“You will be held accountable for what you do in your dreams,” says Pope Mohammed, his index finger is grappling the handle of a blue coffee cup that reads “Man of Steel” on one side. The other side features the SuperMan emblem. On his lap, there’s a newspaper open to the funnies section.
You’re browsing the Internet on your iPad. You look up. “What’s that, Pope Mohammed?”
Pope Mohammed looks up, gives you eye contact, and says, “You will be held accountable for what you do in your dreams.”
“Is that the punchline to ‘The Wizard of Id?” You ask.
“No. If you dream that you killed someone, Gollah will punish you in the afterlife.” Pope Mohammed is not kidding.
You scrunch your eyebrows. “Wha? How’s that? How can I be punished for what I can’t control?”
“Gollah knows your intent,” Pope Mohammed says quickly.
There’s a pause. The clock on the wall tocks a few times. Pope Mohammed says, “If you have sex with someone other than your wife in your dreams, Gollah will punish you in the afterlife.” Pope Mohammed runs his fingers over the thought cloud of a frame in “Peanuts” comic as if it’s braille. He smiles. He doesn’t look up.
“I’m not married,” you say.
Pope Mohammed looks up. He takes a sip of his light brown, cup of coffee. “You plan on getting married someday, right?”
You say, “Probably.”
“Having sex in your dreams with someone whom you are not married … that’s committing adultery with someone else’s wife.”
“What if I marry her … only at a later date?”
Pope Mohammed raises his cup. The “Man of Steel” side is facing you. He says, “Are you currently married to this woman?”
Pope Mohammed slurps a gulp of coffee. A droplet falls from the corner of his mouth onto his white shirt. He wipes it with his palm just below his thumb. Without giving you eye contact he says, “Then you committed adultery.”