Posted by: normanlgreen | December 30, 2012

Dream, December 30, 2012 Dangerous Mountain Retreat


Dream, home, 5:30am

On a mountain trail leading downward, a group of us are in a hurry to reach a remote retreat of half a dozen bungalows. To negotiate the trail and make good time, we grasp axles with inflated rubber tires of 8 inch diameter. Leaning onto the axle, I skate down the trail at high-speed without losing control. I think: four wheels are much more stable than two – I wonder why people mountain bike, when this is an option. The trail is wide and open. There are no trees at this elevation. I roll over the gray granite with smooth ridges and moss filled cracks, textured like a human brain turned to stone and left in the weather. My face fairly skims it surface.

We round a last corner of the trail to see a widened valley with trees and shrubs and tended wild-grasses, landscaped around the expensive houses that make up this mountain retreat. We stand upright, abandoning our wheels, and walk toward the nearest bungalow at the top of the valley. Each of the separate structures is angled slightly off of the other, using the natural shape of the land to determine the location of each stair-step foundation.

I slide open a door made of glass and redwood and enter the little house. It is unoccupied and lit only by sunlight coming through the many windows that face the centerline of the valley. The interior is open from end to end, but with different room sizes opening onto each other, with the highest room at South end raised a half-foot above the others to reflect the shape of the valley floor. The architecture feels both Asian and Northern European. The walls are white with wide unpainted wood trim showing long straight grain. We leave through a door at the low end of the bungalow and walk the short path to the next house. We discuss the community and how it has been developed by the French actor and holocaust survivor, Robert Clary.

Again we enter through the side door to a house very much like the first one, only in this case the top-most room has a hot tub sunk into its floor. One woman in our group suggest that we go for a soak. I recommended asking the owner before taking such a liberty.

I turn to the main part of the bungalow and spot a sleeping figure in front of an unlit stone fireplace. The man sleeps on a futon mattress laid upon the floor. He has dark short hair, and at first I believe that this is Clary. Stepping closer, I see that he is too young, perhaps the actor’s grandson. The man stirs and pushes himself up onto his elbows. He reaches behind him to a tape recorder that has been running while he slept – a security measure to protect his infant son who sleeps nearby. He switches off the machine before offering us a bewildered smile – surprised but not offended to find visitors in his retreat. I think of him listening to the tape recording, slightly ashamed of the young lady’s suggestion that we climb into his hot tub without permission, and glad that he will hear me suggest otherwise.

I hear a buzz and turn to see the lit numbers of my alarm clock (5:30). I switch it off then turn back into the room. Someone asks if that was the alarm. I confirm that it was, then address our surprised host. We have been sent to warn the community that it will shortly come under attack.

At this moment, a man in a long coat, armed with a long-barrel hand gun steps in through the sliding door. I throw myself to the floor as a bullet slams into the counter that stands to the far side of me.

On the floor, I find a chip of the wood along with the flattened lead slug. I reach up to finger the splintered edge of the woodwork.

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