I dreamt I was standing by the windows in our living room in Brooklyn. I glanced outside and it took a few seconds for it to dawn on me that it was nearly dark outside, in the middle of the day. I had never seen it like that before, not even during the worst storms. I went to the front door to look outside. When I opened the door, it pushed me back, as if there were a powerful wind, though I don’t think there was. A man was standing there, behind the locked iron grate. I didn’t see him very well. I didn’t want to see him. With all my strength, I was able to push the door closed. Upstairs, in a room more like the girls’ room at our house in the Hudson Valley, Charlotte was playing on the open futon with our visitors’ baby, a very blonde kid, with mentally defective eyes. I asked to look at the baby, and accidentally almost let her head topple over. Paul, a former close friend from Brooklyn, was in the room. They must have been visiting us. He came over to me. I wanted to avoid Paul, but it was impossible. He looked a little different, with darker hair, if that’s possible, and perhaps balding, or with a weird bald patch. He asked if I had gone to my high-school reunion, saying, “You were born in the year so many kids were born, ’61, right?” “In ’57, the year the most kids in American history were born,” I said. He said he didn’t like high-school reunions. By now, we were walking together outside, crossing a street to a park and playground. I said, “It’s so tempting to focus on the people you don’t want to see, but if instead you focus on the people you want to see, you can have a great time.” A midget or other small creature accompanied us in the park, smoking a half-cigarette. I pulled out a pack of cigarettes. The midget asked me for one, which annoyed me. “They’re nearly a dollar apiece now,” I said or thought to myself. Weirdly, the midget had shrunken to the size of an insect in the dirt by the sidewalk. With a scissor mouth, it cut the cigarette into pieces. I couldn’t understand what it was doing, but I didn’t try to either. I had decided we should leave the midget in the dust.
I dreamt I was walking with two fellow women workers in the country past a farmhouse with a small pond out front. One of the women, a crippled midget, criticized me for smoking in the room where we had watched a movie earlier. “Yeah, I’m really sorry about that,” I apologized. I added, “I hope you won’t tell anyone,” or she telepathically communicated that I didn’t need to worry, I’m not sure which. I saw a gigantic snake, very thick and at least 10 feet long, slither down through the grass into the pond. It had large white diamonds on its beige skin. I felt sure it was a poisonous water snake. Both attracted and terrified, I pointed it out to the others. The midget stepped into the water to see it better. It was only then that I was struck by her similarity to a toddler. Then she disappeared under the water. Gone. Could we save her? The other woman sort of laughed and said, “She’s gone.” I looked around for an oar or big stick, swished the water a bit, though I soon decided it was too dangerous. We went to the farmhouse, where a party was breaking up. People were coming out the front door. I asked the hostess if she knew about a snake in the pond—perhaps because I only half-believed that what had happened was real—and she said, “Oh yes, that’s the python.” “It’s killed a woman,” I said. “That can happen,” she said, adding with a laugh, “It shouldn’t have done that.” One of her guests, an intellectual-looking guy with dark curly hair in his 30s, like a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, burst in and said, “Hey, listen, I really gotta go now. Let me get outta here before the police come and ask a lot of questions. You don’t need me for that, right?” He was in a real lather.