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Sunday, December 26, 2010


I had the most incredible dream last night.  It is rare for me to actually remember a dream.  This one lasted for what seemed like hours, and I still vividly can recall details.

This dream, in many ways, was a composite of my life.  Some of you have gone through the semi-nightmarish incident of walking into a final exam and realizing you had forgotten to attend that class.  Or, climbing down a cliff where you actually fell.  

This one of mine had all of those, sprinkled with my life in general and the 1998 movie, What Dreams May Come, with Robin Williams.  In this film, Williams ends up in Heaven, and I particularly flash back to brilliant hues, and, in particular, a blue jacaranda tree, the second favorite of my wife Pearl.

The stimulus might have come from a discussion I had last night at a Christmas reception.  A small group discussion touched on how best to end your life.  A case was made for a Kevorkian type conclusion.

My dream began with my wife and I being dropped off on Kalakaua Avenue in front of the Waikiki Sheraton, with our bags to be delivered to the bell desk.  This is only a five minute walk, but here is where irrationality took over.  First, this was Waikiki of the future.  The whole environment was new and sparkling.  

Pearl was in a particularly happy frame of mind and wanted to have a drink at an outdoor bar.  So I remember sitting in a very high chair, we each ordered something, and I vaguely think I dozed off.  I quickly woke up and she was not sitting next to me.  So I wandered around the shops looking for her.  There must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists strolling through Waikiki.

I then came to a conclusion that she for some reason probably went ahead of me and checked in to our room.  I made it to the hotel and could not find the lobby.  I asked a staffer, and he said that I was in the extreme Ewa end of the resort and pointed me in the right direction.  This Sheraton of the future was huge, at least the present size of Waikiki.  I continue to get nowhere because of this vastness, so again inquired.  An individual in uniform said he would show me the way.  After a while working through a maze, he began climbing down a long ladder.  Against my normal judgement, for this was an eminently dangerous effort for me, I did the same.

Then came a singularly memorable moment.  Halfway into my descent, wondering if I would make it,  I then realized that Pearl had passed away last year.  This is the first time in my recollection that my sleep mind accepted that she had died.  

A long time later we finally made it to the lobby.  He asked me to waot in a comfortable chair and would get someone to help me.  A waitress was carrying a tray of mai-tais, which, apparently, were free, so I accepted a fancy glass with an orchid on top.  

Very shortly, an official of some sorts came rushing up and expressed great pleasue to see me, for my talk was only 45 minutes away and they were worried I was not going to show up because the conference was being televised internationally and I was one of the keynote speakers.  Maybe a billion would be watching.  What, I had to give a speech and did not know about it?  

It occurred to me that I first had to change into appropriate attire and was thusly directed to my room, which was larger than anything I have ever had, with furnishings that were uber luxury.  I glanced outside and barely saw Waikiki Beach, because it was a couple of thousand feet down.  I might have even seen a rainbow.   Weird.  I had a chance to ask about the subject of my talk, and he said it was on suicide.  Huf?  I don't know anything about the subject.  

After another series of mazes, we finally made it to the back stage of an auditorium, at which time I noticed I was dressed in white with a kimono, not with a sword, but a dagger.  It sort of occurred to me then that I was to commit hara-kiri, a ritual suicide.  So that was why there was to be a global audience.  I wondered what else was on the program.  I was told I only had a time slot of 15 minutes.

I was grandly introduced, walked onto the stage, looked out, and the assembly hall reminded me of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, but much bigger, and it was filled with people.  There was no podium but a kind of mat.  In the background the  sound technician was playing "Suicide is Painless,"  that theme song from MASH. 
So what did I do?  I gloriously lectured on suicide, mentioned Jack Kevorkian and that the co-writer of the song was the son of the MASH movie director, Robert Altman.  Mike Altman made more than a million dollars for his efforts, while his father was only paid $70,000.  I can B.S. on anything for fifteen minutes.  I certainly was not going to kill myself, although I kept glancing behind me because sometimes there is an aide who chops off your head just as you were supposed to insert the dagger into your abdomen.

In any case, there was some general turmoil that soon followed, things get foggy here, but the final scene I can remember is of thunderous applause and the organizers thanking me for my grand performance.  At this moment  I woke up.  This was a very happy ending, indeed.

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