to the woman and after talking to her a bit, realized it might be possible to use some of the rope to slip over the side of the ship. I told her to accompany me and together we went to the front to look for rope.
When we were again in the foremost part of the ship, I happened to notice some steps leading upward, and thought I could hear some sound above, perhaps a woman singing. I crept up the stairs and found myself looking over what appeared to be a large empty, attic room, but upon glancing over the room a second time, I perceived that it wasn't completely empty, but that a divan was sitting squarely in the middle of the room. And lying on the divan with her head propped up on one hand was a woman in the prime of her life.
She was dressed in white and seemed almost insubstantial. I approached her and communicated with her. It wasn't entirely clear to me, but I realized we were somehow connected. Apparently we would soon meet each other before the king, who was the master of the ship. But our relationship with each other wasn't entirely clear to me. She soon glided away.
I was in the hold of the ship, contemplating what I was doing here. The woman whom I had met upstairs suddenly came in and began talking with me. Clearly we would soon be involved in a play before the king. She wanted to make it clear to me that I should be humble, and that she should appear strong and authoritative. However I was uncertain that my role called for me to be so humble. I realized, however, that I was only a slave, while she was a woman of importance on the ship. Nevertheless I was uncertain how I would play my role.
I could see a man standing before me, almost as if I were looking at a movie screen. In the distance behind the man were a group of archers. Suddenly the man cringed and fell face down on the ground. I saw that he had perhaps 20 arrows in his back.
I was lying on a bed in the hold of the ship and felt as if I were just awakening. I quickly sat up and became rather nervous, because I realized the play in which I was supposed to act was already in progress above on the deck of the ship. Indeed I had already acted in the first half of the play and had done well enough. But now the second half had begun and I didn't feel prepared.
In the play I still hadn't had to confront the woman I had met upstairs, but that confrontation apparently was going to take place in the second half. And I had decided I wasn't going to humble myself before her if my role required that I play a strong person.
However I wasn't really sure what my role required because I hadn't even read the second half of the play. I picked up a pamphlet with the words to the play. The pamphlet looked like the libretto of an opera which might be found with opera record albums. I began leafing through the second half, looking for the name of my character: Cornelius. I was relieved to see that Cornelius didn't have a part for many pages, and thought I would have time to quickly go over them.
I began dressing, but then it suddenly occurred to me that the name of my character wasn't Cornelius, but Hernandez. I again began leafing through the libretto, and although it was several pages before Hernandez had any parts, I was dismayed to see that his parts when they did occur were quite long. But that was to be expected since Hernandez was one of the main characters in the play.
Slowly, however, I began to calm down, because I realized we were only having a practice session of the play at the moment. It was a tremendous relief for me to think I would have time to learn my part before the play was actually performed before an audience.
My father and I were discussing the play. He concluded that the main theme of the play was adultery. I agreed with him, although I didn't understand the exact nature of the development of the theme in the play. I was uncertain of the role of the king and whether the king was important in the development of the theme.
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