I convince the bus driver to let me off in the parking lot of the apartment building where I live (which is the building where Adele and I lived when I came to Berkeley). I am having difficulty getting my luggage out of the baggage compartment and feel badly that I will make the driver late for his next stops. My plan is to unpack and then go to Saul’s (neighborhood deli) to eat. It turns out this is the Warriors team bus returning from a play off victory in Sacramento and Steve Kerr gets off and asks me to get permission to park across several reserved parking spaces while he holds a team meeting. (The bus will wait a couple blocks away while I get this permission.)
I go inside. The building is owned (not really) by Fred and Robbie Ahmadi, who owned my former office building and with whom I am on good terms. I am looking for their phone number when their son (who does not exist) appears and says I can have permission. A crowd is already gathering as I run off to tell Steve Kerr. I feel like Henry Kissinger, having negotiated detente with China.
As I pass Saul’s I see in the window a table of several guys from my old basketball game and, even though I realize they are holding this gathering without having invited me, I go in to tip them off to the Warriors impeding arrival in the parking lot. One fellow does not believe me. There could have been no playoff game, he says. It is snowing and sleeting. All flights would have been canceled. The game was in Sacramento, I say. And they traveled by bus.
Then I look out the window. The bus which had been parked up the street is pulling away. I had taken too long. They are leaving. I run after it I can not catch it. The Warriors will not appear. The crowd will be angry. I will be humiliated.
So much for attempting to be the center of attention, I think. I had better give up writing.
In the morning, I tell Adele my dream. She tells me not to give up writing. She says I have just recapitulated a childhood experience. “Then you were the center of attention,” she says, “and terrible things happened. Your sister died.”