Woke too early, 4:30 am. Took a couple of Ibuprofen for achy hands. It helps me sleep, whether in pain or not. Awake again at 6:40, late for me; the sun usually gets me up as morning light comes in the east bedroom window. That would have been some minutes before six. What woke me up later? No noise. No bathroom call. Just a scene from the technicolor movie playing in my REM sleep.
I should start from the beginning. An old house, from more than six or seven decades ago. Much larger than the one we live in now, the one built high atop a hill eleven years ago. A recurring theme in my only occasionally recalled dreams—a house different than our dream house. Hah, ironic that—our dream house. That home was more thoughtful; analytically conceived on a desktop computer app.
No, this one was neither one we could have wished for nor a nightmare. Just odd. I found myself in a room with a pocket door—much like what we do have in our real dream home. But it also had a sliding curtain that covered the door frame from within. Heavy fabric, a dark and dreary deep red. A man sat on a gaudy sofa, adjusting a lamp, better to read with, he said, apologizing for the redirection.
A stranger came through the open pocket door, pushing the curtain aside. He matched a tall statue or image on the wall across the room. Maybe fifty years old, graying, bearded and wearing coveralls. Said he needed to get on the train for work. He opened a gate to an elevator of sorts. But the elevator seemed to be a part of a tiny train. He boarded and it descended ten feet to a track, where it moved off with him and a few other passengers that were already inside. A small, aging car of drab steel, apparently more a pod sort of compartment rather than a part of an inner-city or suburban rail system.
Another guy walked in, unannounced, taking measurements and photos. Who are you I asked. He replied he was there preparing for the listing. Quite a steal he said, buyers were ready to make this their own. Not for sale, I said. How did you get in, I asked. Well, the door was open, he replied.
Then came a steady stream of people, not all together. But all for the same purpose—looking at the house that they thought had come on the market. Soon enough, another agent followed, with questions about the house. I explained we had lived there ten years and had no intention of selling. Which made no sense, since it really wasn’t our current one to look at it.
Finally, a black and white squad car with red lights flashing atop the roof arrived out front. Not sensible either, since our local authorities didn’t drive such vehicles. They let two dogs out of the vehicle, who ran as if to come inside. Oh no, I thought, they’ll get engaged with my dog Max and trouble will ensue! Six-forty and I woke up, with the memories of this strange dream. Which, of course, is the only way dream details are recalled—waking from them.
© John Maberry