I was upstairs at the JCC outside the auditorium. I think there were crowds, and I went into the auditorium to talk to someone. Don't remember what we talked about, but it was light and good natured. Outside some friends of mine were flitting about. Might have been Janice as one of them, or Rachel. I think two girls, joined by a third, Judy. Might have been Rachel, Judy, and Judy, the people I hung around with at that age. Did I mention I think I was younger. Maybe 15.
Anyway there was a teen brunch followed by community service that I was headed to. It was down on the basement level. I was going to invite my friends to join me, I don't think reservations were required, but they were flitting from floor to floor without an obvious care in the world, not standing still long enough for me to talk to them. So I went downstairs, saw them meet up with Judy on the bottom floor and I almost said something, there near the phone booth which has been gone for at least 10 years, but they bundled themselves back into the elevator and were gone again. So I walked down the hallway alone.
At the end I saw, I think, Debbie her name was, the teen services director. But in the hallway the "popular" kids (like Deborah D.) were talking about the community services they'd already done. But I'd thought we were doing the service after brunch. I hadn't done anything. Then part of me assured me there would be plenty left and I kept walking. Then Debbie the director talked about how we all needed to get together with our partner and she would assign us projects. But I didn't have a partner. What if I was like odd man out and the only one without a partner. I mean I knew not everyone had gone with a partner, but what if they all paired up so quickly I was left alone. In a moment of panic I turned to leave and in the hallway, I saw an identical look of panic on another face turning away to leave. "Danny," I cried out to Danny D., who often shows up in my dreams, although I haven't seen him in high school, and to be honest, not much in HS either. "Lets be partners. That way, we don't look like individual stupid people. We look like a collective of stupidity." It was a half remembered line from Judy Blume novel, but it worked for both of us. He agreed and we entered the room together. This room, I would venture to say has been gone for years, if it ever existed. The door was set in the right side at the back of the room, so you had to walk forward to the front and around the setup chairs. When I was at the front of the class, predicatable, I dropped the books I'm not sure I knew I was carrying. I dropped to pick them up, utterly mortified by my predicament, graceful skirt sweeping the floor, and on my knees half-crawling to get them all.
Then I sat down near Danny.
Then it wasn't a community service bunch at all, but a literature class. We were supposed to read Lord Jim, which I thought I'd read right up until the moment he started asking us questions about it. (He reminded me of my 7th grade history teacher in less offensively colored clothing. The one who always put me to sleep). His questions, said he, were designed to test not how well we read, but whether we enjoyed it or not. He asked a question about how Tim reacted to the discovery of a bauxite mine. Danny answered the question. "Tim the
He turned on a movie which was something about the discovery of the bauxite mine, we saw them find it, discuss how easy it would be to switch mining operations to the new strike and how beneficial it would be. The only line I remember is "This line could make Disney richer" or something cloes to that, which I thought at least put the musical version into perspective in time for me. I remember I had been thinking Lord Jim was a Rudyard Kippling novel, but now I was thinking it was an R.L. Stevenson. We watched the clip and British rejoicing at camp with the discovery of the bauxite mine when knews reached them, and they had a nice dance. Then there was a stirring rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow which made me think that maybe Harold Arlen had done the musical of Lord Jim we were watching. The teacher who was now a lady was motioning to me that she really liked the placement of the song and the green chiffon dress that singer was wearing. I watched and at the same closed my eyes and didn't watch, just listened.
The clip ended and there was a closing credit on the segment, a "you have been watching..." kind of thing that said, "5 Years of Disney..." and featured Walt Disney in classic black and white. The teacher (now the man history teacher like guy again with the pink quizzes in his hand) apologized and explained that he'd been trying to get the tape for years, but it wasn't available and they never played the movie ont the Disney channel so he'd been reduced to using that.
I think I woke up then.
Then I had another dream, in the auditorium and at the same time out in an auditorium shaped field. I was working at a table with Scott and some other coworkers. Scott and another coworker took a break to play chess and while they were doing that, I was goofing off. Don't remember what I was doing (really). I just remember that I went back to work when they did, even though we were working on different projects with different deadlines and something odd about a bathroom. My work was in notebooks in my backpack, I remember that and we all worked at a long table.
You do realize I'm on my way to memoware now to see if they have Lord Jim I will not be caught flat-footed again. Now do I read it before or after Master of Ballentrae.
Edit: They don't have it. They do have a lot of other Conrad though. I clearly shall have to make my own and submit it.