Last night, I dreamed that Jeff and I had been somewhere abroad on holiday, and at the end of the week he needed to return home, but I still had two days of vacation so I decided to travel on by myself. I left my bag in storage at the airport, and went to the British Airways counter to get a ticket; a BA employee signaled me to come out of the line over to her station. As I walked past the other agents, I noticed that one of them was Chris Burke, the actor with Down’s Syndrome who played Corky Thatcher on the old television series Life Goes On. I nodded politely to him and said hello before moving on to see the agent who had signaled me. When I got to her station, though, it turned out that she had thought that I was just checking in rather than buying a new ticket, and that she couldn’t actually help me after all. So I got back in the original line, which now was much longer, worried that I wouldn’t be able to purchase a ticket for the flight I wanted before it left in less than an hour.
A few minutes later, the agent came back over with her supervisor, who apologized for the misunderstanding and the attendant delays, offering to take me to her office to get my ticket. We walked over to a sphere set up on stilts, up into which she climbed. I started to follow when she began frantically to signal to me to get back, and then told me that I couldn’t come up to her office but had to stand back inside the painted orange box on the floor, about twenty feet away, “for security purposes.” A go-between dressed in bellboy livery carried my credit card and passport to her, and returned with my tickets.
After rushing to get my luggage out of storage and make my plane, in the dream I was suddenly already at my destination hotel, which I understood sometimes to be in Malta, at other times Morocco and at still others Amsterdam. Standing behind the hotel front desk was Chris Burke, now working as a concierge for the hotel. Again I nodded and said hello.
At this point I found myself in an ice rink, wearing skates and being handed a fencing mask, and given hasty apologies that the attendant could only find a single glove to fit me. Part of my vacation package, apparently, included lessons in ice fencing. I skated out onto the ice with my epee, where I passed Chris Burke, now engaged in an ice-dancing pas de deux with some young female ice skater. I nodded and continued on to meet my instructor. At that point, Chris skated over and thanked me for having acknowledged him at the airport, at the hotel and at the rink, noting that most other people were uncomfortable around him and wouldn’t look him in the eye or speak to him. We shook hands, and he glided back to his skating partner.
And that’s when I woke up.