Posted by: normanlgreen | September 9, 2012

Dream, September 9, 2012 cave below the cafe


Dream, home, 4:50 am

I confide to my final friend that I am going to disappear. I will literally go underground and live secretly in a chain of caves called the Luis Caverns. The caves are known only through legend, but I believe that they have been re-discovered and partially explored by the owner of a small roadside cafe.

I come to the little restaurant just after dark. The place is nearly empty, not only of clientèle but also of the supplies needed to run a cafe. The man who operated it has died, and his wife has little reason to keep it going. The tables are bare, there is no evidence of food, the overhead lighting is harsh.

The widow is a round woman in her late sixties who shuffles across the tile floor toward me. I tell her I have come because I know about The Luis. At first she pretends not to understand, but I insist that I know all about it and that she is to give me the instructions to find the entrance.

She leaves through a door with a full length window and disappears up a flight of stairs that turn to the left. Taped to the right of the door, is a square of paper with the numeral 2, written in black marker, while on the glass of the door, in the same handwriting, is a second note. The note on the window faces into the stairwell so the writing is backwards to me. I believe it is to remind the widow not to let anyone come upstairs. She returns and hands me another square of white paper, then she shuffles off, muttering to herself.

I look to the note and see that it contains only the numeral 3, written with the same black marker. My guess is that all of these notes were written by the recently deceased cafe owner/spelunker. At my feet, two of the mottled gray tiles have been marked with the 3. The writing on the tiles is nearly faded away due to foot traffic and floor washing. A low counter runs parallel to the front of the cafe. I stoop down behind it and pick at the corner of the right tile. It lifts away. I reach under and lift the second title, revealing an opening just wide enough for me to enter. I look down and see a foul pond of sewage. I know this is to discourage and test my conviction, but I also know there is no other way to begin my new life.

I lower myself through the entrance and find a small wooden platform suspended above the nasty pond. Boxes of wooden matches have been stores on a little shelf to my right. I light one and look down to the yellow slurry below me. I drop the match into the water then reach up to the floor above and pull the two tiles into place to conceal the entrance. The material seems too thin to support the weight on anyone, but trust that they will continue to work as they had done before my arrival. Growing accustomed to the light, I see that the pond does not cover the entire floor. There is a shore to the left side of the passage, and the sewage does not look too deep. I drop down and find that it only comes to half way between my knees and hips. I wade out and onto the shore. The area to my left has overhead lighting. I step onto a tiled floor and see that a glass door has been installed parallel to the front of the restaurant that exists above. I look out the window in the door and see a steep slope of newly excavated sandy clay that leads up to the outside world. Marking stakes and streaks of spray paint indicate construction plans for a public entrance to the caves – much easier than dropping through the floor into sewage. I turn around and see a little break room has been established for a construction crew – a table in the middle of a square room, a sink and glowing coca-cola vending machine.

I walk back along the shore toward the far corner of the chamber. To my left the sandstone has been excavated or has eroded to reveal a huge iron pipe that rusts in place, staining the stone a deep brown. The pipe disappears into what would be the floor of the restaurant above. Discovery of the pipe discouraged the old man from digging any further in this place.

Next to this abandoned attempt to reach the caves, stands a solid steel door in a steel frame. I open it and look inside the narrow passage. A string of light bulbs runs near the ceiling lighting the cave for many yards. I look up and see how moisture from the house/cafe above erodes and degrades the sandstone roof of the cavern. Furniture from the room above can been seen hanging over the jagged edge of the dissolved floor. Smutty stalactites hang in the opening.

A young man, perhaps my final friend from the beginning of the dream, stands by my side. We see head lamps bobbing towards us in the cave ahead of us. It seems that more people know of this place than I had anticipated. Still, I know, if I can get far enough into the chain of caves, I will reach unexplored regions and be able to write for the rest of my life with no interruptions.

My friend advises me to light one of the smudge-pots that the old man has stashed throughout the cavern. If I stand behind the smoke screen, the others will not notice me. I see a shelf with boxes of wooden matches, like the one I found at the floor level entrance, and grab matches and a cylindrical smoke bomb. Let these intruders get out of here so I can get on with my life. I close the door so they will no see me light the smudge-pot.

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Responses

  1. fascinating site; thank you for sharing this deeply personal, yet cryptic enough, part of you.
    your mind is busy!


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