Good morning, everybody.
I was floating or coasting or driving through an area of buildings, like buildings on a university campus. Surrounding all the buildings was barren soil. It was like the grounds were under construction. Something like restoration or construction may have been going on with the buildings as well, though they seemed to be fully constructed. There were people here and there, probably some guys in hard hats, but also some guys in business suits.
A person then spoke to me about the buildings. Apparently nobody had known, or at least the general public hadn't known, the actual construction of these buildings. The buildings were all made to look like they had been constructed out of certain materials when, really, they weren't.
As we drifted past one group of buildings, there was a construction about the wooden facades of the building, even though I could only see these facades in my mind's eye. As we drifted past a group of buildings and out into an open space, there was a discussion of steel, as if some building was made entirely of steel or had a facade to make it look like it had been built entirely of steel, or as if all buildings should be made entirely of steel.
The person then told me that there were elements of architecture that served as support and elements that served as cover. The elements of support were like steel. The elements of cover were like wood.
Unfortunately, some of these buildings had elements of cover for elements of support and elements of support for elements of cover. But they looked like they were composed in the reverse manner. Other buildings were constructed entirely of only elements of support. That was why everybody was out here right now taking care of these buildings. They were afraid that if they weren't taken care of, they'd fall down altogether.
I was sitting at an old school desk in a living room. The desk had a steep top and was somehow cluttered -- either around its edges or on its top -- with a lot of household items. The desk sat so I was directly facing a wall or two walls, angled awkwardly near some far corner of the room.
Behind me, from a hallway at the other end of the room, I could hear my mother and maternal grandmother speaking with each other. My mom was explaining to my grandma why I'd moved to this place. My mom had moved out here as well at some point in time before I'd moved out here. But once I'd moved out here, it was like we'd both moved out here together. Because of this, my mom had to justify my having moved out here.
After overhearing the discussion, I felt like I had been really stupid or weak or lazy to have moved out here. I realized my mom hadn't thought very highly of my moving out here. In fact, I now became an object of her derision whenever she needed to use me as an excuse for something. She had used me as an excuse for something just now in front of my grandma. So I was feeling pretty bad about myself.
My grandma came up behind me. I was eating some warm chocolate. I dropped a few pieces of it onto the desktop. I was trying to tell my side of the story (can't remember it) to my grandma. I ended by talking about selling certain things.
I stood up and turned around to face my grandma. My grandma told me that my mom had already sold most of the items I'd wanted to sell. My mom had sold the items to my grandma at a really good price, and had made a really good profit.
My grandma and I were standing outside. I only had one item left. It was the same as all the other items, so I thought I could also get a good price for it. But when I handed it to my grandma, she dug into her pockets and handed me five or six quarters. And only four of those quarters, I knew, really counted as the selling price. So I'd only gotten a dollar for this item.
My grandma tried solemnly to tell me this was all she could do, that this was all the item was worth. But I could tell that my grandma was actually laughing to herself about how she'd managed to cheat me. She thought, because of the story my mom had told her, that I'd really deserved to be cheated. She'd thought I'd thought I was really smart. But she'd just proved to herself that I wasn't smart.
I was floating outdoors, past a series of buildings like buildings on a college campus. Passing one building, I passed along a covered porch. At different points along the porch, young women were interviewing with university faculty in order to be accepted into the university. The young women were mostly from foreign countries.
I got to the edge of the covered porch and found myself in the space between two buildings. The ground was slightly sloped downward, and was barren, but dark and moist, soil, strewn slightly with peach-colored gravel. A young woman, pale with short, brown hair, was speaking to a faculty member about how exciting this whole process of application was for her. She felt like college was giving her a new chance at life.
I turned around and floated back in the direction I'd come from. Eventually I just started walking. I kind of giggled inwardly, thinking about the young woman's excitement. For some reason, the woman's achievement didn't seem like a very big deal at all. But I'd never tell the woman that.
I knew the woman had been a high school dropout. She'd led a very tough life, possibly growing up in Russia or an Eastern European country. But now she was getting her life back on track. And it was quite an accomplishment to go from being a life-toughened high school dropout to being accepted into a university such as this one. Suddenly it struck me that the young woman really was justified in her excitement, and that she really should be proud of herself.
I started reflecting, as I stared down at a patch of barren, dark soil, just beyond the edge of a concrete walkway, that maybe what caused me so much trouble at college was the fact that I'd had a bad time in high school. I wondered whether having bypassed high school altogether wouldn't have helped me in college. The lack of bad experiences from one place would lead to good experiences in another, perhaps, I thought.
I turned left and walked up a small slope, heading toward an asphalt path or road that I knew would lead me to the right and back to my family. I imagined having to tell my family members, most likely my mother and brother, to be careful regarding what they said while they were here around DE, an old co-worker and friend of mine, who was also here. I told them that certain things they said might cause DE to react in a flippant manner, which I knew would make my family members extremely agitated, maybe even violent.
In my imagination, I tried to make a reason for why my family members should keep these risky comments to themselves. I said that DE was a very elite person. I tried to explain that he had been a good athlete at a top-level school, and that he thought of himself as being a very top-level person (in waking life, DE is not snobbish like this at all).
As I was imagining this explanation I took a look at a small tree to my right. I saw that it was growing strange flowers. The flowers had waxy, thick petals, and they seemed to grow out of a thick, waxy, spiny bud. In fact, I thought. The bud itself originally looked like fruit. Then the "fruit" would split open, revealing this beautiful, but in some ways disturbing, flower.
I brought one of these flowers to my mother, who was standing along a roadside. Off in the distance behind my mom, my brother was kneeling before a small shrub, working away at something, possibly digging in the ground. I showed my mom the flower and tried to explain the tree.
I theorized that the tree I'd seen must have grown two sets of flowers. I'd seen fruit on the tree, and the fruit looked like crabapples. So I knew that the tree must have grown flowers that looked like apple blossoms. This second flower was something else. I thought the flower was beautiful, but I may also have had a feeling that it meant something bad for the tree, or else that it was a kind of predatory flower, like a venus fly trap, that ate small animals that approached the tree. Either way, it felt kind of sinister.
My mom asked me to show the flower to my brother. He'd appreciate the fact that I'd thought of including him in the whole effort of discovering what this flower was about. I agreed, and I felt guilty for not having involved my brother earlier.
But suddenly I began to reflect on things that made me feel even worse about this flower. First of all, the bud-like casing seemed to be like the spiny foliage of some weeds. That didn't seem like a good thing. And second -- I may have thought about this as I looked at the small shrub before which my brother knelt, maybe a shrub version of the tree I'd seen -- the tree had fruit on it even while these flowers were still growing. Was that right? The fruit should come after the flowers, not the flowers after the fruit. I had a bad feeling about what these flowers might possibly do to the growing fruit.