Several weeks ago I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details:
I am inside of a bar in a college town waiting for my friend to join me. It is a cold, dark, New England night outside of the brick colonial building that has been converted into a microbrewery. I am seated at a large round table by myself. There are other large round tables spread across the floor and rectangular tables with benches along the walls. Off to the left side is a fireplace with crackling, warm flames that have invited several young coeds in winter jackets to huddle up close. On the right side is a circular dartboard and several old movie posters. Two college boys with long jackets and beards start up what looks like a serious game of darts. Straight ahead is an old fashioned, wood bar counter that faces the front window behind me. All the barstools are occupied with young men buying drinks for their one-night stands. The bartender is an old, heavyset man with big, bushy, white eyebrows that give him the appearance of the mid-twentieth century labor union leader, John L. Lewis. He seems to despise the kids for whom he is pouring drinks.
An attractive, perky, Chinese, female student catches my eye. She walks over from one of the barstools with her backpack in hand. Her eyes never leave mine. Either she finds me attractive, or she is a smart manipulator who never lets go of the fish on her hook. I really do not care which, as I am happy for some female attention. She sits to my right at the large round table and strikes up a conversation like we are old friends. We talk for a while about her student life. She mentions that she is a film student who is a little more “daring” than the others in her class. Would I like to see her latest short film? I am more intrigued with her bosom than with her film project, admittedly, but I do not want her to catch someone else’s eye. I gesture that I would like to see her short film, which she has stored as a file upon her laptop. She smiles, pulls out her laptop from her backpack, and shows me a sex film. There is a dimly lit, group sex scene on a sofa in a frat house. It is a bit hard to tell, because at certain points the lighting is just too dark, but I sense that she and her choreographer tried at least to shoot this scene with the sensibilities of a 1970s, French, erotica film. The pans, the tilts, the close-up shots are consciously artsy. Though the male “performers” could be any modern day frat boys just happy to indulge, the girls at least are partially dressed and made up to look like Emmanuelle at a cocktail party or on a tennis court. The girls look at the camera periodically with large, wistful eyes, while the frat boys poke and prod them without any attempt at erotic finesse. On the bottom right corner of the screen I see the forehead of an older, white woman with long, graying hair. The forehead slides up and down like the woman is laying naked upon a long, wood table and getting pleasured by unseen hands. I wonder if I can see more of her ecstasy, if the screen is digitally enlarged at the bottom right corner. As if reading my mind then, the Chinese film student enlarges that part of the scene, so that what had been largely hidden offscreen and in shadow is more clearly in view. Indeed, as expected, the older woman is long, thin, and witchy in appearance. Someone still offscreen is going down on her, and she squirms like she has not indulged this kind of pleasure for a really long time. “So you do pornography,” I say obviously. The Chinese film student nods mischievously. “So what else do you want to do?” I ask. She smiles and says that she is hoping to find a “partner” who will be a Muse and a Patron for her “art.” Before I can saying anything else to her, I see that the older woman is now fingering her own nipples in the foreground, as the group sex scene continues on the sofa in the background. Then, suddenly, two young children – a white boy and a white girl each about twelve years old – step into the scene. The two children are blindfolded and also clothed in what look like Mormon missionary outfits (white shirts, black ties, and black trousers). They look confused and frightened standing beside the squirming woman. I am disgusted and frightened for the children in the scene. Why are they even there in that room? “What else do you want to do?” I ask the film student. She stops the scene, and slides the laptop into her backpack, while at all times keeping her eyes fixated on mine. “Children,” she whispers. I respond “No” to her with a loud voice obviously dripping with disdain. I look around embarrassed, but no one in the bar seems to have taken notice. I look away from the film student’s long and penetrating gaze. I see that my friend has arrived, and I wave for him to come over. The film student walks away with her backpack and is soon lost in the crowd.
Later that night I walk through the heavy snow to the college police building. It is an old, brick, colonial building similar to the bar. The lights are out inside, and the snow that has gathered along the porch tells me that this police station has been closed for a very long time. I walk up to the front door. In the moonlight, I barely manage to read the sign that is posted there in Old English script: Defunded.
The next day I am seated behind the steering wheel of my car in the film school parking lot. To my left is a big, brick warehouse without windows where the film students keep a lot of their shooting equipment and film scenes on sound stages. Directly ahead of me is the parking lot. There are only a few cars parked. Most of the parking spaces are hidden beneath snowpack. To the right is a road that runs parallel to the parking lot, and on the other side of the road is a campus park. In the summer, there are soft grassy knolls there where coeds lounge with books beneath a cool, cloud covered, New England sun. Now, in the depth of winter, the grassy knolls are mounds of snow pockmarked here and there with tall, stooped, dying trees. The Chinese film student suddenly steps out from the film school through a side door. She is carrying her backpack like last night. I look ahead and see that there is a car idling in the parking lot. It had not been there just seconds before. I watch the film student from behind. Her hips and ass are bigger than I had noticed last night. She is a little chunky. She also looks a lot nerdier. This is definitely the same young woman, but from behind she does not look like she could seduce any man with those big eyes of hers. She slides into the passenger seat of the idling car. The car drives past me. I slide down in my seat, so that the young, menacing, Chinese man behind the steering wheel does not notice me. I reckon that he is the film student’s brother or boyfriend. He is definitely protective of her whoever he is. I want to follow the car, but I hesitate. If the young, menacing man is in a gang, I do not want to be driving into that kind of scene, so I end up staying in that parking lot in my car for a long time. I am angry at myself all the time for my lack of courage, but my anger does not give me the resolve to do anything.
That night, I am walking beside my friend toward the college bar. The snow is as heavy as the night before. As we are crossing the street, he rushes ahead of me with a bit of kick to his step. I cannot fathom why he is so excited to get inside before me. I push into the crowded bar. I expect to see my friend begging the Maitre d’ to get us a table, but he has passed the Maitre d’ already. As I maneuver around a mass of college kids, I see my friend seated beside the Chinese film student. There is a third seat at the table for me. I take my seat with some trepidation. My friend only has eyes for the film student, and she ignores me like I am not even there. I watch her in silence make her moves on my friend.