The Dream of the Strange Tradition

I’m on a skyscraper floor
(town I live in only has one 20-story building)
attending to one of my consistent dream themes
I have to pee
looking around the corner of the huge men’s room
the row of stalls is dark I find the light
A man is hanging by the neck in one of them
the logistics of setting up a noose
from an acoustical tile ceiling
are outside the scope of this dream
I am trying to scream
(ever notice in dreams you can never
quite do anything?)

This is now definitely the Mad Men episode
the one where that guy kills himself
except that was in an office

And then he blinks
A woman and I
(is this a co-ed restroom?
Did I succeed in screaming?)
get him down
he offers me money trying
to stuff mine in my shirt pocket
the woman is likewise refusing.

I assure him we won’t tell anyone
(is that a good idea?)
salvage his pride about refusing
with a made-up tradition
that when you find a suicide
you give him the money you have on you
so he has saved me money
by being alive.

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