Dream 20020809, 2:30 AM:
The Potato Cafeteria
I’m at the Kingwood shopping center near Mom and Dad’s house. I am driving down the sidewalk, or so it seems; I have to find the little ramps to get down on the parking lot to go around corners. I end up in a restaurant. Inside, I run into Robert Stodghill, and we are going through the buffet line, which seems unusually complicated at this place. I get a plate with a baked potato and some meat; I wish I could get other stuff, but that’s the only food here I can eat. Robert insists on paying for mine, and I tell him that’s fine, but he’ll have to work out with the cashier how to figure it out. It seems like we’re in different parts of the line.
I end up seated next to an attractive young black lady. The tables are all long, cafeteria-style, with the seats attached to the table. There are hundreds of people in the dining room. I am telling the lady about Sammons Jazz, and what we do at the Center.
Then, I get up and go back to the line for seconds. There are two sizes of plate, and after I’ve picked up the smaller one, I realize that I probably ought to have gotten the larger one, because the smaller one is like a dessert plate. I want to get a baked potato, and there is a machine that looks like a cross between an iron and a toaster that cooks the potatoes. It has a long narrow slot on the top with a door on it, and the potatoes are inside. There is a woman here with a child, and she says that they’re not quite done, but they’ve been cooking for 90 minutes, and should be almost ready. I realize that I’m naked standing here, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue – the mother appears not to mind, and she was the one I was worried about, if she thought it was inappropriate with her son there. I decide to take a chance on the potatoes being done, and slide back the door on the machine and poke inside with my fork and get a potato. It seems done enough, so I put it on my plate, and go back.
As I’m walking back to my seat, I pass the black woman that I had been seated next to. She is walking the other direction; I think she’s done with her dinner, and going away now. I am dressed normally now, or at least I don’t notice that I’m not. When I get to the table, I see Barbara Haire, wearing a blue, gray, and white crocheted snood. It looks like it was made from variegated acrylic yarn.