Mustard Dream

Now what was that about? If you have imagination and are familiar with the tune, envision Carly Simon singing, “You’re so vain.” But instead of the words, “I had a dream there were clouds in my coffee,” sing, “I had a dream there was mustard on the floor, mustard on the floor.”

Unfortunately, I put the mustard there, which mortified me.

It wasn’t deliberate. It seemed odd to me there was mustard present. The gathering, at an opulent palace, was for the elite and powerful. We were being recognized and honored, but were also there to learn more. I was flattered and humbled to be invited. Milling about beforehand, a large spread of food and wine was set up. Part of it was – *ahem* – a sandwich buffet. Yes, the elite and powerful are fond of sandwiches, I suppose.

I made myself a sandwich. As I did, a dropped a dollop of yellow mustard on the polished, marble floor. I was searching for something to clean the spill when we were directed to take our seats. I did so with the other hundreds of guests. From where I sat, I could see my spill, which sickened me. The spill seemed larger than I thought. Fortunately, no one else knew about it; that did nothing to assuage my guilt and secret embarrassment.

Then, though, the host staff were going to entertain us with a song and dance number. The staff were politicians, professors and teachers, scientists, artists, and celebrities. All were dressed in formal business attire. Everyone eagerly awaited this entertainment. When the performers lined up, I saw they were going to be on my mustard spill. Horrified, I realized, several mustard spills were there. I couldn’t be responsible for all of them, I was sure. I counted four large mustard spills on the glistening marble floor.

Private humiliation growing, I watched the dance number begin. The dancers were slipping on the mustard. Worse, it was frothing up, becoming an overwhelming mustard meringue. The dance number had to be stopped. I was shocked, yet, I knew I had a small part of the responsibility. Other forces were at work.

With the song and dance over, I was free to wander. I did, taking in the spacious grounds. Many rooms opened onto cool, shaded fountain gardens. I spoke to a few people, pleasantries, really, but wandered on my own, unfettered and free.

As dreams go, it was peculiar. Overall, I’d rate the mustard dream just a little higher on the dream scale over the previous night’s dream peeing dream.

But that’s another dream to tell.

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