Dream, home 8:10 am
A bungalow on the East side a of a street lined with lawns that roll up from the sidewalk to porch-less fronts of 1920s vintage houses. I am to fetch something forgotten. In the back Northeast corner of the box-shaped home stands an unlit bedroom – shades drawn all lights out. A young man bolts out of the room. He swears at me as he runs out the front door. I wonder what this robber had sought and what he may have taken. Was it my mother’s room (ten years gone)? I wait a minute before following the man to the street.
Climb into an old sedan and drive through the morning light to a shopping plaza from the early 1960s. The parking lot is deep from street to the anchoring department store. At the street itself there is a line of smaller, older shops: shoe repair, pizza joint. At first I drive to the entrance of the large store, but re-think my position among the closely parked cars. I drive back to the outside of the lot and back into a slot between the restaurant and the roadside. The walk to the department store takes me between a surprising number of cars, given the early morning hour. The store is just opening.
I enter through the door to the left of the face of the building and find to my right that a pawn shop has been set-up. This is either a space rented from the main store, or a new featured department. Several beat-up guitars hang from hooks. I seek a bass and find an old Guild 4-string at the back of the stall – oversize hollow body, just like the first electric bass I ever played. Someone has removed the fret wires, but not filled-in the gaps on the ebony fretboard to make it a true fretles. I slide around on the instrument – sadly it is no better than I remember. One 6-string electric acoustic hybrid has a hand-written card taped to its face “found outside the building” yet there is a price tag for $359.00. That is one way to make money – sell stuff from the lost and found department. I turn to the main part of the store, towards mens wear and cooking pots. There is a large plastic tub on the floor with used toys for preschool kids. A little boys has fallen in love with a stuffed dachshund, his mother unsure of whether he should keep it. All of the toys look like they could use a good wash.
I leave the store, not having purchased anything or found the prowler from the bungalow. I step into an office and am enlisted to help a woman from a law firm put postage on a handful of letters. As we talk and apply stamps, various people come and go, picking-up and dropping-off documents. By the time we have stamped the letters, half of them appear to be missing. I apologize, saying that no one should be allowed to approach us while we are at work. The woman will return to the law firm and re-generate the missing letters. I return to the bungalow. Now it is evening light, and the beside table lamp is lit in the back corner bedroom. As I close the front door, a red-haired woman in her twenties runs from the bedroom. I am speechless – twice in one day. I turn to watch her run through the living room. She turns to look at me as she reaches the door. I want to ask her: “Do you live here?” but cannot get any breath out of my lungs. She appears to be equally unable to speak. She darts out into the evening. I wonder if these people are looking for prescription drugs.