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I had a strange dream a few months ago. I was in a play and it was the only performance. In it, a was to sing a song about a film noir detective who needed work. I had never rehearsed the song, I did not know the music, and I was given an orange 3×5 card with the words handwritten on both sides. All I had to figure out the tone was a couple of bars from the orchestra before I was to begin. As I’m going on stage I ask a guy coming off “are these lines or verses?” and he says “they look like verses to me.”

It starts with

I need a case

and goes on to talk about the elements: motive, means, opportunity. The words are more spoken then sung, like the first person narration in old movies, in a tone of desperation. (“My” voice is Harry Dresden from the TV show.) Then the song talks about modules, cases, and scenarios (references to work, so that’s what the dream is really about).

The song takes off and is going well. On the back of the lyrics card are bigger things. Crises in the city: union protests, suffragettes, riots, Egyptian chimps on chariots shooting arrows into bystanders (don’t know where that came from). The scene has changed from a color, stage setting. Now there are 50’s style, black and white backdrops of cityscapes. The singing is loud and strong, fanciful imaginings that connect with the audience.

The an actual coworker, whose manner and method confound me, rides by on a bicycle. She is in black and white like the backdrops and reminds me of the old lady who turns into the witch in the Wizard of Oz, but she is not old or evil or a witch, and she is in costume. She says “what are you doing?” and then I woke up.