In my dream I was going to look at a restaurant owned by Catfish Hunter, the baseball pitcher, to see if I would buy it. It was a decrepit and very small building, in Davis where I grew up. It was more or less where fluffy donuts used to be, though it was a detached building and not part of the mall where the donut shop actually was. (Hunter was a pitcher for the Oakland A's when I was a kid, though in my dream he said he confirmed to be that he had pitched for the San Francisco Giants). He was supposed to give me $75 just for agreeing to look at it, and was selling it for a suspiciously low price of $5,000. I was thinking to ask whether he rented or owned the building, and asking to taste the food. I wanted my seventy-five in cash, not a check that his wife was trying to give me. I remember thinking irrationally that if this were a dream it would be better to be paid in cash!
The interior of the restaurant was cramped and crowded with shelves of dusty knickknacks. I argued with them, mildly, about whether their interior design was good, which it obviously wasn't. The visual detail in the dream was more precise than I've ever experienced, though now it is a bit of a blur.
Catfish was a very nice man in my dreams, with a folksy manner about him but excessive pride in his horrible looking restaurant. He even looked more or less like the real Catfish Hunter did as an old man, though I probably never thought about him in more than 30 years.
I politely refused to buy the restaurant, saying something like "This is more than I can take on right now." I remember being very proud of my tact and the way the sentence was the perfect response to the situation. I never did get the money, since of course I woke up and none of this was real.
Obviously this takes me back to my childhood, when I watched him pitch for the A's and lived in Davis and went to Fluffy Donuts. The idea of taking on another responsibility right now is frightening to me. The cramped space resembles my home office (and my campus office) where I am working long hours. The promise of a small sum like $75 can be childishly satisfying, whereas $5000 is about as much as I could spend in an emergency. Dreaming this felt both unpleasant and satisfying. I was creating a narrative in my unconscious mind with disparate elements that ended up having a definitive shape to them, in their new Gestalt.
If he said he played for the wrong team it was because I wasn't sure, and he simply confirmed my own mistake. Of course, I knew he had pitched for the OTHER Bay Area team once I was awake.