I am in a house. Not clear if it is my house or that I am taking care of it for someone else. But it has a long hallway and off it an alcove, which is at first unseen by me, as I am at one end. At the far end of the hallway a man stands almost out of sight. He is telling me adamantly that a portrait hung in the alcove should be taken down, because something disastrous will happen as a result of it. I know the portrait and find nothing wrong with it. I remember It is a picture of a middle-aged man who has a round face and a high forehead. He has thin blondish hair. In fact, I am thinking as we speak that there may be two of the same person hanging there, one of these taken when the man had been under the influence of opium. There is a lot of talk back and forth, but I refuse to remove them. Then I enter the alcove and am surrounded by many portraits in old-fashioned frames. Near the floor I see rows of children’s books together with decorations and drawings. When I lean down to inspect them the books begin to sing to me in beautiful young voices. I am entranced and the dream ends.
I am teaching an Adult ESL class. There are not many students present. Anita is there. She and I are simulating an argument between a couple in order to generate a conversation on this by the students later in English. One of the students, a middle-aged woman interrupts and states that she objects to this exercise and wants to leave. We stop. I think about the situation. I do not have anything else I wish to start and there is about an hour left in the class. I tell her if she does not like it to just go. At this point, other students who were absent show up, including a man I like very much. The woman who wanted to leave suddenly gets very angry. She approaches me and puts a hand on my chest, poking it. I tell her plainly that if she does not stop this she will regret it, but she continues. I grab her hair and see her face actually fall apart into pieces. I am horrified. The dream ends.
You were so colorless before the event, so perfect that you passed through our field of vision unnoticed. You would always be there, though left unappreciated for the many functions and movements you performed in the world. Then the fire, then the blemish as an aftermath that put you on the map. You are now marked, dignified in your ugliness. You have acquired history, a sense of having lived and suffered, which we will exploit as an added feather in our cap.