Everyone loved my chicken. Strangers approached me, commenting. One woman stopped me on a sidewalk filled with passersby. “Did you paint that chicken yourself?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“I love the color. So beautiful!”
“It’s red,” I told her.
The chicken—a real one—was secured to my coat at the shoulder. The chicken was dead. More precisely, the chicken had been cleaned and plucked. I had meticulously painted the naked bird with bright red paint and then fixed the bird to the left shoulder of my coat.
Just as I reached up to adjust the chicken before entering a theater, I came awake in my bed.
Only a crazy dream.
Consider this: The lock-stitch sewing machine was inspired by a dream experienced by Elias Howe in 1845. In his dream, Howe was captured by cannibals. He dreamed they were stabbing him with spears that had holes in the tips. From that dream came the sewing machine and all of our clothing.
And this: Albert Einstein conceived the theory of relativity after a dream about cows bumping into an electric fence. In the dream, Einstein witnessed the cows jumping back from one angle, while the farmer who switched on the fence witnessed from another. From that dream came the idea that things appear differently to observers—depending on where they are standing and how long it takes light to reach them.
Perhaps there is greatness in my future. I simply need to think more about the red chicken on my shoulder.