Dream of salt, two women and an egg

SATURDAY, 2 APRIL 2005

Last night I had a dream. Images of a staged battle from the Roman period flashed through my mind. There was also an oversized two-storey building with small apartments.

A woman discreetly entered one apartment to eat modern food. After this woman had left, I sneaked in, grabbed some raisins and nuts from the kitchen and stuffed it all in my pocket. Then, in the living room, I discovered a hard-boiled egg and took that as well – after I almost emptied a salt shaker on it. (The salt shaker was standing on a coffee table, with a lot of spilled salt around it.)

I walked down the vast, over-sized hallway where two women confronted me with the insinuation that I am not always the same person. They peppered me with questions like, “How is this name pronounced in that language?”

By the time we got to the ground floor, my initially polite answers to their questions had transformed into a more heated response. “I, myself was given a very ethnic-specific name,” I said, “but sometimes you need to express yourself in other ways than those you were given. And sometimes you choose to go beyond what you’ve been given, in order to transform yourself! And maybe you do so for no reason other than as a first step towards, and for the sake of, transforming … the community … in which you live.”

By the last sentence, the two women had become so terrified that one was hiding behind the other one. When I turned my back and started walking away, the woman who had been hiding started following me, scratching my back with both hands – in a feline sort of self-defensive action.

Then I remembered the egg which I had taken from the apartment. I put my hand in my trouser pocket, crushed the egg, then turned slightly, reached over my shoulder and shoved the broken pieces into her face.

The last sentence of my short speech was measured. Up until that point I had been speaking in a loud, urgent tone, but then I softened my tone to emphasise the words – especially since they might have expected me to say, transforming the world.

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