fter a long night jumping back into the dissertation now that I have my wits and energy back, I just awoke from a prolonged dream with insane
amounts of detail, the dream being very conversational. Although the earlier parts were fading fast, I still remembered a lot that was happening at the end, and being as amused as I was by it, I just swooped over to the computer to jot it down before it all faded away.
– On campus tour: looks like ND to begin with, walking from the War Memorial to the library, but morphs into someplace else, where I'm walking down a set of stairs to a lower-level street access, as though down a steep slope.
– I see and introduce two former high school students of mine in passing, among the small crowd of people near this street entryway. I feel a bit awkward, as through I'm introducing Alison and Alexandra and suddenly realizing I'm a bit stupid for thinking they'll get along "... because you're both ... short."
– I run into my freshman year R.A. Ted Manning. I explain how I had always wondered what became of him.
– I have a long, walking talk with Ted, leading to thanking him for being such a cool R.A. at an important transition moment in my life.
– The weather is now winter. Off campus. Chicago-y brownstone neighbourhood.
– I am now inexplicably crippled, almost bent in two, and am explaining how this happened to Ted in a long digression as I labour to keep up with him.
– I'm stuck at street corner, trying to get over large slushy icy puddle to corner while traffic waits.
– Ted waiting a bit ahead on sidewalk
– It turns out this is a gay neighborhood (Lakeview?), with two carloads of guys, contortioned like pretzels, doing an old 1950s "crammed as many as possible into a telephone booth" kind of stunt, now piling, laughing, out of two cars and onto the sidewalk in front of me, slowly uncontortioning themselves, laughing, and all nude.
– The sidewalk is now holding several women, singly or in pairs, admiring the view and stunt, some with cameras.
– Mortified, I'm trying to make my way through without making eye contact with anyone while unbending myself.
– I catch up with Ted and continue the conversation.
– A bit of me explaining what I'm doing, and Ted's explaining to me that he's now a sort of consultant on Soviet-era military hardware for occasional Hollywood productions while (I think) living on and helping to maintain some former Soviet naval vessel now permanently docked in the L.A. area.
– He makes an offhanded reference to a place we went by, with a large stairway to and deck outside a third or fourth story entry to a building, marked like a pub called "The Name of the Rose" or "The Name of the Lord," or something like that, as a place an old friend of his used to like to gig at, Doug McKenna.
– Discover that he knew the very same Doug McKenna, despite a seven-year age difference, being that they were the youngest two kids nonetheless at someplace they lived near one another for an 18-month span.
– Explain that I too know Doug and that we lived together for a year.
– Ted freaks at the bizarre co-incidence.
– Now dusty late summer, residential neighbourhood. Am explaining this as we make our way through lines at a huge barbeque crowd, almost there as an illustration of the kind of atmosphere where they both new each other, like military base/neighbourhood housing, as Ted's raving about how cool Mr. and Mrs. McKenna always were in hosting. Entire crowd is black and silent, though, and dressed in white dress shirts, almost like an Ernest Watson painting of a river baptismal procession.
– End up talking about this while delicately leaning on a barbed-wire fence, under the shade of a huge tree whose breadth has left most of the grass under its cover dead. Looking ahead and trying to figure out how I'm going to get over the fence as we talk. We have acquired a child, maybe from the crowd, who I don't really pay much attention to and who remains silent.
– I'm telling Ted everything – in great detail – about Doug's current life in Michigan: Claire, Drew, baby on the way, just graduated with his Master's and explaining both his work and his research in higher education.
– Suddenly, in the yard in front of us, across the fence, we see a very large, really over-sized, almost shadow-like, anteater moving along the back of a garage.
– I draw the child to the side, to better see the anteater, which is now just around the corner of the building, and seems to be oddly thrashing.
– When the anteater comes into view again, we are all startled to see that perched upon its back is a dark brown, and oddly ugly baboon, almost grimacing at us.
– The baboon rushes a little toward us, leaps eight or ten feet into the air, over the fence, and into the tree above us, bouncing down once close to me, making noises for a moment almost like speech, before jumping back up into the tree where it jibbers at us. I'm grossed out because it's covered with bugs.
– I'm suddenly grabbed by a small boy, covered in filthy, matted hair, and also covered in the same kind of bugs, who jibbers at me with the same kind of sounds of speach, but these are clearly a sort of self-taught, intelligent language.
– I realize that this boy has been raised in the wild by this baboon. I cry out to Ted (and the other child? or is that one gone now, morphed into this one?) that we have to get help to deal with this boy.
– I think "This is crazy!" and wake up. Marveling at the detail still in my head, I type this into the computer before I can lose it.