Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Allegories of Unilateral Action and the Burden of Dreams

It was then that I realized that the metallic static I had heard was not robots but the menacing but unmistakable sound of a marching band, distantly and discordantly pumping along. It meant only one thing: danger!

Alone standing in the middle of a large, sparse green space—like a small town after a tornado—which was crosscut with roads and the odd indices of settlement (a postbox, street signs, etc.), I started to walk quickly along the wet grassy strip of land. It must be near the mall in Washington, D.C., but I don't remember why or when that became apparent to me.

With the sound of the marching band getting closer and closer, there was only one thing to do, which I exclaimed as it occurred to me, "I had better warn the President!"

In a flash, I was in the White House, and found George W. Bush sitting alone, trying to solve a Sudoku. He looked up, but when I tried to warn him, before I got a word out, it was clear he didn't want to talk about whatever I had come to tell him. He threw down his pen, and said, "Let's roll!" pointing to the hallway with the cool resolve of a motorboat salesman.

With that, he started to lead me on an art historical tour of the White House, showing me painting after painting, making banal comments with absolute severity.

In front of a pastoral landscape, he looked me hard right in the eye and said, "The trees provide shade."

Then, he showed me the knit poster that's in the offices of a lot of guidance counselors, child psychologists, and the like—the one that depicts circular children of every colour and nationality standing together on a white background (it was over the mirror between Mrs. Adler's office and the counseling room at Emily Gray for my Tucson friends). He knelt down (it was hanging lopsided near the ground) and said, "I call the little one Pocahontas."

I probably should have mentioned that this was a dream. Next thing I knew I was up and life was as it remains.

As for the interpretation of dreams, I have my ideas. I think it's about Robots. I recently came to believe that Sudoku was part of an elaborate conspiracy to turn us into them—robots, that is. Number-munchers.

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