I had gone back to Chicago to attend the funeral of the former dean of my alma mater where I was oddly asked to deliver the eulogy despite the mutual animosity the dean and I felt towards each other.
Following the funeral, I decided to go back to my old neighborhood with a few of my former classmates from the Theatre School to show them the where I grew up.
We walked past the old Dolnick Community Center that my great grandfather had founded in the 1940s only to the place—which recently had been used as a religious school—closed down, boarded up and in a sad state of disrepair.
Then it struck me as the ideal place to have the drama school and theater space I’d been planning to start in the Netherlands and thought I could easily commute between the two countries to run the school in Chicago while continuing to run my barbershop in The Hague.
Just then, I thought I heard music coming from inside the dilapidated building and opened one one of the doors whose chains had been removed.
I looked inside and walked upstairs to see a dance company rehearsing and was delighted that the building was still in use despite its ramshackle state.
I turned to my former classmates who were curious as to why I had taken such a sudden interest in some broken down old building and I told them, to their dismay, that this was going to be my new theater and drama school.
I proceeded to show them around pointing out that while the building was in disrepair, it contained all the resources needed for a theater and that the main theater space upstairs was completely outfitted and functional with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting, curtains and updated dressing rooms.
We walked downstairs and I said the area could be converted into a swank café where patrons could have drinks and light meals as there was a full-service kitchen on the premises.
I turned to one of my classmates and said, “imagine coming down here after a show and having drinks until 4 a.m. while a jazz trio is playing over there in the corner.”
I then turned to my classmates and officially announced my intentions of buying the building and starting a drama school and professional theater.
At once, they all applauded and were delighted by my announcement.
I told them they would all be welcome to submit applications which would be given the highest priority.
Then, as an added surprise, I told them that the community center was founded by my great-grandfather in the 1940s and they all stood there in amazement at hearing that surprising revelation.
I went outside and there were already cranes and bulldozers working on the repairs of the building’s exterior and roof, which I remembered always had leaks and constant structural damage.
The foreman came over and introduced himself and told me everything was going according to plans.
It stared to rain so I walked over to my rented car and sat inside looking through some documents.
Then I woke up.