I dreamed of a woman who was held in universally high regard for her probity, much like Fanny Price is in Mansfield Park (R. and I had seen the video that evening). This incomparable woman was named Della Reese, though that was a chance coincidence of names; this Della was no relation to the respected real-life singer. The Della Reese of my dream was something of a personal heroine of mine. But even though I felt I understood my Della more deeply than the others did, or could, I was not the one chosen to write the book, nor the film, nor even the song about her, though I was present at the unveiling of that last.
I had a fine front-row seat, in fact, on a hard dark brown bench like a church pew, along with various other more-or-less willing coworkers, as an insufferable clod who looked almost like a young, blond Dick Clark sat down and began to play, on a couple of tiny electronic keyboards stacked one atop the other. The keyboards were cheap, tinny gray things, toys really, with big colorful buttons. The pretentious blond artiste intentionally fumbled the beginning, trying to give the impression that he was composing the tune impromptu, before launching into the most awful, pedestrian, mawkish tune, full of synthesized harps and completely inappropriate for my Della.
There was little I could do, though, as the people around me (all of whom were in their own ways admirers of Della as well, although they certainly failed to understand her as I did) began to dance to this tune, again in the most horrid way... slow, jerky, rhythmless dancing in which they engaged with much enthusiasm and gradually dissipating restraint. All I could do by way of rebellion was keep my seat, as those around me stood up one or two at a time and joined in, losing their office-borne inhibitions and dancing for this hideous tribute.
I became aware that I was not the only holdout, though. A very few others were keeping their seats, including the girl beside me. She wasn't someone I'd noticed before, a slight, mousy thing, but I became emboldened in my own resistance by her mere presence, as she was by mine. We began to exchange murmured commentary - very oblique insults, since we were overheard - about the quality of the performance, and hence established a rapport.
An insufferable dark-haired guy with black glasses, in some sort of orange and pink satin shirt - this passed for style - danced in front of us for awhile, obviously concerned about our own immobility. He seemed to feel a need to draw me in, in particular (I don't think he really noticed my companion - she had that sort of effect). He leaned over and shouted (for the music had got quite loud by then) a comment about the shirt I was wearing myself, which (I hadn't noticed) had a small logo that looked like a cookie monster as designed by Dr. Seuss on it. The guy said he liked cookies too, or something inane like that, but soon danced off, taken away by some current of the dance.
I replied, though more for her than for him, "I like licking crumbs." I knew that he wouldn't get it, but she would, that I meant I liked licking certain people even though they were crumbs.
She responded in a way which made it clear that she did, in fact, understand, and we traded a few more similarly-subtle double entendres before the dream ended and I awoke, feeling somehow certain that I had finally found my Della.
September 3, 2000.
©2000, Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.
This document was last updated (mailto fixed) April 7, 2001.