Dream 20020706, 6 AM:
Polishing the Plexiglas Plate
I’m at art school with Nancy Cohen. We are at big drawing tables. Each of us is given a piece of Plexiglas to engrave on, but they are used – we have to polish them to get off all the scratches before we can do the engraving. I feel like this is stupid – I know how cheap plexiglas is, and I’d rather go get a new piece myself at the hardware store, than spend a huge amount of time polishing it. The piece I have is very badly and deeply scratched. I ask Nancy if the sanding is essential – she says that it is. My piece seems to be pie-slice shaped; triangular, with one rounded edge. It has two layers of brown protective paper, one on either side of the Plexiglas, and one layer of clear tissue. I have to flip through the layers to get to the plexiglas to sand it.
Since it’s the only thing to do, I keep polishing. I go outside, and polish it against red bricks in a wall, then against a limestone cap on the same wall. It is getting really smooth, but also very thin, and looks like waxed paper. I see two women pull up in an old car – one is one of my great aunts, I think. She asks if I enjoyed my tomato dinner. I think she had sent me tomatoes.
I take the polished thin plate back to where Nancy is sitting at her table. She looks at it, and I tell her I need something smoother than limestone to polish it with now. She says she should have given me the liquid fixative to repair it – I tell her I should have just bought a new fifty-cent piece of plexiglas from the store. She seems shocked that it would be so cheap. I can’t engrave on the plate now, because it is so thin. I look at Nancy’s project, which is a mobile of printed designs on cut out shapes of card stock. It is done in bright colors, and seems to be Biblical or historical, with groups of figures in robes.
I go home to Mom and Dad’s. I am doing dishes, telling Mom how mad I am that I wasted all that time polishing a stupid piece of plexiglas, and how I won’t have time to complete the project now. If I don’t have the project done, I can’t graduate; I have to start all over next term. Nancy comes in through the back door, and I throw a little white footed cup at her – it’s tiny, like the size of a demitasse cup. It breaks into four or five pieces, and she leaves. Mom picks up the pieces. I know that at the school, the monks are working on their paintings – I can see an image of them, in red and gold Tibetan style robes, shaved heads, standing at painting easels painting.
Then, I’m in a big room with a bunch of people. They remind me of SCA people. They are trying to find a stuffed toy as a present for me, They pick up a couple that aren’t the right kind; they can’t find the right one. I see a toy with knobs on the front and a pull-string; I pull the string, but it doesn’t talk. I say that my Dad always made sure that kind of toy got broken real early on. They eventually pick a toy for me, I don’t remember exactly, but I think it was some sort of leprechaun. They tell me next time they’ll get the right one.
Looking at a pair of sunglasses, pulling LOTS of hair off of the bridge and the nosepieces. It’s wrapped around, like it would get on a comb. Someone is telling me that Grandmother got rid of 200 pairs of old sunglasses, and they would be valuable now.