14 July 2018
When I woke up, all I could think of was the name Robert Brown. It had been threaded throughout a long dream mostly unrelated to Robert Brown.1
I was at a performance of a long play.2 During a break I ate with two handsome men my age who looked and sounded interesting. Did they notice me?
I went to the cash register and found it in the dark underground. I overheard the cashier berating someone.
Somehow my aunt had a large student loan that she hadn’t needed, and I was to pay it on her behalf. Before I could tell the cashier my business, she started belittling my aunt and accusing her of fraud and theft (maybe I had already told her my business since she knew what it was?) When she took a break, I told her who I am. She didn’t react, but she stopped ranting.
I kept thinking I had left my dishes in boxes on the back steps, but I didn’t recommend this for others because of animals. Mine would be safe for unknown reasons. I went outside for dishes and saw that the steps led to the lake, which lapped at the bottom, and overlooked a great city on the other side. I marveled as I realized I lived in this place and could go down these steps any time, although now they were icy, wet, and treacherous. I went back up them carefully, afraid to step into the lake water and feeling like what I’d seen was an illusion, a mirage.
All the while “Robert Brown” kept running through my head.
1 Robert Brown, born under the far more interesting name Robin Adair MacKenzie Brown, played Lazarus (and his counterpart, Lazarus) on the Star Trek episode, “The Alternative Factor.” Famously, he was a last-minute choice after John Barrymore, Jr., failed to appear.
2 This may come from my attendance a few years ago at All Our Tragic, an adaptation of all the Greek tragedies into one 12-hour play. Hypocrites’ effort won six Jeff Awards.