I’m at a work station. One those stands with a big tan CRT monitor on top, tower PC, keyboard on sliding tray. Something from the 1990s. Whole thing is just wide enough for the monitor. I’m one of many at such computer work stations. Large room. Wide and tall. I’m in the last row, on the end. Fourth one in line. This gives me space to my right. It’s open there and behind me.
Everyone is doing through thing. It’s a hubbub of clicking, clacking, talking, laughing. I’m doing my thing, reviewing files for a dead friend. The computer files on the screen on red. They fill the screen. When I print things out, the paper and folders are red. I suppose, when I’m wondering about the red while I’m dreaming, that the red is supposed to be symbolic of something. I don’t get it. Urgency? Warning? Don’t know. I’m also wondering why I’m going through folders about a dead guy. He’d been a friend but he died a while ago. My rational side intrudes: it’s your birthday. You’re sixty-five. Dead guy was a year older than you. Never lived to be sixty-five. Collect the dots.
Aha, dots probably collected. My wife is pestering me for specific information. This annoys me. She flits in to demand I look at something, sure that it’s important. I already looked and moved on while she wasn’t there. But she keeps coming back, asking to see specific files that I already read and closed.
Many others are behind me. Two women and a man are among them. The women are attractive. I gather that they’re foreigners. Maybe British and Scottish. They’re friends. I think one is with the guy. He seems American. He comes and goes. I keep catching snatches of the women’s conversation. They’re speaking of going someplace, doing something. I’m familiar with the areas and offer some unrequested advice, which they shun.
“Keep yourself to yourself,” I tell myself, sorting files on the computer. I’m testy with my wife as she comes and asks for information on a specific date and event. Without responding to her verbally, I search for the appropriate document, drilling down through information. She doesn’t realize what I’m doing and hectors me. I snap back with an explanation. She then goes away.
Meanwhile, the British and Scottish women have become friendlier. As if they sensed they rebuffed me and now want my friendship — or something — they step closer. I’m aware that they’re surreptitiously attempting to see what I’m doing. They make a subtle show of patting me on my shoulder, touching my arm.
It all confused and wearied me. I move off the dead man’s files. Why should I be involved with them? I find myself instead working on the files for another who worked for me. Investigating this person makes no more sense than checking the dead man’s files.
I understand it all when I awaken. The sense of dissatisfaction, frustration. The searching in myself for answers about directions and desires.