The other night I dreamt I was in some sort of official building with a friend whom I cannot subsequently identify. I strongly suspect that I have never seen him before yet I feel as if I have always known him.
We had not been there for very long before we were challenged by some minor official who demanded to know our business.
‘My friend,’ I told the official, ‘is a Neo-Platonist.’ For some reason I seemed to think that this would satisfy him.
The official looked entirely unimpressed. ‘And what precisely does that mean?’ he asked.
From somewhere about his person my friend produced a paper bag of flour such as you might buy in any store or supermarket. He opened it and, with a rather theatrical gesture, emptied it onto the floor. Then he stooped down and ran the fingers of both hands through the little pile of flour. Suddenly there seemed to be at least twice as much flour.
‘Where did all that flour come from?’ asked the bewildered official.
By way of answer, my friend once again ran his fingers through the flour. This time the pile of flour became many, many times larger. He looked up, smiled and teasingly repeated the official’s own question. ‘Where did all that flour come from?’
The official frowned. ‘Enough of this!’ he cried and began looking around urgently for assistance.
Unperturbed, my friend ran his fingers through the flour once more and this time the heap of flour grew so large that the official was buried beneath it.
Standing up, my friend turned to me and raised one eyebrow. ‘Where did all that flour come from?’ he asked.
Before I could consider what answer I ought to make, I awoke.
(I have no idea what it means either.)