Posted by: normanlgreen | June 16, 2012

Dream, June 16, 2012 our darker purpose


Dream, home, 5:03 am

My sons and I have invited a teacher to our house. The main room is broad and open to the kitchen area, with nine foot ceilings and dark walls. It is mid-afternoon when the man arrives, so none of the electric lights are on, sun from the windows to the South provide enough light.

The teacher enters through the front door – unusual as we are back door people. He is in his early sixties, has close-cropped white hair and stands five and a half feet tall. He has come to teach us Shakespeare. He pulls from a leather portfolio the scripts we will study. Each of us receives a stapled stack of photocopies so we can read aloud.

The photocopies are many generations away from the book from which they have been duplicated. The left side shows the black curve of the bind edge and the top has the almost parallel lines of the tops of the following pages. Millions of speckles dot the pages, and e’s and o’s have filled-in through the many generations. I cannot find my reading glasses, but the teacher launches-in with the first line. He points out that on my script the next line has been marked, so I am to read as this character. I stumble through a couple of words before he cuts me off with his next reading.

All of us stand in the kitchen area, holding our scripts in the low light. My sons pace in the background as they feel the tension rising between me and the teacher. The teacher’s line comes to an end. He looks at me impatiently. I make an attempt, but again he cuts me off. His voice betrays his deep self-love – a silly near-English accent – a pretentious Shakespeare-must-be-read-this-way voice. For the third time, I try to read from the obscure page, but fail.

The teacher declares that we will skip ahead, as my parts are not very important. My frustration breaks out. I pass behind him to reach for the knife rack on the kitchen counter. The first weapon that comes to hand is an old carving knife with a broken black handle. I pick it up, but there is not enough of the handle stub to keep my hand safe. I clutch the bottom two inches of the dull blade, wrapping my knuckles around it. I turn to the teacher and push the knife point into his throat so it dents his loose skin.

I have not drawn blood, from his throat or my own fingers, but I am willing.

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