I was walking with my old friend Weinstein, whom I was visiting in New York City. We had left the street and had begun ascending the stairs of a tall building. As we climbed, Weinstein talked of a previous time I had visited him in New York. I remembered the occasion about which he was talking, but my memory was extremely hazy.
Weinstein appeared apologetic about the way he had treated me the previous time. Although I had come to visit him that time, he had spent very little time with me and had left me to go somewhere else without inviting me. As he talked, I remembered what had happened. I hadn't been upset with him at the time because I had figured he had simply been busy and preoccupied with matters about which I knew very little. I did remember that I had arrived on a Friday and that I had left fairly soon thereafter, probably Sunday, because I had perceived that Weinstein was so engaged with his other business.
What was interesting though, was hearing Weinstein talk about how the weekend I had been there had been one of deep importance in his life. And he seemed to think that although I hadn't been with him, my presence in New York had had an influence on him and on the events of the weekend. He then began describing the weekend and its impact on his life.
I was quite interested in what he was saying, but I didn't retain most of it. As well as I could tell, he had spent the time meeting a number of spiritually bizarre, but impressive, people. I seemed to be able to somewhat visualize some of them as he described them, but the images were dim.
It did seem that one thing Weinstein had learned was that his relationship with me was more significant than he had previously thought. Now, although we weren't communicating perfectly, he seemed to be making more effort to do so and he seemed more at ease with my presence. He seemed more aware of my feeling of friendship toward him and more inclined to accept it.
As we continued ascending the building and he continued talking, I began to realize that something had happened to Weinstein in this building the previous time I had been in town and that Weinstein now wanted to show it to me. Finally we came out on the black, tarred roof of the building. The building was tall, perhaps one of the tallest in New York, but the area on the roof was rather small, about the size of an average room, and there were no railings along the edges. I immediately became uncomfortable.
Weinstein had become quite animated and seemed completely unaffected by the height of the building. When his conversation turned to the "atomsmasher," I slowly realized he was referring to the building, inside of which apparently was some highly developed scientific machinery used for smashing atoms. In fact I seemed to feel the building vibrating to a certain extent and I felt quite queasy and apprehensive.
Weinstein however appeared self-confident. He pointed out that the previous time I had been there, part of the difficulty between him and me had been my reluctance to climb atop the atomsmasher as I was now doing. He asked me if I was now ready to raise my hands in the air and wiggle them over my head. I knew that such a gesture was in line with our being atop the atomsmasher and indeed I felt as if I might do it; however I was still not thoroughly comfortable with the height.
In fact I finally had to sit, almost lie down, on the roof to ease my anxiety. Weinstein continued talking and spoke of the differences and significances of looking up at buildings from below and looking down from atop them. I told him I wasn't afraid of looking up, but I did have some problem with looking down.
Weinstein and I were walking along together in a park in which we had just arrived. It looked as if Weinstein and I were both just wearing a pair of cut off shorts and we didn't have on any shirts. We passed a row of perhaps 20 men and women (probably in their early 30s) who were jogging and seemed quite healthy. They were all wearing new clean shirts and tops. All their clothes had thick stripes on a white background, and each person's stripes seemed to be of a different color. Their clothes looked comfortable, and I somewhat wished I had some like them. But at the same time, I was unsure I would want to wear the same clothes everyone else was wearing and jog along in a group like that.
Nearby in a shallow pool were several elephants and sitting atop them were young black boys splashing water on the elephants and washing them. It looked like such an extremely pleasant thing to do, and of everything I had seen in New York, I thought that was what I would most like to do: I would like to be sitting just as the young black boys were, atop the elephants. The boys appeared to be nude and I couldn't tell for sure if they were wearing shorts. I thought how good it would feel to be young and nude on the elephants, to feel my testes and my legs rubbing against the skin of the elephants. I wanted so much to join them.
While I was standing by a pool of water in the park, a large hippopotamus came to the edge and placed its mouth around the bottom part of my left leg. It wasn't clamping down and causing me any pain, but I realized the strength of its jaws was such that it could crush my leg if it wanted. So although I rather enjoyed having my leg in the hippo's mouth, I was quite apprehensive and wanted to remove it. When I called to Weinstein and pointed out my predicament, he seemed to think it peculiar, but he didn't seem alarmed.
As Weinstein and I walked on through the park, he began talking about my physique, "Collier, you're in the prime of your life."
He then became slightly critical, although not abrasive, about my not building up my body, and he seemed to want to compare my body with his, which was in excellent shape. I had lost some weight since the last time I had seen him, but I had added little muscle to my body. He pointed at my stomach and said something about my pants just hanging on me. He then said something about a red line around my stomach and I noticed somewhat of a crease there.
I found Weinstein standing inside a small booth in the park, practicing what appeared to be some kind of exercise which I had never seen before. Hanging from the ceiling of the booth was a string which held a mirror about head-high. In the booth next to the one Weinstein was in was a similar arrangement, except the mirror in the next booth was perhaps 30 centimeters square while the one in Weinstein's booth was only about 15 centimeters square.
Weinstein seemed to be totally absorbed in practicing with the mirror. As well as I could tell, the exercise consisted simply of hitting the mirror in such a way that it would move as much as possible and still not be broken by the blow. Weinstein held what appeared to be small pieces of cardboard in his hands and hit the mirror with the cardboard. Obviously Weinstein had had considerable experience in practicing with the mirror and he seemed quite adept at making it twirl and move around without breaking. I was unsure I could actually see the practicality of what he was doing, but I thought the exercise might help develop ability at martial defense.
A similar arrangement was in the booth left of Weinstein's, except that instead of a mirror, a green tennis ball was tied to the string. I thought hitting the tennis ball would be more to my liking and I decided to exercise with that. Before I began, however, I wanted Weinstein to try to hit the tennis ball. I turned to him and said, "OK now hit this ball."
He stepped into to the booth and the tennis ball was put in motion. Weinstein had difficulty hitting the ball; he could barely connect with the ball as it swung back and forth. Weinstein still had the small pieces of cardboard in his hands and he tried to hit the ball with them, but his swings lacked force and his motions seemed like those of a very small child. I said, "Is that the way you're going to hit it when you fight?"
I didn't think he really had the idea of what it meant to fight. I knew I would be fairly good at exercising with the ball. I thought part of my ability would derive from my having developed my awareness. I stepped up to the booth, prepared to begin hitting the ball and said, "OK, now watch this."
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