Vito With Guitar
I dream that Marcia and Abigail and I are in our living room, a fire burning in the woodstove, darkness falling, Abigail and Marcia wearing dresses. There is something deeply restful and reassuring to me about this tableau—Marcia standing behind the sofa on which Abigail and I are sitting.
Now darkness turns to daylight as Mike and four-year-old Vito arrive via the kitchen door. Mike is Vito’s grandfather. In real life, he’s here in California from Philadelphia to take care of Vito while Vito’s parents are away. In the dream, Mike is carrying an enormous snake-like stuffed animal, pure white and at least twenty feet long, the head resembling a weasel and four times larger than a human head, the rest of the body trailing Mike into the house like a Chinese dragon in a parade with Vito taking up the rear. And I think Oh why did Mike have to buy him such a big toy?
“Can he talk?” I ask Vito
Vito smiles and says, “Not until he learns ballet.”
Now Marcia approaches me. She has changed from her dress into jeans and a shirt and she’s wearing a headset and carrying a clipboard. “I’m gonna let you handle this,” she says before disappearing into her office.
Now several more little boys arrive through the kitchen door and follow Mike and Vito out the door on the north side of our house. I’m pleased not to be panicking about this sudden influx of little strangers, but I am somewhat at a loss about what to do next.
Now older kids start arriving—teenagers, males and females, and I sense they are students at some sort of alternative school. Soon the house is full of teenagers and the house becomes enormous.
Several of the teens wander down the vast hallway in the direction of our bedroom, so I head in that direction, too, and find myself leading a large group of young people ranging in age from thirteen to their mid-twenties.
I am again aware of not being anxious and that I’m handling this extraordinary situation without feeling overwhelmed or threatened, and this awareness makes me happy. And I realize that part of why I’m not anxious is my sense that these are goodhearted people, here to explore and learn and not to destroy things or cause trouble; and I sense they like me.
We enter a large theatre with seating for several hundred people.
One of the young men says, “My God, what is this?”
“This is one of our theaters,” I say, with a touch of pride but also amazement because I had no idea we had a theatre in our house. “But my favorite is the next one.”
We pass directly from the large theatre into a somewhat smaller theatre with seating for about a hundred people. The young people swarm up onto the stage and are transformed into Gypsies dancing a jazzy folk dance, with three of them expertly playing guitars.
When their dance ends, I say, “Wow, that was amazing. Did you rehearse that?”
One of the young women says, “No, but the costumes were waiting for us and there were instructions on the wall.”
Now the young people leave the stage and settle down around me.
“Now we will do some improvising,” I say, thinking to myself We will all be inmates at the Institution for the Emotionally Profound.
But before I can say these words out loud, three young men arrive. They are slightly older than the other young people and I’m sure they’re going to wreak havoc.
I say to their leader, “We’re about to do some theatre exercises.”
The leader and his two pals mount the stairs to the stage and head backstage, the leader saying, “That other bathroom isn’t working so we’ll use the one backstage.”
And because I know I will not be able to prevent them from wrecking everything, I wake up.