The night before I announced my book, Musing Off the Mat, I had a vivid dream. I was climbing a concrete obelisk similar to the Washington Monument, only it was on a slant instead of vertical. I had no climbing gear. I was wearing only a t-shirt and pants. No shoes, hat, gloves, or goggles.
I was pulling myself up like I used to do on the ropes in junior high school gym class. Near the top, the concrete mountain was wrapped in a thin, cotton quilt. As I continued climbing, the quilt would slip me farther down the obelisk. I could see the top but couldn’t get there. Finally, I summoned strength from somewhere, raised my left arm, placed my palm on top of the surface, and pulled my body onto the landing.
I stood up and found myself inside a small, undecorated, empty, square lobby with dusty windows. There was no scenic view.
Then Kelly Ripa walked into the lobby. She congratulated me for making it to the top and asked if I wanted a photo taken. I told her I regretted wearing a t-shirt with St. Thomas written across it. (The cover photo of the book was taken in St. Thomas.) Kelly said it didn’t matter. She placed a beaded wreath on my head and snapped a photo.
Next, Kelly’s husband, Mark Consuelos, appeared. He told me it was easy to take the elevator down to the street level. He asked if I needed a ride home. I said no, that I’d walk to my car that was several blocks away in the Villanova parking lot.
That was the end of my dream.
Obviously, climbing a mountain alone without gear is symbolic of self-publishing. The journey is strenuous but perhaps may be more satisfying than actually completing the goal. Villanova, my alma mater, is where my dream of becoming a writer started. As for Kelly and Mark? Who knows how they entered my psyche?