Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Miscellaneous: Strange Dream (July 6, 2016)

So, I'm in a large bright room somewhere, like a library, but no one much is in it. I'm in a chair pulled up to a table where Hillary Clinton sits a little in front of me in a bright pink pantsuit sort of wedged between her and the man seated next to her, looking over their shoulders from behind--or trying to. I'm like an interpreter at a summit meeting. I'm there, but somehow not quite part of the proceedings. Seated at the table are two others, experts of some kind, and an "applicant." The applicant is reading poetry and Hillary and the two experts are judging the poetry. The applicant speaks in a heavy New York accent, so heavy I can understand only about a third of what he's saying, although I myself was born in New York and feel like I ought to be able to catch what he's saying. He drones on. A mosquito is buzzing around Hillary's back, right in front of me. I tell her not to move so I can squash the mosquito but she brushes me away, concentrating on the poetry she's listening to. When I'm watching the little mosquito, the room seems dark. When watching the poetry conference it seems bright. I try again to squash the mosquito against the pink fabric of Hillary's side, but it slips away. The man reading the poetry reminds me of William F. Buckley Jr. He's middle-aged, a little hunched over, but very sure of himself. The accent is wrong, but he looks like William F. Buckley Jr. He's wearing a disheveled raincoat, like the one Colombo always wore. Hillary is saying the poem is racist, which is the first clue of its content for me, unable to understand much of what he's been saying. One of the experts praises the poem saying at least it's forthrightly racist. As Hillary and the experts discuss whether the poem is racist, I reach between Hillary and the man beside her from my position a little behind them, half standing up, and I take the poem from the hand of the poetry reader. The writing is as hard to read as the spoken words were to understand, but it's beautiful. The writing is English, but it looks Asian at the same time, written with a brush perhaps or a thick marker. I remark that it looks like calligraphy and how beautiful it is, holding the paper up so everyone can see it, then turning it 90 degrees, so the script is vertical, to enhance the calligraphic effect I'm trying to suggest. And then I'm on a carpeted floor--the kind of carpet you see in a public building rather than a home, with very short pile, muted colors, not very welcoming, but looking like it will stand up under heavy traffic. I'm kneeling and someone has brought out an inkstone and a large calligraphy brush and I'm saying to myself "I studied calligraphy in Japan. I can show them." Mentally I'm writing the character "kotobuki" in a cursive script. The inkstone is on the floor and I'm dipping the brush in and trying to form the tip of the brush into a nice point before I start writing, saying to the people that have now gathered around me that next time they use the brush they must form it into a point after they're finished, after rinsing it, and then let it dry that way. The brush seems to be made of just-sheared lambswool--not very absorbent, intractable--rather than the fine squirrel hair it ought to be made of. The inkstone and paper are near me on the floor, but annoyingly close to the foot of a chair that's in the way. Then an elderly man walks up, wearing neatly creased, vaguely mustard-colored trousers (the color of Grey Poupon, not French's). I ignore him at first, but then, struggling to get the long, shaggy brush properly loaded with ink that's much too thin to write with and worrying about the sheet of paper provided that's much too small to write on with such a big brush (it's a 5-inch square piece of translucent rice paper that, size-wise, would be better suited to origami), I defer to the old man who has a long white beard, looking like one of those Chinese scholars you see depicted on scrolls in Asian art museums.....

Strange dream I had last night.

With apologies to the owner of the photograph I've used. I was unable to find an appropriate credit.

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