Last night I had a dream. In the dream I was dating Uma Thurman, or at least we were on a date. We were with a group of people at a bar surrounded by fishtanks. We were seated at the bar, drinking mojitos and Vietnamese bubble tea, the kind that looks like the glass is filled with fish eggs. So there I was, delighting Uma with my humor and witty observations about life, the movies, and Hollywood. The interesting thing, of course, is that I know nothing about movies or Hollywood and very little about life. Still, she laughed and was taken by my charm. We planned on meeting again. I felt as if I were sitting on top of the world.
I am telling you this, because I know it is significant. I just don’t know how, when, or why. But strange things have been happening to me lately. I think of something or someone, and within a short period of time the thing or person I was thinking about appears. Many people experience this sort of thing, and I am sure there is a scientific name for it, maybe even in Latin. Speaking of Latin, I had a dream about Caesar in the Gallic campaign once. Then I met a woman named Alesia…
Just within the past month, I have thought about things as varied as Palo Alto, steam engines, Greek mythology, shoelaces, and the Island of Crete. Actually, I haven’t thought about them as much as they have thought about me. They simply and abruptly jumped into my head as if falling from out of nowhere. Left field maybe. I even had inklings of violence over that time, not the violence of Gaza, Syria, or the Ukraine, which are horrific, but violence up front and personal, as they say. Then yesterday some deranged guy on a skateboard accosted me, cursing up a storm offended that I had looked in his general direction. All of which goes to show that Rule Number One when dealing with crazies or riding the subway is “Do Not Engage.” All New Yorkers know this, except this time I was in sunny California. Did I cause this to happen because I was preoccupied with it for some reason, or did I somehow predict or anticipate the future? Maybe both. Maybe neither.
Much has been written in popular psychology about creating the world around us and that we are responsible for our own fate, which seems to be an oxymoron. But I believe that whatever occupies our hearts and minds will eventually come to life in reality, whether directly or indirectly. We affect each other, as philosophers like Kant have been telling us all along, without the glossy-covered self-help books.
I am not certain what all of this means regarding Uma Thurman, especially since when I described the dream to my daughter-in-law, she told me that Uma Thurman is not a dignified, middle-aged English woman. Admittedly, I am not up on pop culture. I don’t really know who Pantera is and wouldn’t know Miley Cyrus if I ran her over. I have my own life to lead. But as it turns out, I wasn’t on a date with Uma Thurman after all.
It was Emma Thompson.