Posted by: normanlgreen | January 7, 2012

Dream, January 7, 2011 three conventions, four chicken pieces


Dream, home, 4:58 am

In a multi-level convention center, three different groups have gathered. The people are sorting themselves out, as we all have come in through the same entrance. On the bottom floor, the focus is on computers. At the registration table, I see name badges waiting to be collected and pinned on lapels. One of them says Bill W. while the one next to it says Bill Gates. I figure that Gates needs a name tag so that people don’t come up to him to say “You look just like Bill Gates.” I wonder if the two Bills pal around.

I am there to see friends who have been hired as musical entertainment for a different convention. To my left there is a wide staircase that wraps around an elevator shaft. The ceilings for this bottom floor are fifteen feet from the floor, so climbing the stairs will give a grand view of the entry hall and all of the people milling there. I do not recognize anyone in the crowd, even from the elevated view.

One the second floor, workers set up an inflatable projection screen, as are sometimes used by traveling outdoor cinemas – something like a bouncy castle at a kid’s birthday party. This floor is almost as crowded as the first. Everything seems to be behind schedule, or I am very early. Still I fail to recognize any of the people. This floor is not so grand, so the fluorescent tubes that light the space are only ten feet above us – whole sections of this floor have not yet had their lights turned-on. The stairs to the next floor are more practical than impressive or view-providing. I leave the elevator to those who need it and climb to the top.

This top floor opens to the sky, though it takes me a moment to realize that this convention is held outside. This means that the building was all underground. Out here, people look more relaxed. Some have set up tables to vend food for impromptu picnics. Fried chicken seems to be the favored food. I want to buy some, but know that I am low on cash. I cannot read the price signs. My friend Julie, whom I have come to hear sing, is wrapping chicken pieces for kids in line at her table. I wait my turn then pull out two crumpled bills from my right pants pocket. I give them to her in exchange for whatever they are worth in drumsticks. She hands me a pair wrapped in an oily napkin. I turn to leave to eat them.

“Wait,” Julie says. I turn back and she hands me more. She smiles with a look of pity. I appreciate her generosity.

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