Posted by: normanlgreen | July 8, 2012

Dream, July 8, 2012 roads, rats and roses


Dream, home, 8:30 am

Out on the Mt. Baker highway, I am stopped at an old filling station. At the pump in front of me, a pickup is filled with debris from a house demolition. A tall woman in her middle fifties stand beside the truck bed while a man fills the gas tank. She tells me that they are remodeling her house out in the woods. When she describes the project, I recognize her and remember that I have something to do with the project. The man steps up, and I recall helping him to load some salvaged kitchen cabinets. They have a half-grown dog with them. They leave, and I turn to go.

To get to my car, I have to leap from a wooden platform. Between me and the soft wet ground, is another pickup truck, the bed of which is empty of cargo and lined with textured spray-on bed liner. I know I cannot clear the truck in a leap, but figure that the owner will not object if I bounce off the center of the bed as though it were a trampoline. I leap, bounce, and recall that I have broken an ankle in a drop of this height. I slow the fall down in my mind and plant my toes in the mud, flex my ankles while bending my knees to absorb more of the shock – no pain.

Now I find myself in a parking lot that might be in Saint Albert, Alberta or Waco, Texas. The sun is low in the afternoon sky. My oldest son half-dozes in the front seat of a car parked at the loading dock of the end store of a strip mall. I tell him that I will be right back, but instead climb into another car and try to drive away. There are many pedestrian walking about on the blacktop parking lot, so I must drive around them with caution. I remember that there is not exit from this end of the lot, so make a three-point turn and drive through a crowd of young Indian men, smiling and talking with their hands. I head up the slope to another corner, where the old exit has been closed off with a steel cable strung between posts buried in the pavement. Again I make a complicated turn then remember my son. I abandon the car and walk back to him.

He waits in the driver’s seat of the running car, positioned to enter a busy street. I climb into the passenger seat and help him to time his entrance into the two-way traffic. We wait until the closest lane is clear and a purple muscle car passes in the further lane – the lane into which we hope to merge. I say “Get behind Daisy-May and the Dukes of Hazard.” He accelerates with a roar and a squeal of tires. We fishtail into the lane with inches to spare. The car in front of us has a rear grill work resembling the checkered flag of a race track. A sticker of the Stars and Bars cover much of the back window.

A bicycle lane has been marked on the right side of the road with a wide white stripe. Many young people walk along it as though it were a side-walk – school has just been dismissed for the afternoon. Many of the pedestrians are young women in school uniform. My son says that they are his friends. We try to stay out of their lane, but with so much foot traffic, they drift into our driving lane.

Two young men dart between the cars from our left and hop onto the back of our car. I move to the back seat. One of the young men reaches into the open window and pats me on the cheek. I say – these two are my friends. I turn to see them through the rear window. They are Hispanic, in their late teens, and scan the side of the road with intelligence and experience. They jump off the car as we slow for a curve. We drive further West, down the twisty road then pull off at an old residence on our side of the road.

The sun is very low in the sky and the house is in silhouette. We understand that there is a rat problem at the house. As we leave the car, we are joined by an older white woman and a very old and slim black man. Carrying a heavy metal rod, he approaches the door to the guest house of the property. He sniffs the air – “Roses” he says. He unlocks a padlock from a swinging clasp, enters the building then closes the door behind himself. To the left of the door is a window with paper pasted onto the inside of its panes. A light switches on with a yellow glow. The sun sets. We wait. I pick at some build-up in the angle of the hinged lock hasp. It might be an egg ball from some insect. Through the window, one of the light bulbs burns out, shifting the color from yellow to blue. We wait for some sound from the old man.

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