Last night I dreamed I was lost in an unfamiliar part of Germany. For some reason I had left all of my money behind somewhere else. It was the middle of the night and I was exhausted. I was walking on a patch of grass which narrowed down to a wedge where two busy streets merged. I was so tired that I almost laid down right there on the grass to sleep; instead, I turned around, and saw a building which looked like it might be part of a university. White neon images of a 19th-century German poet and his most famous line flickered on and off in various places on the side of the building. I couldn't remember the poet's name. His famous line was familiar to me in the dream. German people were always quoting it with great enthusiasm, but I didn't understand what was so great about it.
I went into the building, went up a broad flight of stairs and came upon a large dark room in which many people were sitting on folding chairs. It was still not clear whether this was a university, or some sort of headquarters of a political party, or something else. The gathering did seem to resemble a casual sort of academic class. I took a seat near the edge of the room as quietly as I could, but the woman seated near the edge of the room, who would've been the teacher it this was a class, turned to me and asked, "And you? How would you describe fame?"
I answered in German that I didn't have any definitions of fame to offer other than the everyday usual ones. The woman didn't say anything more to me, just turned away with a slightly disappointed air and continued the discussion with the others.
After the class, or the discussion or whatever it was, after it wrapped up, I got the feeling that all of the others, although it seemed that most or all of them were Germans, had been speaking in English. I wasn't completely sure about it, but I think the discussion had been all in English except for my brief contribution in German. I wondered whether the woman had been disappointed in whole or in part because I had spoken in English. (I have seen many discussion on Facebook which were mostly or all in English even though the participants were mostly or all Germans.)
As people were getting up to leave, I said that I was in a predicament, lost with no money. I thought it couldn't hurt to say this, and that maybe someone would offer me a couch for the night.
Instead, I learned that, whatever else this building was or wasn't, it also provided communal living for anyone who showed up. The people in the room were going to another large room, this one filled with beds. I was welcome to sleep there.
I woke up the next morning and saw that my clothes were not where I had left them, on a little shelving unit next to my bed. It seems that they had been gathered up, like everyone else's clothes, to be communally laundered. The other people were picking out clean outfits from big piles of clean clothes.
The only thing I had had with me the night before which had been really important to me was an amulet. It contained precious metal and a large jewel. I could have sold it for badly-needed money, but it was priceless to me because it had been given to me by a woman whom I held in great esteem. I carried it on a chain, in the key pocket of my blue jeans, with the other end of the chain fastened to my belt loop. All I saw on the shelf beside my bed was that chain.
I went to the piles of clothes and picked out some pants and a flannel shirt and some socks. I came back to my bed, and now I saw that on a lower shelf there were the sneakers I had been wearing the night before. One of the sneakers was stuffed with the kind of paper with which new shoes are often stuffed. I took this paper out and saw that the amulet had been put into the toe of the shoe. I put the amulet back onto its chain. The pants I was wearing had no key pocket, so I put the amulet into one of the chest pockets of the flannel shirt, and fastened the other end of the chain to one of the shirt's buttonholes.
Then I was on a steep hillside in a forest of birches, with strong sunlight shining down between the trees. I was holding a full-grown cat in my arms and it was purring. I climbed down the hill; at its foot, a multi-lane road full of fast-moving traffic intersected the forest. On the near side of the road was a Porsche dealership. On the near side of the dealership, where it was still woodsy, there were several other cats. My cat began to struggle to get loose of me. I let it go -- then, I became worried, because my cat, unlike the others, was unfamiliar with this place. I was worried that it might wander into the Porsche dealership's lot, or into the road, and be run over.
Then I woke up.