Late But Not Late | The Dreamweaver

I was in Valencia and on my way to the university where I was to begin my first day of work.

I ran into an old friend who insisted I join him for lunch and I told him I'd have to make it quick as I had to be at the university for my first class at 12:30.

We arrived at the bar and my friend introduced me to the owner, an older, thin and somewhat frail looking man, who said he remembered me from years ago.

We told the man we were in a bit of a rush and to bring us whatever could be prepared quickly.

My friend and I went upstairs and sat at a table facing the window that looked out at the street below.

The man soon appeared and served us our lunch which consisted of hamburgers.

I began eating and quickly realized the burgers were made from beef and it was the first time I was eating meat in more than 30 years.

I was hungry, in a rush and had already taken a few bites out of the burger, so I just continued eating though I felt disgusted and forlorn.

Looking at my watch, I noticed I had only ten minutes to get to the university, so I thanked my friend and apologized for having to run out and said I'd give him a call in a day or two.

I thanked the owner as I walked out of the bar.

Just then, my friend called to me from the window above shouting that he didn't have any money and asked if I could pick up the tab.

I walked back into the bar and asked the owner for the bill and paid with my bank card and left.

The owner ran out of the bar calling to me saying he had overcharged me by ten cents and handed me a ten cent coin.

I arrived at the university at 12:30, panic-stricken that my class had already started and I hadn't even checked in and I had no idea where my classroom was.

I walked into the main office and saw a thin, badly-dressed professor wearing a suit that was too small for him with a child's pre-tied bow tie and wanted to tell him I designed bow ties and would give him a few, but noticing there was a line at the information window and I was in a hurry, I decided not to talk to the man.

I was standing in line waiting with a number of other professors and felt a bit out of place being only one of two professors in sight who were wearing bow ties.

Just then, I saw a colleague who recognized me. He came over and shook my hand and congratulated me on getting the job.

I told him that my class started a few minutes ago and that I got sidelined having lunch with an old friend.

He said he would escort me to my classroom and that I shouldn't worry about the time because most students arrive late.

He then took me into a staffroom he said was reserved for senior members of the science faculty, but since it was under used as most senior professors had their own offices, I would be more than welcome to use the room and keep a locker there.

He handed me two keys, one for the staffroom door and another for my locker. I felt concerned that adding two more keys to my key ring would make it too cumbersome to carry in my trouser pocket.

He then took me to my classroom and I was amazed to see that not one of my students had yet to arrive.

I sat down at my desk and my colleague pulled up a chair and we began talking.

Apparently I had begun rubbing my left ear as it was irritated due to eczema and my colleague asked if I was alright.

Not even realizing I had been scratching my ear, I stopped and told him I was fine.

Then I woke up.

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