Friday, June 8, 2007

The dream starts and ends at AS's new apartment, with rooms on the ground floor and a guest room up some narrow, winding stairs. He's there with his wife and young daughter (so he's really JC). I'm excited that he's actually Kingston, close by. His wife and child sleep; I make tea for myself and another old friend (L?) who will be staying with me in the guest room. There's a mess of cups and old teabags and spoons on the narrow counter near the sink. I rinse out a small pot and use it to brew tea; I'm going to take a cup up to L. in the guest room. AS's wife gets out of bed and explains why I shouldn't make tea in that pot, but her language is garbled (as I struggle to listen, her words reel out like paint on canvas, with the "dark" parts of words coming out too thick, hence slurred), not quite English, and she's still half-asleep, so I don't pay attention but just smile and nod politely. In the middle of the dream, I leave that apt. on some mission. I have 2 backpacks to carry, one quite large, and as this is cumbersome, AS lends me an even larger backpack. I stuff my backpacks inside, noticing that there's a down coat (black and red, very large) and another smaller backpack, both belonging to AS, already inside, but I'm in such a rush that I don't bother to take them out. I go to a store (hardware store?), a depressing place caught in a time warp with hardly any merchandise and a depressed, listless proprietor. That part of the dream remains obscured. When I walk out, I immediately get lost. I'm in a run-down industrial area, near a river, no people, no traffic. One exotic old car finally passes me and I start running after it, calling for it to wait. The car stalls. I open the passenger door and the frame of the dream zooms in on the other door, where the driver is fiddling with an intricate copper gear and old-fashioned coil spring through a tiny hinged door in the door, using tiny screwdrivers, but he is too excited and frantic to answer my simple request for directions: P.... Street. Some wonderful name that escaped upon awakening--Peacock Street? Peplum Street? I start walking and end up emerging from a steep wooded hill in Hurley, on the street where I grew up. It makes no sense, and I'm horrified to be there. And there is my mother, pulling out of our driveway (in my father's old Rambler, a car she never drove). I don't have time to hide or run, but in any case, she stops and very pleasantly offers me a ride. I'm crowded in the back seat with my sister. I don't think she takes me all the way to my destination because I'm back near the old store again. Why didn't I pay attention when AS drove me here, I think, but we were too excited, madly talking to each other. I open the pack, hoping that there's something in there with AS's new address--and see that one of my backpacks and AS's pack and his coat are gone. Stolen. Somehow I get back to the apt. on P... Street. AS's daughter wakes up; she's been sleeping in a cardboard box under lots of blankets and quilts and she jumps up wearing a snowsuit. I tease her about this (she is JC's daughter and a younger version of A.). "Yes, I slept in all my clothes so I can go right to school," she says, laughing. It's not true, and her mother is trying to hurry her into changing into appropriate school clothes. This first floor of the apt. has been painted blue, walls and ceiling, a lovely, deep blue. The walls have also been treated with textured cement, so there's a grotto effect going on. One wall also has photos of the daughter embedded in the cement. I notice all these details, perhaps because I'm procrastinating about telling AS about the robbery; I have that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach--guilt, I guess, about having allowed such a stupid thing to happen. And he looks stricken when I tell him--his backpack had a bunch of his writing in it. Neither of us mention the down coat, but it's clear that he was delighted to find it in his mother's attic since he hadn't owned a coat in Mexico City and it is going to be a very cold winter and he really can't afford another. I almost say, "If I had the money, I'd buy you a new coat tomorrow," but bite my tongue. More people are in the room then, asking where the robbery might have occurred. I did put the pack down while I was in the hardware store, though I didn't notice anyone else there. Some people think there's a chance I could find the stolen packs again; all I have to do is hang out at the mall and watch people going through check-out. This makes no sense to me. Suddenly, Ted comes into the room, the light behind him making his hair look blonde. He takes my hand, pulls me to my feet, and envelops me in a hug. "Don't worry...everything's going to be alright," he assures me, very serious, and then leaves.

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