Almost. I still have to take the six computer-based assessments, which count for 40% of my score, but for some reason I'm not worried. I guess I'm one of those people who, perversely, enjoys testing.
Last night I must have tossed and fretted for about an hour, going over all the ways I could have improved my portfolio. I then fell asleep to bizarre and wondrous dreams, as I often do.
In the first, my wife and I fly to Africa. I do not mean we fly in an airplane. No; we grasp an umbrella and catch the jet stream and fly to Africa. (I must have been recalling this commercial.) We land in a thinner part of the jungle, and walk to a house, poking around inside until we meet the inhabitants, a family of Korean immigrants who, miraculously, share our surname.
They take us in, and we stay there for a time--weeks? months?--becoming our bosom friends. One day, we decide to leave. For some reason, my wife and I take separate transportation. My plan is to depart from the post office. I stop to check the mail, and somehow end up in a storage room where thousands of games and toys are stashed, collecting dust on row after row of massive shelves. Furious that the postal employees have been hoarding others' goods, I demand that they give these toys and games to their rightful owners. "It is a crime against humanity!" I shout at one point. "You have stunted their development! It is a crime against learning!"
When all is settled, I am finally able to leave, walking toward the shore in my windbreaker, willing the breeze to catch me and carry me across the Atlantic to New York. The dream ends as the alarm rings at 3:32, waking Melissa for her Starbucks shift.
After more mild fretting, I dream again.
This time I find myself as Keanu Reeves' character in A Scanner Darkly, hiding underneath an ever-evolving disguise. I walk out to my truck and take off my disguise, when a coworker stops by in his Camaro, saying he has tickets to the Texas-Memphis game. I hop in, and he proudly shows me the customized interior: the dashboard, with all the controls except the steering wheel, is along the side.
We drive off. It's a muggy March afternoon here in East Texas, and we're zipping along the freeway outside of Dallas when a 1976 Ford F150 comes screaming up beside us, swerving into our lane. I grab a gun from the glove box, and wave it toward this crazy driver. My friend jerks the wheel and we skid off a nearby exit. The truck, driven by some sort of assassin, crashes into a car and explodes.
We blithely continue toward the university where the game is held. I get out of the car, and, in the sweltering calidity, scramble up a steep slope, grabbing roots and trees to propel myself upward. "Watch out for heat ants," my friend warns. I ask him if he means fire ants, but he doesn't. "Heat ants don't burn as much as fire ants," he explains.
I somehow lose my friend and arrive at the arena alone. The game is close. At the end of the first half, the shot clock malfunctions, giving Memphis 1.2 extra seconds to make a three-point shot. The refs don't notice, though, and Memphis goes into halftime ahead by two.
I awake to write this as quickly as I can, before the memory disappears in a dream-vapor.
[Tacky tie posted here.]