The Fortune Teller Dream

The dream began in a small house. It seemed (these things are not always spelled out in dreams) that the house belonged to a family member. I was staying with them, along with my wife, as part of a visit. Not a large house, it was crowded with people, but the atmosphere was pleasant. The dream took place in the living room, which had green shag carpeting.

We were preparing for a visit, or inspection. I’m not certain which. A woman was present who was a councilor or adviser; I wasn’t certain of her role, but she was authoritarian.

This was happening in the morning. The inspections were due in hours. Someone unfamiliar was asleep on the sofa under a blue sleeping bag. I could only see the dark hair on top of their head.

We were all wondering in soft tones, “Who is that?” And answering, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen them before. They arrived last night.” Coming into the room and hearing us, the woman finally explained that it was son. “Don’t mind him. He needed a place to sleep for the night.”

Oh, okay. We all accepted that without question. A young ginger cat was running in and out, bringing in mulch and leaves after it rolled on the ground or something. Talking with the others, I said that I was going to vacuum the cat and get the dirt off of it. After I caught the cat, I started vacuuming him. He tried to run away, but then he started enjoying the process. I thought that he had realized that I was cleaning him as he turned to let me access different places with the vacuum nozzle.

The woman’s son awoke. Vague introductions were made. Tall and unshaven with short black hair, he looked liked he’d been living rough. He had some appointment, he said, and would be leaving soon. He seemed withdrawn and subdued. He and I spoke, small, friendly exchanges. I was curious about him, pumping him for more details. He finally, hesitantly, attempted to explain. He would do it with cards.

He said he was a fortune teller. He drew cards out of his pocket. They were made of torn newspaper. “I’m not allowed to have real cards,” he said.

Why? I had to ask. “It’s complicated,” he replied.

Meanwhile, he’d dealt the cards into three piles. I was a little bewildered, because I thought I only saw three cards. They didn’t have markings, but newspaper columns and ads. “No, there are more,” he said. “You can’t see them.”

Sure, I thought, humoring him. I said, “Oh, is this three card Monte?”

“No,” he said. “I do fortunes. I read fortunes in cards.”

I went to pick up a card to examine it, asking him if I could as I reached for it. “No,” he replied, putting a hand out to stop me. “You can’t touch the cards or bet on them. That’s against my terms.”

“Your terms?” I was trying to understand what he meant.

He seemed embarrassed. “The terms of my sentencing, and parole. I’m not allowed to have real cards, bet on cards, or let others bet on them. Nobody can touch my cards, because that would make them real cards. That would…” He seemed to search for words. “That would give me. Power.”

I was like, “What’s that mean? What’d you do? What happened?”

He said, “I’m going to tell you your fortune.” He picked up a flimsy newspaper card and looked at it.

The dream ended.

The School Dream

I dreamed I was an adult, taking a college class. A long and full class, with probably sixty students, all ages, sexes, and races were in the class. I was probably in the top twenty of the oldest students.

The teacher was Billy Sheets. Tall, slender, and middle-aged, Sheets had dark green hair and purple eye shadow. He usually wore a white Oxford shirt. He’s not a teacher I had in my life, but he introduced himself as Billy Sheets.

Class was informal. We had a half-ring of desks. That wasn’t enough to accommodate everyone, so we also had rings of pillows to sit on. In retrospect, it reminded me of a few writing workshops I attended.

The subject here, though, was sociology. While presentations were made, and I attended them, I seemed to spend a lot of time going in and out of class, and looking for a place to sit. Four memorable points emerged from this pattern.

I was walking up the steps to go in. Wooden, and painted brown, the steps were old and worn. Another guy started up the steps as the same time as me, but then stepped aside to let me go first. He wore a denim jacket, and I knew from seeing him earlier that he rode a motorcycle.

After I went up, I turned and thanked him. When I did, I saw his key fly from his hand, land on the steps and slide across into a crack. I heard it clink when it landed.

I told him that his key had gone into a crack and that I heard it land. Smiling, he said, “That’s alright, I’m not worried.”

His answer baffled me. What was he going to do? How was he going to get his key back?

Still thinking about it, I entered the classroom. I found a presentation by outsiders in progress. I was surprised because I was apparently late, and I didn’t know about this presentation. As I sought somewhere to sit, I discovered that coffee was spilled on anything. Several inches of standing coffee was on one section of the soaked red carpet. More coffee was spilled across the desk tops and soaked the chairs. The pillows were wet with coffee.

I asked, “What happened? Was there a coffee explosion?” Nobody answered me. Just as I settled in coffee free space, the presentation ended and everyone began going out on break.

I tried talking to others and the presentations, and got an idea of what I missed. (I don’t remember any of the details.) Then I went on break.

When I returned, we’d been moved to another room. It was a darker room, and more crowded. It was also the final class. Others were turning in projects and papers. I was horrified because I knew I didn’t have either to turn in. Frantic, I tried remembering if I’d already completed it and turned it in, but I couldn’t recall. I thought that if one was due, I was doomed to fall because I had nothing. I took some hope in that all my presentations had been highly scored, and I did well on the tests.

As the room became emptier, I approached Mr. Sheets and waited to speak with him. When he turned his attention to me, he greeted me with a smile. I explained that I didn’t have anything to turn in and apologized for not being sure if I was supposed to turn something in. I felt embarrassed.

But he said, “No, you weren’t assigned anything, Michael. You were a wonderful student and did a great job.” He shook my hand.

The class was over. Everyone began dispersing. I went out to a parking garage. A flowery cover was on one car. I thought it could be mine, but I was uncertain. Pulling the cover off the car’s back end, I opened a rear door and slid inside. I knew immediately that it wasn’t my car, as hundreds of medals and earrings were hung from squares on the ceiling. I couldn’t discern a pattern to it, and it baffled me why someone would do that. The car was otherwise immaculate and in excellent condition, with a plush interior.

I was confused about why I thought it could have been my car. My car was a different brand, color, and body style. With chagrin, I slipped back out. As I did, I saw the cover move at the front of the car. I realized a man was sleeping there, and as I realized that, a man lifted the over and sat up, revealing himself as Vietnamese. Neither of us spoke. I closed the back door and pulled the cover back down over the car. He laid back down and pulled the cover over himself.

Returning to the inside of the education center, I ran into my little sister, Gina, by the exit. A man my height, slender with very white skin and short white hair, and wearing flowery shirt, was standing with her. Putting a hand on my shoulder, he spoke to me in a very soft voice about things he’d like done. Now, weirdly, I told him that those were things that the command post would normally do.

We engaged in a longer conversation. I began to think he was the new commander and that I should be speaking to him with greater respect, because I was being very casual and flippant with him.

We finished speaking. He squeezed my shoulder and departed. I asked my sister, “Who is that guy?”

Gina said, “I have no idea. I’ve never seen him before.”

The dream ended.

There were many more details to this dream. I abridged things in the interest of time and space.

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