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Saturday, August 19, 2000

Last Night, I Had a Dream

Last night, I had a dream that I had been sentenced to death. The reason never came up, since the entire dream took place in the room where they were sizing me up for a noose. There were three people in the room besides me, all of us standing around somewhat casually: two employees of the state, talking shop to each other as one of them measured me and fumbled around with a rope, and some friend of mine who's identity I can't clearly remember. (It may have been Andrew* since his role was to be my impartial observer--a role I realize Andrew* often plays for me since he is not easily swayed.)

I don't remember all of the dialog, but I do recall strongly emoting a look of irony through the whole thing, since it was obvious to me, and I thought perhaps bordering on obvious to them, that I had done nothing to deserve this. But it was such irony, this end, that the amusement of it almost outweighed the tragedy.

The two men started counting turns as they put twists in the rope, by some formula derived from the measurements they had taken. The man further away then dropped his length of rope and watched as the one near me finished up his boy-scout handy work, and then he pursed his lips and shook his head no and said "if you want it to hit him in the back of his head." And the man near me looked at it, looped it over my head, pulled at the loose end and realized that yes, indeed, the end of his knot lined up with the middle of the back of my head, which apparently wasn't anywhere near where he wanted it.

He took it off me and went to redoing the last few bits, and it became clear to me then that I was to be hung by an apprentice, and that the other fellow was the master hangman.

Directing all further attention to the master, I said "Couldn't you cut off my head instead?" and he listened casually as his cohort worked the rope. "I never liked the idea of being hung" I continued, "I imagine my neck snapping, my body going numb, and just hanging there thinking ''well, that's the end, then, isn't it''. Having my head cut off seems so much more satisfying--I have always wondered if you don't see the world spin around, the bucket come up and hit you in the face. I'd love to answer that one before I die."

The master got a sly grin on his face, a hint of irony showing that he indeed knew I didn't deserve it and that I was just rubbing it in. He stood up and nodded his body slightly as if to suggest he was going somewhere without actually intending to, and said "I think we may actually have an old guillotine in storage which I could dust off" and then he glanced aside at me and gave a thoughtful smile.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com