I am in a palatial, multistory building with floor upon floor, room upon room. All the furnishings are sumptuous and well appointed with impeccable taste, but I do not feel particularly enthused to be here.
There are many people busy doing things in this building, but the people I am nearest to are focusing their attentions on me.
“Here,” they seem to say. “This is for you. Wouldn’t you like to do such-and-such, or to have this?” — this nice thing or this experience that is what one should really like, or be doing.
But none of it interests me.
I realize why. It is like The Truman Show movie in a way, with everything revolving around me. Except unlike the movie, it is not that they are secretly manipulating my experience for the benefit of a TV series, or for others. The purpose isn’t to leave me in the dark within a larger story scripted for the entertainment of an audience. Instead, it is being done openly to convince me of things the others are enraptured by but I am not, so that I will join in with them.
A number of luxury items that would have cost significant sums to design or create are shown to me that most anyone would desire and feel flattered to be presented with.
But the people in this place want me to buy into their experience in a way that I do not, or cannot. I am not moved, and so they only try harder to interest me.
It is not that I can’t appreciate the beauty of these fine things. I can. What I am being shown even fits my own sense of taste. Consider: this is a dream and these are things I am myself dreaming! — so there is a paradox. It is more that these objets d’art don’t elicit the same enchantment for me as they do for everyone else who is here.
In the midst of all this, a gray cat appears briefly, and I want to engage with it, as I always do when a new cat appears in my life. But then it is gone.
I have had my fill of it all and begin to try and find my way out of the rich decor and maze of floors. In one room I encounter the actor Al Pacino. He is old but still forceful, with a short, thin, wispy white beard. I don’t remember now exactly what he was doing — a few too many minutes have elapsed since the dream, as I am writing this, to remember. But he is trying to accomplish something in tandem with another individual, and like the others, attempts to persuade me, in his flamboyant Pacino-like fashion, to team up with him in doing it. I move on.
In an adjacent room, a small, vestibule-like space, I run into Sylvester Stallone who is directing the rehearsal of a movie scene with a single actor. He has either been waiting for me to arrive, or decides to draft me, and I am asked to participate in preparing a prop. It is an easel with a blank canvas, which I am to prepare for the actor who will paint it during the scene being directed, later.
Another individual working with Stallone tells me that in order to do this, I will need to go purchase an oil of some type to be applied as a surface preparation for the canvas. He sits down across from me to read the manufacturer’s part number I am to memorize. He reads it and asks me to repeat after him. It begins with “147” and then a word that begins with “C” that I cannot now remember, and then a lengthy number followed by another word. But I fail and tell him to wait — it is too long a sequence to memorize without drilling myself on it.
Then I find myself in another part of the building on a different floor, where everything is still richly appointed, much more than, to me, is necessary. I want out of this place, outside where I can just be me without pressure from the others, away from what to me is excess, and I start going from room to room to room looking for a way out.
I encounter two interior designers with whom I feel more of a personal connection, and who seem to enjoy what they are doing just for its own sake. Unlike the others in this building they do not pressure me. They simply invite me to look and appreciate what they have done with the rooms I am passing through. But I still cannot.
I keep moving through room after room.
The outer rooms of the building are now just ahead, and I manage to find my way down to the ground floor and, finally, outside, where there is a quiet, meandering road with an undulating lawn and trees alongside. Just before this happens, however, while still in the building, two “handlers” appear who have been assigned and follow after me, attempting to get me to do what I am supposed to, but won’t. They are not sinister but they are persistent.
I then see the gray cat again that I had encountered earlier. Suddenly, unexpectedly, one of the two men asks, “What is it you really want?” I say, “I want the gray kitty, but only if it doesn’t need me too much!” and begin sobbing.
Upon which I awake to find myself crying in bed, where I cry a little longer for the gray cat who is now gone once again.