Nine years ago I had a dream I recounted in my journal. The details are as follows:
I am approaching a fraternity party with a lot of college aged people. There is a guard at the front door who is checking credentials. When I approach him, he speaks with me as if improvising a scene from a movie. I used to do improvisational theater, so I feel quite confident in playing along with him, while the other kids anxiously wait in line to get into the rambunctious party.
I improvise being a Union sympathizer around the time of the American Civil War. All had been going well between the two of us until I introduced a historical character into the mix. The guard seemed unable to respond in kind, and the banter came to an end. The guard allowed me into the party, but he was no longer friendly with me.
Later, while the fraternity party is going on, I am seated on a couch with others. Along with everyone else, I have had a lot to drink, and I really do not want to move from there for the rest of the evening. There is friendly conversation with the college boys and girls seated near me. The guard arrives. He and others who had heard my improvisation say that I had improvised being a racist. A clueless Valley Girl sitting on the couch next to me is particularly insistent on this point. I am incredulous. I turn to her, and I ask her if she has even heard of the American Civil War. I am trying to explain that I was pretending to be a Union sympathizer, and the Union was on the side of black people. She looks at me with silent disdain. She has no idea what I am trying to say and does not want to hear it.
I want to leave, for no one there seems to know anything about history. Worse, no one is open to learning. I am surrounded by so many people, and yet I am entirely alone then.