Dream Journal Update – Huddled Masses

August 21, 2018 

How exciting! I get to see him at work, directing a commercial. I have stumbled on the set on a street in Brooklyn. The assistant is marking off pavement sections. Director is behind the camera. People gathering to watch. About a dozen ruffians in gray, loose clothing huddle together to watch, along with the passersby. The crew didn’t hire extras. The setting is natural with whomever happens to be on the street. I better get out of the way; they need the room. Suddenly the assistant is the actor and the camera is filming. He is sprinting down the street. I notice a pile of . . . sleeping brown elephants? Walruses? They are huddled together with loose skin and massive bodies, lying on top of each other on the pavement. Is anyone afraid of them? The director? They seem okay sleeping. Are they part of the commercial? I don’t wait to find out because I’m nervous around them. I keep going with my cart.

* * *

“Can you get my bags down for me, please?” I ask. I’m traveling with a dark blue storage container, about 9 feet by 9 feet by 9 feet. Metal framing and fabric-covered sections. Someone please help me with this. How will I transport it? It breaks down into smaller sections. One I can carry as a bag. The others fit into and attach to the outside of a wagon I can wheel. I’m wearing my big, tan straw hat with the white flowers on the broad brim.

I’m on my way to Uncle L. Meanwhile I answer the cell phone. It’s Saturday. Why is Y calling? She thinks she’s called Uncle L. She’s giving an update. I hang up without saying anything. Then E. calls, also thinking she’s giving her father an update on her whereabouts for the day. How can this be on Shabbos? Maybe it is a special day with special check-in requirements to parents? I tell E. I answered because I thought there must be an emergency that she is even phoning.

A woman I know stops me on the street and wants to understand what I’m doing.

“It’s complicated.”

She asks me again why I have the cart and the bag and the hat.

“It’s a long story.”

I don’t want to try to explain it to her. I keep walking, making my way to stay with Uncle L. But how will I explain it to him? The big cart on Shabbos? Carrying another bag? Where was I just staying that I didn’t travel on Shabbos to see him? How do I not upset him? It’s so complicated.

* * *

Advertisements
Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dream Journal Update – Let’s Cooperate

August 20, 2018 

I put on my pink baseball cap. Go down to the room where it all happens, the programmers’ room. Old, rough, wooden planks line the floor, sloping down at quite an angle. Rows of desks fill the long, narrow room. I have trouble figuring out how to fill my water bottle. They supply the bottles, caps, water. Oh, that’s how it works. I hope I didn’t get too much water on the floor. It’s okay. The foreman comes over.

“Ready to start?”

I say yes, that I hope I can last a whole day. Sitting in one spot all day will be hard after retirement. Hard for anyone. A woman takes me to the bins of caps. I get one of those, too. Everyone wears white. The first are too large. She’s getting frustrated trying to fit me. “Try a 10 or 11,” I say. I grab one and it seems okay.

Balls are rolling down the sloped floors. Gray balls, black balls. Metal bowling balls. Why? Oh, people put their hats in the balls and roll them to their desks.

I see Chad’s station. It’s just like all the others. This is where all of them work. Where it all happens. I hope I can last the day.

* * *

M. is active today and there he is, on top of the bookcase! On top of the boxes on top of the tall bookcase. His balance seems good but the bookcase is . . . wobbling. Oh no. It’s going to fall. It will topple with him on it and fall on him and he will die and it will be my fault.

“M., step back down to the couch. Right now. Slowly, there you go. Right now. Now step down to the floor.”

He is safe. Must get bookcase anchored to wall. Immediately.

* * *

M. is enjoying roaming the halls of the synagogue freely. Active today. Goes ahead of me, up and down the grand staircase. He’s happy, feeling comfortable. I’m glad we came to the function. Then Allison passes him on the wide, grand staircase. “Stop it,” she says to my brother. “You shouldn’t be here. You’re insane.”

Must protect him. Must protect him. I’m angry. Must protect him.

“He’s not insane. He’s disabled. Apologize to him now,” I tell Allison.

“I will not.” She is defiant. I am appalled. What is her problem? Why is she upset with him?

I’m not sure he heard her. I hope he didn’t. I go down to and see a group of people. And Margaret comes up to me. Long blonde hair. Purple flower button. Is it Margaret? Or is she . . . .

She is yelling at me. Why is she angry? Why don’t they want us?

“Don’t come here showing off your Democratic values. Showing us your family. You want to know about my family? I can tell you about my family  . . . .”

“No, I don’t want to know about your family. I’m not talking about my family. We just came to the event.”

She keeps on and people are gathering around her. They seem to agree with her. They feel affronted I brought M. I will take him and never come back to these terrible people. I didn’t have any message in bringing him. They don’t understand.

I hope M. didn’t notice. Oh, no he did.

“Heckling you. People in circle. Heckling you.”

I will write a letter. I will complain. I won’t come here again. But I will write a letter. Horrible people.

 *  *  *

Posted in Dreams, Dreams | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dream Journal Update – Royal Losses

August 7, 2017 

My worst nightmare is coming true. The right leg has to go. From above the knee. Way above the knee.

“See these dark streaks across the thigh? That means the leg is bad. We have to take it off.”

They will put me out and when I wake up it will be gone. What a nightmare, but there is no choice.

Another doctor explains that, in some cultures, they must demonstrate why the leg was bad enough for removal. So they have to cut off the other leg, too, and display them side-by-side, so people can see the difference between the good and bad. I think I’m in one of those cultures. I think that’s what he’s trying to say.

This is such a nightmare. How will I manage? Paul McCartney’s bitch wife danced with the stars, but her leg was cut off below the knee. Makes all the difference, above or below that joint.

Already I miss the joy of a long, vigorous walk. Can I take another one now, is there time? Or will that just make me miss the walks more, having one fresh in my memory? Can I take those fast, pumping walks after the surgery? It is my favorite thing. My only joy.

“I don’t think so,” says my mother. “They can’t make knee joints to do that.”

*  *  *

I’m on the reception line in the hotel ballroom. The hosts are royalty and exacting. Even though they are not supposed to be royalty—they are Americans and we proudly do not have royalty—they act it just the same. I go through the food line but somehow I missed the cookies. Oh, now I see the king is at the end of the serving tables and managing the cookies. Is it okay to go back and ask him for some? I better not risk it. The royal family is talking about how people don’t know the right way to treat them and they are upset about it. Maybe if I explain I’m waiting for my sister and want cookies for her, too, they will be nicer about it.

I go to visit the daughter in one of the hotel suites. The suite is a small, unfurnished space, but the grand doorways lining the hall imply the rooms behind them are fancy suites. She is snooty because she went to Sarah Lawrence. The recycle bins are in the room. It is a plain, empty space.

 *  *  *

How will I manage my recyclable bottles? I’m in the front passenger seat of the car and my brother is beside me. My sister is in the back seat. We are sad our father has died. I must leave for a while but will my brother understand my absence? I want them both to know I’m sad like them.

I’m worried about giving them my bottles to recycle. The non-salinated drinks have three-cent deposits, but the salinated ones 75 cents. Then I realize that the janitor of my own building surely handles recycled bottles, and I don’t have to make special trips to the hotel with them.

The queen herself does not recognize any environmental concerns. She refuses to recycle and doesn’t think it is necessary. I see a mound of trash and deep inside lie bottles to recycle. She is gradually agreeing to live the way her subjects do, but she is not happy about it. Another royal is elderly and blind from a stroke. I feel bad for her. She is also paralyzed. I wish I could help her. It is not easy being a royal.

 *  *  *

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Dream Journal Update – My Bad?

July 8, 2017

Well, this is embarrassing. The house blew up. Well, it caught on fire. I hope I didn’t do anything wrong and it was just an accident. But maybe it was something I did. It was just supposed to be the normal setting the fuse and watching the fireworks. But the house caught on fire.

I watched through the telescope as we all do when setting the fireworks. As soon as I saw the flames, I rushed to the house and put them out with the hose. It went out quickly, but still some damage. I have to show up and tell everyone the house is ruined. How embarrassing. I go over it again and again in my mind. And tell the story again and again. The insurance people will want to hear it of course.

As usual, I went to the front of the house to set the fuse. I yanked the cord over the garage door to set it. This time, maybe I pulled the cord too hard? Maybe it was too long because I pulled it too hard? Was it in the wrong spot? Was it lying across the garage door because it was too long? Was that what I did wrong? I am embarrassed. I don’t want it to be my fault. Then I went back to the telescope to watch. But the flames started in the back of the house, not the front. They lapped around the cast iron stove.

Everyone is whispering. The worst part is my car. They warn me of the damage. From the back it looks okay, but as I walk to the front I see it. The hood is ruined; you can see the layer below the recall-fix. The insides are seeping out. The engine is peeping out. My stomach hurts seeing the injured car and I cry. The worst part – is it all my fault?

* * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Dream Journal Update – Chutes and Ladders

July 5, 2017

The apartment has three doors; two go to adjoining apartments, one to the hallway. I’ll deadbolt each of them. No, they said to keep one unlocked in case someone needs to come in for an emergency. I deadbolt all anyway. Too uncomfortable not to. The last door is to the hallway – what happened to the deadbolt? White duct tape is on the lock in two spots. Someone was in here! Why is there tape? Oh, the lock is loose. Not much security! I’m afraid to leave the apartment. But I better find Z. to see if he can fix it. Maybe he was the one in here, who did it. Wish he would have said something.

I find his helper. He gives me a complicated explanation about contacting Z. Special phone line; he’ll get me on it with the codes. Never mind, there’s Z. now. I hope he can fix the lock.

I’m climbing the ladder up to my top floor apartment now. No elevators in this building, just a series of ladders for stairs. They go up in tunnels. Narrow tunnels. Chutes. I try not to feel scared as I climb the ladders, six long ladders. The tunnel is barely big enough for me. The ladders next to mine are full of people, like my own ladder. It’s rush hour. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to – people ahead, below me. The rhythm of the stomping up the ladder keeps me going. Most of the time I can’t see because it’s too dark. My hands are on slippery rails. Stomp, stomp, the rhythm keeps me going. I stuff my fear down. I must not freeze or panic.

This time no one else is on my ladder. I switch to the ladder against the wall so I feel more secure. But I am still alone. Slippery handrails. Could I fall? Will I freeze? Can I make it? No rhythm, no thump, thump.

I call out, “My door won’t lock. Just white tape that peeled off. Will that bother my climb?” The helper yells to me, reassures me. “It won’t matter.”

My sister and I make it to the beautiful courtyard. I hope she can tolerate not having an elevator. I hope the beautiful courtyard makes up for the ladders. People are lined up, sitting on the benches. “See,” I tell her, “Nice people. Friendly people.” I feel on display in the middle of the yard. I don’t mind.

 

* * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Dream Journal Update – A Woman’s Place

December 23, 2016

“Here, write some more.” Michelle Obama urges me on. President Obama is already giving his speech, and I know it is short. I’ll have to write quickly to get a few paragraphs added to it.

“Come on, come on . . .” She leans over me, ready to grab the envelope I am writing on, to get it to him while he still is on the podium. Thoughts are slow in coming to me. Now he is talking about creating a world that his daughters can live in happily. Yes, that is good. “C’mon, c’mon.” Michelle grabs my envelope and hands it over. Too late; he is done. But he will have another chance to use it, if he wants – for the speech he will give later.

So Michelle and I go to the huge hall and he has the envelope in his hands. Maybe now? I’d be so happy, so honored it he uses more of my words. She stands at my left, arm around me, pulling me in. But I had not liked her much before now. What will people think?

“Look,” she says.“People are finding empty seats in the front rows.” She dashes to find one, and I follow. I expect an empty seat near her for me, but no, they are full. Oh, there’s one a few rows back. I grab it though I don’t know anyone nearby. Will they mind? I see the President looking at my crumbled envelope. I wonder what he will say. Are my words the right ones? Does he know they are mine?

Meanwhile Amy Poehler is playing Hillary Clinton in the new movie and I’m on hand to see the rehearsals. Young “Hillary” is coming down the path, about to meet her fate: she is being introduced to Bill Clinton. Amy is flawless. It’s uncanny. How does she do it?

Now I’m meeting the real Hillary in her early days. The car from Texas pulls into the driveway and she gets out. She is visiting my friend; I am just an extra. Will she even acknowledge me? Should I stay silent in the background? Do I even belong here? Her car sports an elaborate hood ornament, four-feet high, sculptured from gold. It looks the inside labyrinth of an abandoned ant hill, filled with molten gold, solidified. A gold crown sits atop the car. She is flawless. I didn’t know about her Texas days.

For awhile I hold back, but now I’m asking her many questions and it seems okay. Maybe I’m asking too many. Well I have a lot of questions and she is an intelligent woman and I don’t have to hold back, do I? The way I usually do, not letting people know how much I know.

The sizes of the apartments in Texas are amazing, she tells us. Sometimes a whole house from some other state could fit into one room of a Texas apartment. She has an apartment that a barn could fit into. I want to tell her about sizes of families – the number of children – being correlated with sizes of homes and apartments found in each state. But I don’t remember the specifics or who did the study, so I keep silent.

I do ask about the caravan car. Looks like an old circus car, with gray drapes pulled across its broad side. It is not a solid drape with sewn seams. “Does it open from the middle, pulling to each side, or does it draws all to one side, as if it were a solid piece?” I don’t think I’m explaining my question well; she looks at me but doesn’t answer. I repeat. No answer. I have to be satisfied with my conclusion.

My questions continue. Her wall is filled with thousands of books and I recognize most of the titles. “You really like 19th century American writers?”

“Yes,” she says. “An exciting time when all the groundwork for the 20th century was laid: economics, politics, technology, industry. So different from the 18th.” I was never that interested in 19th century literature, but I am reconsidering; my interests are changing. I see a book by Washington Irving called “Yonkers.” I want to catch up. I continue to comment about the books and ideas. I’m worried I am showing off my knowledge in the process but I remind myself it won’t bother her that I know these things and I’m not stupid. She knows so much, herself.

Bill Murray is playing the piano accompaniment for the in-house concert. Maybe it’s Tom Hanks. The performer is new and losing his place. Murray covers for him nicely. When the phone rings in the next room, no one moves to get it. Well I guess it’s my place to go; I am not a real guest, just a tag along.

“Clinton residence, Barbara speaking.” Someone following up about a delivery. A bed order I think. I have to relay a message but I didn’t get his name. Dan Carther? Or Parther? “Is it c as in carter or p as in parter?” That doesn’t help. “Is it C as in Carpenter or P as in …. as in Petticoat”?  I’ll try real hard to get this right. I want to do right by her.

“Carpenter.  Dan Carpenter.”

I can do good.

* * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dream Journal Update – Hugh and Me

July 23, 2016

“You are the most beautiful man in the world,” I tell him. He looks like Hugh Jackman – maybe he is Hugh Jackman – and he seems a bit embarrassed, but not surprised. “That is why I am so forward,” I say, “asking if I can touch you.” He is tall and solid and strong and I want to lean up against him.

“Let me fix you,” Hugh says. I agree only because I am under his spell and his charm. But something goes wrong. After the mystery treatment, only the whites of my eyes show; the irises are barely visible on the edges of the eye sockets; they float around. He is frantic but he can get it fixed.

I notice Hugh’s feet are deformed: clubbed feet with whispers of toes. But he is still so beautiful. Oh no, his hands are deformed also. Clubbed stumps for hands. How did I miss that? I feel sorry for him but try to remember how beautiful he is. I am not sure I want him to touch me now.

The doctor is nervous; I can hear it in his voice. Only three secret doctors in the world can fix my eyes. He knows who they are, but he is not one of them. Cost is $1,800. I am desperate and scared. I beg Hugh to come with me, and he feels so guilty that he agrees. They whisk me off and later I don’t remember anything. Did they drug me immediately? After the treatment, my left eye looks normal but the iris in the right eye is still off center and wobbles. Can they fix it? Probably not.

The doctor warns me about being careful the next few weeks and to avoid Novocaine. But I have dentist appointments the next two days for an implant. Yes, there will be numbing. And I had a detached retina. The doctor is upset. He turns to Hugh. “You told me she was healthy. This is a serious problem.” He sounds angry.

I try to find the doctor who operated on me. Finally I get someone in Asia on the phone. It is a secret Buddhist retreat, or some type of alternative healing center. They had to re-attach the ligaments that hold my eyeballs in place. They stitched them together from the outside of my face. Somehow Hugh had accidentally severed them.

The doctor here is angry that I found the operating doctor in Asia. Hugh is afraid of getting in trouble: I must lie to my parents about the whole situation, he insists, to protect him. To protect them all. I say I will consult with my retinal specialist and they become more afraid of getting in trouble. My cornea has smudges on it but I can wipe them off with my finger now; I’m not scared anymore to touch the eye. I don’t seem to love Hugh anymore. My right eye is still off center. How I wish this were all a dream.

 

* * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged ,

In Memory of Uncle Freddy

Just a few words in memory of your beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle, Fred (Efraim) Berger.

Like Moshe Ginsburg, my first memory of my Uncle Freddy was his wedding to Irene, March 4, 1956. Yes, I was four days shy of my third birthday, but I remember the beautiful event clearly. The highlight was seeing my father Albert – Uncle Freddy’s older brother – walk down the aisle in a tuxedo as the best man, and my shouting, “That’s my daddy!” But you will understand why that would be the wedding highlight for a little girl! The simcha was the most marvelous event I could imagine, and, as the nieces, Rhonda and I – in our matching dresses – were treated like honored guests, like princesses. Everyone was full of joy that day.

Berger Family  (4)

Wedding of Irene and Fred Berger

Starting with that simcha, I always think of happiness when thinking of Uncle Freddy (my father called him Freddy his whole life, so that is how I think of him – Freddy, not Fred or Efraim). I think of happiness, and learning.

Because my second cherished memory was of learning with him. We were sitting at a table together, and he was drawing diagrams of plants. “Is the tomato a vegetable, or a fruit?” I was only six or seven, but Uncle Freddy helped me understand the technicalities of botany and how they dictate the proper barucha for a tomato. I was impressed with his knowledge and appreciated his taking me into his confidence, teaching me these fine distinctions which I was sure he alone was privy to.

Uncle Fred always seemed to have joy in his heart when I saw him, even the last years when his health was no longer strong. He never complained about his health or circumstances when I saw him, even if he was in a hospital bed at the time. Instead, he took the opportunity to help me understand things, and raise up my spirits, whatever the conditions. In fact, in these quiet visits, one-on-one the last few years especially, we grew closer than ever before. He used the time wisely, to tell me more about my father, and teach me how important family is. It was an honor to feel taken into his confidence – again – as he shared the wisdom gained from a long life lived devoted to his family and to performing mitzvah.

As Moshe said, Uncle Fred’s legacy – the wonderful family he served as patriarch to – speaks to his merit more than any words can point to. With his devoted wife, Irene, he raised my cousins who I respect and trust implicitly and love like siblings – and they in turn have raised their children to follow in their parents’ path. I will always remember Uncle Fred being there for me when my own parents were ill; how Uncle Fred and the rest of his family were there for us in every possible way. The three siblings – Helen, Albert and Fred – always helped and supported each other, their own parents, and their nieces and nephews like their own children, and set that fine example for the rest of us.

Thank you, Uncle Freddy, for bringing such joy, learning and mitzvah into the world.

Barbara E. Berger
4 Shvat 5776, January 14, 2016

Posted in Journals | Tagged

Dream Journal Update – Ernie and Liz and Carole and …

August 26, 2015

No, it couldn’t be Ernie M. He was fine. I saw him just a few hours ago, Ernie with the black hair –wearing shorts, getting into his UPS truck to make deliveries. What? He fell from the rooftop? Splat on the concrete? Oh no! Did Liz see? How traumatic if she did. It could stop her 100-year-old heart in mid-beat. She didn’t see? Oh, good.

The police are there? Put them on the phone. Please. I must speak to them. Thanks.

You are the police? Tell me, does Liz know yet? About Ernie? No, please don’t tell her yet. No, don’t tell her! Give me some time. A few hours, maybe longer until I can get a locksmith there. I must take care of the broken key before she knows about Ernie and is even more distraught. First I must tell her about the key. Don’t worry about it. Just put her on the phone.

Hi, Liz, it’s me. It’s about the key. It broke off in the lock. Yes, I have the key here, the key to the main door. When I left, I saw a piece in the lock but I didn’t know what it was. Now I realize; the tip of the key broke off and is in the lock. About a quarter of the key. Maybe a third. Not a half. Let me look. I would say almost a quarter. It won’t work. I must get a locksmith there. Okay? I will call from where I am. Just give me the name of the locksmith. It could be a few hours, maybe a day … I will get a locksmith there as soon as possible. Just don’t go out of the house.

***

We leave the two-story home, the house with wide-eyed black-trimmed windows, the gaping-mouth glass and metallic, black-trimmed front door facing the street. Security people are surveying the scene. “Make sure you wire all the windows,” I tell them.

Liz takes my arm and with her cane and white hair we make it up the hill.

“I will be so happy to have the new alarm system. I will probably sleep better at night, knowing the windows are wired. I don’t feel afraid now, but somehow I will feel even safer. And sleep more deeply,” Liz says.

I eye the upcoming corner; no sign of Ernie’s body. Whew. They cleared his splat out in time. She won’t know until we tell her. I’m relieved. Must protect her. Protect. Protect. Protect.

* * *

I go to hug Carole C. – haven’t seen her in years! – but it’s awkward. Her arms are jutting out at her sides so I can’t get close enough to put mine around her.

“Put your arms down, please, so I can give you a hug!”

“My arms ARE down,” Carole says.

“No, like this.” I show her how her arms are coming out at the elbows, and how to position them close to her body so we can hug. She argues; she doesn’t understand. Or want to understand. Finally she gets her elbows by her sides instead of extended and we embrace.

Her green eyes are smeared and all the skin around her big, beautiful eyes are shining with the green.

* * *

Yes, these are my eyeglasses. I need new ones, with lenses that will transition from light to dark. Like I used to have. Where did these old frames come from? Looking in the mirror, I’m astounded I ever wore these regularly. Huge, plastic kaleidoscope frames with dark rose-peppermint stripes covering most of my face, shaped in perfect circles with miniature circular lenses embedded in them. I must look so weird.

August 17, 2015

Four theater tickets. I don’t need them. Would you like them? Know someone who can use them? They are free. You want to pay? Okay. You can pay.

Don? You want them? Sure. They cost …

How dare you charge Don! He’s your friend. You selfish, cheap b….

I’m embarrassed and confused. I meant no harm.

August 5, 2015

The much-anticipated vacation in China turns into a surprise nightmare week: I’m a prisoner. The Russians have occupied the land. Bombs are going off in the distance. Bombs might be close by, too; I must be careful not to set any off accidentally.

We sold our bench so now we are in trouble; we have no hard-soled shoes, either. The Russians don’t want us in this building, but they won’t let us leave it. What to do? The first day they served us Jewish delicatessen food; after that we haven’t been able to identify the food at all. They interrupt me when trying to go to the bathroom. Wish I had instructions on how to use the toilets. Not self-explanatory, and they seem to be pop-out drawers of dressers.

Russians now are asking us who we are. How can I reassure my parents I am okay? Oh, I can see how my sister feels now.

* * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Dream Journal Update – The Patois of Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton

April 5, 2015
The professor and six fellow students sit around me in a semi-circle. Walking amongst them, I consult the well-worn book in my hands, with its yellow-highlighted passages. Flipping ahead, I see not enough are marked; I will run out. I wish I were more prepared. I begin to read them some passages, though I had meant to have more to offer than reading them excerpts. Feeling nervous now.

“And this passage introduces a sex scene. Oh, you don’t want to hear about that!” I say and keep going. I expect them to object, to prod me into reading it to them, but they let me skip it. They don’t even laugh, as I had hoped. I best wrap this up quickly; I’m running out of material. I don’t even know what my points were.

“I chose Edith Wharton because of my interest in 18th century English literature,” I say.  I say “Wharton” three times, hoping to pronounce it correctly. It never comes out right. “Excuse my speech impediment.”

“Nineteenth,” someone corrects me. “Nineteenth century.”  Is that even true? I really don’t know anything about her. I hope it is a her. Maybe this is one of the authors whose gender I confuse, and I don’t have that right either. “She liked to write about 19th century  manners.” I’m hoping I’m right. Hoping. Was she British? Wasn’t she in New England?

The students know the word patois, the book’s title, because it was just made into a movie. What does the word mean? I offer its linguistic meaning; will that suffice? I check the front pages of the book. “You may think this is a modern book, but it is from 1871. But I first heard the word patois in 2005, way before the movie.” I’m making some point; what is it?

I read the book’s French subheadings aloud as best I can, not even being able to make out all of the scrawled cursive letters, and knowing my pronunciation is only fair. I make up words I can’t decipher. I assure the students that their own audience won’t know the correct pronunciation either, so they also can just do the best they can.

“How long did you study 18th century British literature? French?”

“Two years studying French.” Now I wish I had studied harder. And read Edith Wharton. A lot.

 * * *

 Click for more dreams

 

 

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments