Sun, 25 Feb 2007
I was living with my father. I was downstairs in the basement, lying on my bed, and he called me to come upstairs to greet some friends of his.
I came to the front door and shook hands with the two men, one of whom I knew and the other I’d never met. The stranger said, “I hear you like crossword puzzles. I brought something you might enjoy.” And he handed me a newspaper with a large crossword puzzle in the middle spread.
It was obvious that the intention was to keep me occupied with the crossword puzzle while my father and his friends had dinner together. So I went off into a bedroom and sat on the bed to solve the crossword. Somehow, although the puzzle was printed on paper, it contained pull-down menus like you find on online forms. The clues were arranged alphabetically by subject. The one clue I remember was “HARDY / TOMMY”. I recall being confused by the slash and by the name “Tommy”, but it turned out to be about Thomas Hardy. The pull-down menu showed a number of sentences relating to the plots of Thomas Hardy’s novels, and you had to choose the one that was accurate. But as far as I could tell, all of the answers were right.
One of the sentences described the plot of an unnamed Hardy novel which involved a destitute piano teacher who had fallen in love with his student, a wealthy young woman who had been abandoned by her husband. In addition to the pull-down menus, the crossword puzzle also contained hyperlinks, and one of them led to a scene from a film version of the above story. Then I followed another hyperlink and found myself watching an interview with an actor who’d provided the voice of the butler in the French-language dubbed version of the same film.
I recently read a story describing how Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of a mile-high skyscraper may come true in the next few decades, as cities across Asia and the Middle East compete to erect ever-taller buildings.
In my dream I was visiting this mile-high skyscraper. I had an appointment with a dentist or a doctor on the second floor. In order to conserve energy, in addition to a regular elevator the skyscraper had installed a pulley-operated manual elevator for short trips between adjacent floors. So I got in the manual elevator, took hold of the rope running from floor to ceiling, and pulled myself up, hand over hand, till I reached the second floor. There I went to a window and looked out onto a parking garage, which was largely empty of cars, but where a few of the skyscraper’s tenants had parked their bicycles and horses. Evidently I was living in a future where energy conservation was taken so seriously that riding horses had come back into fashion.