Friday, March 09, 2007

My Name Is Labor Cottony

The other night I had a dream, and in it I was returning to the university library, to the extensive stacks within the library where I now lived and spent most of my time. And I was returning to the stacks up on fifth floor, to where all my vast personal collection of books now took up endless shelf space at one end, several large semi-enclosed cubicles with shelves ceiling to floor all around, cubicles covering one entire end of the fifth floor.

Only my books weren't there right now, because I had boxed them up and wheeled them out to some other location for two or three weeks, as if "on vacation." And I knew at the end of the two or three weeks, I would wheel all my books back here, and put them back on these shelves at one end of the fifth floor, up in the library stacks in the university library.

And in the meanwhile I wandered through those three or four large shelf-lined cubicles, thinking of how actually anyone using this library might wander into these cubicles, and not realize that my books didn't belong to the libary, they belonged to me. And so they might take my books off the shelf, and even try to borrow them or check them out. Though I also had the benefit of being able to wander beyond my cubicles through the rest of the library, and read any books in the library that caught my interest.

And within one of my large cubicles, which was the size of a large room, sat my armchair, where I often sat reading a book.

And then just outside the cubicles, on another bookshelf, I noticed a leatherbound 19th century book on the game of euchre, and I wondered if that was one of my books which had somehow been misplaced. Because I had many, many books on card games and board games.

Then I went down in the elevator, and I was walking across the huge sunlit foyer of the university library, with panes of clear glass overhead and potted plants all around.

And I went off to another building, which I think was a monastery, where the real Paul Burgess now lived. Because it came to me that I was really just a doppelgänger, though I had made off with all of his books, and many of his other possessions, so that the real Paul Burgess (who was now 70 years old) was living in a small room with hardly any of his possessions left.

And I found the door to his room, and there was a large wooden dresser in front of the door, so I moved it to one side and opened the door and went in. And it was a very small room, and I noticed there were hardly any items or possessions there in the room. And Paul Burgess was in bed, covered with blankets, and I ripped the blankets off of him, and I announced in a triumphal voice, "My name is Labor Cottony!"

And Paul Burgess was lying there in bed, struggling to wake up. And I was thinking to myself how I now owned most of his things, and soon I would also be bringing all his books back up to my cubicles in the stacks on the fifth floor of the university library. And then I woke up.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Lucy said...

Its rather ... vivid.

Saturday, March 10, 2007 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger The Tetrast said...

<strike>That's what's known as a <i>powerful</i> dream</strike>

<strike>A fine piece of fiction in the making, but how do you turn it into fiction without weakening it</strike>

<strike>Frightening dream</strike>

<strike>"Labor Cottony" has obvious connotations yet it seems here somewhat cryptic, involving some sort of personal associations</strike>

Sunday, March 11, 2007 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the route I've chosen in life— a way of ascetic monastic freedom— versus "the road not taken," a bookish life of slavery ("Labor Cottony") in politically correct academia.

Though one of the things about dreams is, my dreams usually remain opaque even to me...

Monday, March 12, 2007 7:54:00 AM  

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