Good morning, everybody.
I was at some kind of big dinner. It was in some place like a school gym. The lights were all greenish fluorescent, like big floodlights hanging from the ceiling. The room was full of tables.
I sat at a round table with a few other people. The people I sat with were probably park rangers I've known. Everybody was talking, like at any old dinner. But it was also like everybody was giving some sort of presentation. The presentation mainly had to do with whether everybody had been doing their job well.
At the end, the task somehow fell on me of giving criticisms regarding all the rangers' performances. I said something like, "Spend less time focusing on showing how much you know about the things you know, and more time learning the things you don't know," or "Spend less time talking about the things that aren't important and more time talking about the things that are important."
While I gave my little criticism, I alternately stood up and sat down. While I sat down, I sat really far back in my chair. The whole time, everybody else at the table was blocked from my view, as if there were some huge candle or centerpiece or pile of clutter on the table.
The conversation apparently started up again. Again, I was asked to respond. But this time, when I responded, I saw, sitting to the right of one of the rangers, an old friend of mine, KB. She looked really healthy and young, though kind of skinny. She had short, spiky hair and a shiny, black leather jacket. She waved to me surreptitiously and smile-smirked a little. At first I didn't think it was her. But then I realized it was. As I sat down I tried to look past all the stuff on the table to see KB again. I could tell that she could see me and recognize me alright, even though I couldn't quite see her.
I was probably about to call out to KB. But something else happened. It was like there was now something else going on in the gym, like a physical contest of some kind. It probably involvled high school kids. I was somehow a part of it.
The gym floor was cleared out. The conestants sat on either side of the floor. I sat among one of the group. The contest may have been explained, or I may have known what it was about at the time. But I don't remember now. It was something like a race. There may have been something to do with thin, wooden frames and creme pies as well. There was also something to do with a test of strength. I think this got me worried. I was worried about something with my shoulder or something with my arm.
The scene of the contest shifted. It was like the contest, or at least part of the contest, was over. I had possibly embarrassed myself in some way during the contest, probably disappointing my teammates as well. It was like the gym was mostly cleared out, quiet and empty.
I sat on the floor. Two or three young men sat near me. They all started talking about how I should do this or that next time to keep from failing so bad at the game. They did it in a kind of joking way, like they thought something about my clumsiness was endearing. They probably eventually gave up and just told me to come sit by them.
But when I sat by them I was sitting with a whole group of high schoolers again. There may have been a general feeling of disappointment from everybody, as if nobody could believe I actually had to be on their team. I would really slow things down for them. Most of the people who thought this seemed to be guys. But there were a few girls who thought I was cute. They were happy to have me around.
I was sitting by myself again, a few meters in front of the team I had been sitting with. The gym looked different now. It was like there were window walls or high-up windows -- windows somewhere -- showing the black night sky outside.
I had the feeling I was supposed to be giving some kind of presentation. But there were a few girls in the front row of the team I had been sitting with. One or more of the girls started asking me questions, like advice questions about their lives or about paying bills. They asked partly because they thought I could help, but partly because they thought I was cute and they just wanted to talk to me. I was a little nervous about talking with them. I didn't want the boys to be jealous and start causing troubles for me.
I was now sitting right next to one of the girls. She was kind of skinny, with long, dark brown hair. She wore a dark, velvet mini-dress and something like a velvet rose in her hair. She started whispering her questions into my ear.
I was down in the basement of my family's house. My nephews were down there, too, running around and making messes out of things. Some of them ran into the laundry room. Others were messing around in the main part of the basement. I was trying to get them all to stop and just go back upstairs. But they wouldn't listen to me.
Finally they all just jumped into the bathroom. They left the door open a crack, so that I could see they were running around in there, making messes. I was getting really angry. At last, I opened the door and grabbed the first kid I could see -- my youngest nephew. I held him by his right arm and held him outward from me. He didn't struggle. It was like he was some solid, motionless object, like a coffee pot.
I walked up the stairs and into the living room. It was night. The only light in the living room came from the hallway. The living room seemed to be just as busy with kids as the basement had been. My brother-in-law was standing in front of the TV, which was shut off. I handed my nephew over to my brother-in-law.