I seldom recall my dreams and by how seldom he speaks of them, I’d guess the ToolMaster is the same. But cue the Twilight Zone signature riff, because Tuesday night demonstrated why we are soul mates.
While studying scientific papers on the structure of nuclear reactors, he noticed a recurrent error. If Radium 135 was processed with Nitrogen, he posited, it could produce an unlimited supply of energy. The waste products would so safe you could eat them without fear of developing a third testicle or a hairy spleen.
Because he couldn’t get anyone to believe him, he visited Saskatchewan and bought 100 pounds of raw Uranium from a miner. The excuse he used? He wanted a souvenir.
He built a miniature reactor in our basement. (Apparently I was biddable, ignorant, or on drugs in this portion of the dream.)
It worked. He patented the process.
He approached the head of his company with a deal. He’d get 10% of all profits but they’d have the exclusive right to develop it. When they tried to argue they owned all his inventions, did he hire an intellectual property lawyer? Oh no, he did not. He argued his case with skill and merit, then–
This is where I interrupted. I said that if I wrote his dream, he would be conveniently disappeared under the Canadian laws which are equivalent to the Patriot Act, though because we are Canadian, you’ll understand the detention isn’t carried out in a tent city in Cuba, but rather a regular prison in the East. (Sorry. I can provide no insight into the cultural differences with respect to water-boarding except to suppose we might use a maple plank whereas you might use ash.)
His knowledge would be conveeeeniently misplaced for about 30 years, or until oil prices had been milked to the max and his patent had expired. Then, voilà! He would be released from prison, a pale, doddering creature. When they named the university’s new science wing after him and referenced Uranium in the dedication ceremony, a much-publicized photo would show him peering at his bottom with a confused expression.
“Not so!” the ToolMaster said. “Not so.” See, he’d taken precautions. Before he’d gone into the meeting, he’d mass-mailed his results to the scientific community. If something happened to us, the world wouldn’t suffer. The knowledge wouldn’t die. This was a critical point for me to understand.
Then he wanted to know my dream, and since he’d been somewhat displeased and defensive about my suggested alterations to his dream, and since he now seemed to challenging my storytelling chops, I’ll admit I beefed up my conflict. But only a tad, you understand, because more would breach the implied spousal contract.
My scalp had been itchy for days. I thought it was from chemical irritation because I’d had my hair colored, but as long as I didn’t die from anaphylaxis, I couldn’t regret my choice. I had an upcoming TV interview and needed to look my best.
When I was in the Green Room waiting to be called to the set, I looked in the mirror and saw black insects climbing up and through my hair, using it like a jungle gym. Several hopped, giving my outline a vague, Linus-like quality. Just as I’d grasped I had head lice, an assistant appeared and waved me forward. I had to go. That instant. There was no time to fake an illness. No time to do anything but hope and pray I wouldn’t be subject to a close-up.
As I stood poised on the studio’s threshold, heart pounding, my eyes lit on the beret the assistant was wearing. I snatched it off her head and jammed it on mine. The hat was pink.
My outfit was red.
See? Soulmates. 🙂
Do you dream much, peeps? Do your dreams tend to be dystopian, deep, or disturbing?