23 September 2007


I dream vividly right before waking, but the sound of the weatherman's voice always cuts my dreams short at 6:00 AM. The details come back to me in the shower, the place I go to immediately after getting out of bed. Maybe it's the therapeutic, steamy droplets of water upon the back of my head that induce memories of my dream. But once I get out of the shower into the madness of coffeemaking, dressing, lunchpacking, toothbrushing, and buscatching, the details of the dream elude me. This morning, I promised myself I would remember as much of it as possible and record it once I got the computer.

As I clicked on "post a new blog entry," I sadly discovered I couldn't remember any of it. But all I needed was one image to remember. And then it came to me. The bicycle.

In the dream, I was going to take my bicycle on a long, unfamiliar ride. Perhaps from my house to work. But I ended up starting the ride in my old work neighborhood - in the park behind where the violin shop used to be. I started on the bike, but then, it was no longer a bicycle. I was invisibly hovering over a tiny pair of grooming scissors, and the only way to propel myself forward was to keep snipping. Snip, snip, snip.

For whatever the reason, I needed to cut through a private property. I hovered past a garden covered in a sheath made of dryer fabric softener sheet material. I had to keep snipping, though, so I cut through the sheath, tearing through the material that protected this garden. I kept going until I hit a green, wrought iron fence. At that point, I could no longer snip. I appeared physically in the dream, and I needed to get over the fence.

As I hopped over the fence, I had some trouble hoisting myself up, and I could not do it quickly enough. A cop car drove by and automatically suspected me as a trespasser. He asked me if I was trying to break in. I tried to explain, as logically as I could, that I was trying to get out, and that I was trying to ride my bike and had accidentally cut through this garden.

He did not regard me as entirely innocent, but perhaps my story was bizarre enough that he did not handcuff me. He took me inside the house where I once again tried to explain my story. He seemed somewhat sympathetic, but still uwilling to let me go free. He pulled out a piece of stationery from his pocket. It was a dull yellow with little brown decorative swirls or flowers. Maybe the kind of stationery I would have owned as a little girl in the 1970s. He asked me to write a note of apology to the owner of the house.

As I began writing, I found myself completely absorbed in the notewriting, suddenly inspired to write a masterpiece of an apology. I think I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I wanted to prove the cop wrong. I wanted to prove the homeowner wrong.

It took so long to write, that the homeowner came by. She was a middle-aged woman, upper middle-class, and I think at at first she was surprised to see a stranger and a cop in her house. The cop explained what I was doing, and she seemed comfortable with letting me stay to finish my note. I talked to her, too, and the more I talked to her, the more she found me somewhat amusing. Now the cop felt on the outside of the loop. He kept trying to talk to me authoritatively, and he stole glances at the woman to see if she was empathizing with him or with me. She was empathizing with me. He left the house.

The woman and I talked and talked, even as her family members came home, and she went about making dinner and doing chores. I kept trying to finish my note, and I kept running out of paper. And the paper I'd already written on kept getting thinner, and smaller, wearing away to fragile, brittle leaves.

Toward the end of the dream, I was helping out on the woman's farm that was behind the garden I'd cut through. She explained to me that they were a farming family, and they believed in hard work. Apparently, in order to pay for my garden-cutting crime, I was now in some type of indentured servitude. But I was not working alone. I was working side by side with the woman and her family. Then it began snowing. The snow was thick and dense. The children referred to it as popcorn.

Then the alarm clock went off.


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