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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Writer's Life 7/5 - Dreamlands

Here's something that would surprise only leftists. According to a blurb in today's NY Post, 150 million people, 4% of the world's population, would move to the USA if possible. That's more than the next four most popular destinations combined. Many still believe in the American dream.

Recently, a fellow ex-Exchange employee posted on Facebook that he'd been having dreams about the trading floor. I responded that I still had them occasionally, almost ten years after having gotten the boot. Last night I had one in which Dougie B., who passed away recently, was walking toward the Gold Futures pit blowing up a large yellow balloon, which burst. He was also holding a huge orange one, which he placed in the center of the ring. This dream seems easily analyzed. The popping of the yellow balloon represents the jobs lost by those of us in data entry who donned garish jackets of that color every work day. The orange one is similar to the inflatable rats union members use during protests. The brokers who owned seats took buyouts from the Exchange, which paved the way for electronic trading and, eventually, the demise of floor trading, which ended entirely early this year. According to Freud, dreams are wish fulfillment. What are the wishes encoded in this particular dream? I interpret them as a wish that open cry was still in effect and that the floor was open and thriving for those many employees who loved the place, the action, and who didn't receive any kind of buyout and who subsequently have had difficulty earning a living. And, of course, that Dougie was still alive. Although I owe a lot to that crazy business, I was a fish out of water there for nearly 25 years, unlike the many long-termers who relished the often frenzied activity. I witnessed a lot of behavior valuable to a writer, made a lot of friends and I look forward to updates from them on social media.

Chicago's nightmare continued over the long 4th of July weekend, more than 100 shootings, 14 fatalities. It's time for the Windy City to wake up.

The floating book shop was sort of a dream today. Non-fiction dominated sales until the final half hour of the session. My thanks to Ira, who bought a book on cemeteries and mortuaries; to Crazy Joe, who as usual overpaid for his purchase, this time a self help book; to the young man who bought a book by popular televangelist Joel Osteen. Then the focus shifted to older fiction, a gentleman buying Irwin Shaw's Evening at Byzantium, and an elderly woman buying John Goolrick's A Reliable Wife and Herman's Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar, the first adult novel she ever read. Then the action turned to the popular, a middle age guy buying Stephen King's Cujo, and a young one buying two parts of the Tobias S. Bucket Halo series. Finally, Al the Mensch showed with a donation of about ten books, fiction and non, and Marie, who is reducing her massive home inventory, surrendered three CD's and a couple of books. And the weather was a dream, a nice breeze flowing along Avenue Z.We dream that the summer weather remains ideal.
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