Words With DFW

and but in this dream all I can ever see is the top of my opponent's head, or should I say the top of his white bandana. The loopy black amoebic accents squirm like some kind of bubbling mental broth. Like you can actually see that he is thinking and how "hard" and "fast" and "vigorously" if it makes sense to apply those words (your guess). I look at my rack and it has the letters S O N O F A B which are not helpful to begin with but in the dream I am unable to even recognize the obvious two- and three-word letters I can make like S O N and O F and F A B and B O O. And it's my turn but we're playing with weird rules where if I am taking too long to spell out my word on the tiles (which stretch on forever, by the way, to the right and the left, although the board is of the proper depth, i.e. we are sitting face-to-face only a foot or so apart) if I take too long he is free to play another word. Which he does, every couple of minutes. And this is the frustrating part because his rack, whereas mine is the normal, non-ludicrous seven letter rack, extends five feet to either side so he has several alphabets of small 10 x 10 x 2 mm wooden pieces at his disposal. And he spells out these really obscure words racking up multiple Triple Letter and Triple Word and Seven Letter Word bonuses. A N D R O S A R T O R I A L. S E S Q U I P E D A L I A N. C O R T I C A T I Z A T I O N. And every time he lays the letters down he does so carefully, one at a time, and he seems to have serious misgivings about every letter as if the current permutation of whatever he is spelling might not be the best possible word to use in the present tactical situation, which is that he is winning by a factor of approximately 10,000:1, score-wise (we have been playing, in the dream, for many hours). But when he finally looks up at me to consider the reaction on my face to whatever word he has finally finished spelling his face is flushed and he is sweating and he winces several times in a minute, like whole-face contortions where his eyes close and he bares his teeth and sucks in to make a hissing sort of gasp that sounds like he just stubbed a toe. And it looks like he is just completely unable to deal.


Andrew Zolot