I had a dream!
That was last nite in bed when I was supposed to get some sleep. Actually, it was a _real_ bad dream. It was really bad because it all seemed so _real_!
The dream started innocently enough with a day at work. The bad part began with the California freeway traffic info on the Internet showing a jammed 405 South just when I was about to call it a day and rush home.
So, what the
heck, I thought, after all I got free tickets for the UCLA vs. Stanford
basketball game tonite and Paulley Pavillon was just a five minutes walk
towards the Southwest Campus.
Having ample time, I was early for a change. Nobody in my vicinity complained about my bad breath and just in case I had stripped myself of my UCLA Id card and the beeper.
The dream didn't seem that bad after all, especially since the Bruins did quite well in the first two quarters and pulled ahead of the Cardinals. Soon, it turned ugly, however.
The game was about half into its third quarter Tom Bailey (who on that day inexplicatly and due to extremely bad judgement played center) all of a sudden broke down in the middle of the court and started crying.
I feared the worst and buried my face in my hands, sighing in despair. But my right-side neighbor tapped me on my shoulder, saying with a smile: "Bro, don't you worry - it's just his mid-game crisis. Look at the cheerleaders. Aren't they something?"
With considerable effort I forced myself to look at the scene: half a dozen cheerleaders dancing around Johnnson who was still kneeling on the floor, suffering through his mid-game crisis.
Like fairies... I tried to remember what exactly these beautiful young ladies remembered me of...
My neighbor rammed his elbow into the area between my 8th and 9th rip. "Look, dude, there's the Bevery Hills Mazda dealer with a picture of the new Miata!"
And, lo and behold, a man was running over the field waving a picture of a red sports car.
That must have done the trick. Bailey got up again, rubbing his chin and looking more confident than ever.
Everything looked fine even though it was a tight game. But then disaster struck again in the last quarter.
Bailey was on his knees again, exasperated. "Oh, now, this game will be over soon! I am a doomed man. Everything is so vain. I don't have a purpose in this game."
And to the referree he shouted with tears in his eyes: "Lord! Why can you be so cruel to let this game end so soon? As of now, I only scored 34 points and I made only 4 fouls so far... what have I done that this game must end so soon?"
The referree shouted something about rules of the game and made signs to him to get him going again.
I turned to my neighbor to the right side, saying "Hey, what's this now?", and he answered: "Some players get nervous at the end of the game. But don't you worry! Watch this, Bro!"
And with a high pitch, he shouted down to the basketball court in the direction where Tom Bailey was now crawling on the floor:
"Tommy Boy! This is your Guardian Angel speaking. Do you hear me?"
There was no reaction.
My neighbor continued: "Bailey baby! I am Einstein, Nostradamus, Micheangelo, Archangel Abbadon, the Ancient One of Sirius. We have a message for you!"
"Don't be silly," I said to my neighbor, "how can you be all these people at the same time?"
"Doesn't matter, dude. Just gotta play it right. One of the names will catch his attention."
And, lo and behold, Bailey turned his head towards us.
It was unbelievable, but amidst thousands of yelling spectators he looked at US and seemed to listen! Then he got up on his feet, ran to the sidelines, fell on his knees again, and looked towards us.
He couldn't possible have seen us because he must have looked straight into the powerful spotlights that lightened the arena.
"The Ancient One!!???!!!" Bailey said with a surprised but clear and distinct voice; his eyes, hit by the spotlights, twinkling nervously.
My neighbor got really going now. "Yes, We are the One. And the One is We. We are the Ancient and We are the One. If you listen to us, you will ascend to Us after fulfilling your mission."
Bailey jumped up and ran around in a circle. "I have seen the Light! The Ancient One has talked to me! I'm saved and I'll save everyone else! My life has a purpose after all!"
I was flabbergasted. How did that happen? Bailey kneeled down again at the sideline. My neighbor yelled in a high pitch: "Take a shot from the 3-point territory, from the left! OK?"
Bailey heard it, bowed down, jumped up, grabbed the ball and ran towards the Cardinal's defense on the left side of the court. He tried a 3-point-shot from the left center and succeeded miraculously.
Excited and happy he ran back to the sideline, kneeled down, saying "I did it! I did it!".
My neighbor shouted down towards him: "Bailey Baby. This is is the Ancient One! We told you so! It was We who made it happen for you. Don't you forget that we're the Ancient One and we're here to help you Earthling!"
Bailey repented immediately. "Yes, yes, thank you! What's next, Ancient One?"
"Make a 3-Point-Shot from the right!" my neighbor commanded. Time was running out and the Cardinals still had a two point lead.
Bailey took the ball away from one of his team mates, ran to the right side of the court and threw the ball, missing the basket by 3 or more feet.
Five seconds to go in the last quarter.
Bailey was running towards us during the last time-out of the game while the rest of the Bruins gathered on the other side, near their bench.
Ancient One?" he asked bitterly. "You didn't follow Our orders correctly,"
my neighbor yelled.
"But don't despair, there will be another game after this one, this I shall promise to you!"
"Really? Everything is not over when the time is up? This is hard to believe! There is no physical evidence of what you're saying..."
My neighbor got annoyed: "Tommy Boy, you MUST believe in US because We are the Ancient One! There is a game after this game. You must trust Us!"
Bailey was not convinced. He remained at the sideline, crying, mumbling something like "How do I deserve this? Oh Lord, why is a game so short? Can't you send me some proof that there will be another game after this one?"
The last second of the game was over and the Cardinals had won.
I told you it was a bad dream!
On the way out of the sports arena, I stumbled over a bum that looked a lot like Tom Waits. The guy was hanging out at the exit of Paulley Pavillon. He was hitting a trashy, untuned acoustic guitar with dirty fingers and howled the lines of a very familiar song that I just couldn't remember.
I chipped in anyway and sang along with my broken voice.
You gotta take advantage of a Karaoke when you can get it without a cover charge, I thought.
At that point, the dream was rudely interrupted by my better half.
"Did you take a whiff of my bad breath or did I only snore?" I asked.
"Both and much worse," she said with a threatening undertone in her voice. "You were singing this silly Tom Waits song. When will you ever realize that you CAN'T sing? Not even as bad as Tom Waits!"
"Well, really, it can't get worse than Tom Waits," I tried to argue. After she threw a pillow at, I wisened up, shut up, and tried to recollect the memories of my dream.
And, much to my surprise, I even remembered the libretto of the song I was singing along with the bum in the dream who looked a lot like Tom Waits.
It started like this: