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January 18, 2003

Ralph Ellison invaded my dreams last night to talk literature, smoking a pipe and drinking something dark and aromatic from a heavy tumbler. I was sufficiently awed and tongue-tied.

He started on themes. Man against man, against nature, against society. I mumbled something embarrassing and thankfully, unintelligible. He asked what I thought of Lenin. I replied that I preferred it to polyester.

Trying a different approach he asked to see some of my pages. I handed them over with unsteady hands.

He considered them a bit and then abruptly took his leave to "get some more tobacco."

He never returned.