Just now I awoke from a nap…although it would be more accurate to say that I wrenched myself violently from sleep, and am still not fully awake.
While I slept I had a dream about Cory Doctorow.
He and I were in his small apartment (flat, I suppose) in England. In the dream, I believed him to be married, and to have children. I realized that his family didn’t live in England with him.
He was working on a laptop computer at the foot of his bed. The laptop was actually on the bed and he was sitting on a low stool next to it. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I said, “Can I ask you a question?”
He was flipping from window to window. I could see that he was creating a BoingBoing post, working out a comment on another blog, writing his next novel, and reading several other sites all at once. He glanced up at me with pretend patience oozing from behind his dark horn-rimmed glasses. “Okay,” he said.
“Well,” I fumbled, as he did not stop multi-tasking. “I understood that you were married.”
“Yeah,” he said, raising an eyebrow. He didn’t stop working. For a moment I took this to be an acceptance of the rumor, and that he was going to correct it, but then he didn’t say anything else. Finally I grasped that he’d answered in the affirmative, and that perhaps he thought I was trying to hit on him. Feeling stupid, I went into the bathroom. (In real life, I had to pee, so I kept going to the bathroom in the dream, and it kept not fulfilling me.)
But shortly I went out and said, “Could I ask just one more question? Um, so your wife and family, they–“
But before I could finish, he sighed at me as if I were the most annoying person alive. “You know,” he said, “you don’t have to ask me if you can ask a question.”
“Yes,” I said quietly, not looking at him. I turned around. “I can see how that would be annoying,” I finished, feeling that I kept saying too much. I retreated back into the bathroom.
But again I was unsatisfied, and I poked my head back out. “I only do that because of my husband.”
“He’s a very focused person, so if I didn’t break him out of his focus, he wouldn’t know that I was talking to him. He would just keep focusing on his computer as if I wasn’t even there.”
I was starting to wonder how I was going to cope with having to be in this apartment with Cory Doctorow. But he was a little nicer after that, getting up from his stool and coming to the door and explaining that he was married but had no children. We kept interrupting each other.
“Can I blog about this conversation?” I asked jokingly. “‘The Most Awkward Conversation I’ve Ever Had’. Well, maybe not the most awkward…”
“I’d rather you didn’t, some of that was private,” Cory said.
“Can I just blog about the awkward ums and uhs there at the end?”
“Sure,” Cory said, brightening slightly. He went back to the other room, to his laptop. “There weren’t any details there.”
“I don’t know if I can remember everything you said…” I trailed off. He was gone.
Then my dream turned into science fiction, in which a person found out that another person was a robot, and another person stole the robot to copy its design. Finally I yanked myself awake, because I really, really had to pee.