Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I return with a friend to my childhood house. It is a mansion with polished, hardwood floors--maybe even some kind of historical building. It turns out gangsters lived there in the twenties. Nobody is home, and we are looking around. We find a safe in the wall, and a burglary device to open it. I reach my hand in, but my friend dissuades me, saying we have to go. Next door is another expensive mansion, but this one was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The outer walls of the house have sheets of water running down them--it's a fountain house! I know that there is an artist who has been living there since I was a kid, and I pay him a visit. He is obliging in talking to me, even though I just show up in his studio, which is full of many very large canvases with Picasso-like paintings. But the paintings are not as good as I remember them being as a kid, and I tell the artist as much. He shows me new respect for speaking my mind, as success in his field has made all other critics soft and blind towards him. But the real reason he lets me stay in his presence so long is that he is interested in the device I still carry in my hand for opening the safe. I'm a little sad for the artist, though I can see that there is still a resilient fire within him. He has conquered the world, but not himself. Then my pager starts beeping, and my friend tells me that we have to go because a storm is approaching. When I awake the beeper is still sounding, but it is only the alarm clock that has fallen into one of my dresser drawers.