stories

The Dream Censor - page 5

"Well, well. Isn't this a lot of affection? " said the censor with a pleased tone, narrowing his eyes.
The secretary replied. "Umm... She is repentant of herself because she thinks her son died for lack of affection. That's why she's now evoking it... "
"A-ha... "a little touched, the censor continued. "That's fine with me, but affection has no concrete figure, as we can see. Before letting it participate in the dream, we need something...like paraphrasing .
"Certainly true, Sir. Let me look for it...affection...affection." The secretary took out a Japanese-English dictionary and started searching. "Affection. Kindness. Tenderness. In English there are a lot of synonyms for this word. "
"Try to find a more adequate word. A word that exactly represents this dulcet fragrance.
"I see, Sir. In that case, there's this word: 'sweetness' "
"Voila !" The censor clapped his hands. "But wait a moment, does she know the English word 'sweetness'? "
"Of course she does," the secretary said , rather surprised. "she majored in English literature in college. And, please remember, "he pointed out with a grin, "we ourselves exist within her consciousness. Indeed, this dictionary refers to her. Any word we can find in this dictionary belongs to her vocabulary. "
"Definitely. "The censor quickly vindicated his dignity with a frown.
"The significance of sweetness is not only affection but also delightfulness, freshness, aroma and so on. Now, what is it for her that encompasses all these expressions? "
"Sir, I'm sure you already have the answer...I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to answer, "retorted the rather relaxed secretary. "Of course, it is melon. Her favorite. "
"Exactly. Then let us turn into melon fields. "The censor looked about in the court rppm and shouted. "Weren't you listening? Turn into a melon field, all of you! "
The stage door was swung open and the lights came in. As if allured by these lights, Affection wafted toward the dream stage, transforming itself into a melon field.
On the monitor screen melon fields rapidly developed around the Gassho house.
"Pretty good. Bring in the next one. "
The sergeant opened the door. "Next, please... Oh, it's you. "
A delicate, pale boy came in. His eyes were timidly cast down. He seemed to readily realize how the court would treat him.
The censor grunted. "Oh, not you again! "
The secretary held his head in his arms. "You come here every night... We have now run out of methods. We tried deformation, substitution, symbolism... no more translation patterns left. "
Embarrassed and with head drooped, the boy just stood in front of the two.
"All right. Tonight, I will dismiss him right away. "
With the censor's determined voice, disappointment appeared on the secretary's old, benevolent face. Clumsily and hesitatingly, he reminded the censor. "Excuse me, Sir. The function of dreams, other than maintaining sound sleep, as I remember reading, is that it should gradually dissolve one's distress... "
The censor showed a trace of discomfort. "Yes, yes... I know that paragraph, I really do. "
"It's been two months since the boy passed away. I guess perhaps it's time for us to let him appear in her dream as his original figure. Surely she would rouse with shock, seeing her son in a dream. I know then she would weep. Or she might not be able to continue sleeping. But even so, if it lightens her suffering, perhaps we should give her the shock, making her used to it, bit by bit. In addition, she's stressed because her son wouldn't appear in her dream. I believe we should not deny the fact that she is desiring to meet her son... "
As the secretary eagerly and unremittingly went on, the censor stared him in the face, quite surprised. "Are you crying ? "
The secretary bewilderedly wiped the tear off his face. "Oh, my. Is this really me ? Hee-hee-hee-hee-hee. "
The censor momentarily contemplated something, then stammering, slowly told the boy. "Well, all right. You may pass. Go see your mother in the dream. " With eyes slightly blurred with tears, the censor nodded and beamed at the boy. "You may pass through the melon fields. "
The boy nodded back, then headed for the door to the conscious.
Before the stage door, the boy suddenly stopped and turned to the censor and his secretary, who were watching him go.
The boy lightly bowed to them as they gave him a send-off, and smiled.
"Thank you for letting me pass. "