Sunday, April 24, 2016

the other night i had this dream

I was at home with the curtains drawn watching TV, the interior of the cabin slightly different from reality but the curtains the same beige, the TV the same. There is a light rapping at the door; I have to turn down the TV to hear it clearly. I go to the door, pick up Josie who is barking wildly, open the door. Outside is a big guy. He looks like the guy in the TV show “Parenthood” who Julia almost had an affair with, and that’s what I am thinking until I realize the guy is a neighbor of mine. I recall some vague time when we met and say to him Oh, you’re so and so, etc., and let him in. He’s come to visit.

I open the curtains, turn off the TV, we sit down. The furniture is in an odd configuration, as in reality, but then everything shifts a bit and a green plush chair with tufts materializes opposite of where my neighbor has sat on the sofa so I sit in the chair. Then the room zooms out a little and it’s as if I am looking at my neighbor from a distance—how did the room get so big? It was never that big. He is still looking and acting like the guy on “Parenthood,” slightly jovial and smiling. Beyond him, in shadows, is another guy and I don’t know who this is, he’s in the background, lurking and pouting, a thin shadow, and then there is a loud noise coming from outside, a jackhammer that sounds a ways off. “Parenthood” guy and I stop talking to listen and say something like Yes, that’s a jackhammer, and it’s coming from his property, they are doing work on or around his house, and oi, the noise, he indicates, but then he’s leaving and we’re at the door—he had a dog with him that stayed outside, a black lab—and there is a large blacktop area around my two garages and I tell him how I paid the woman to just blacktop the drive but then she did all this area up around the garages which should be nice, I say, less mud to deal with and easier to shovel in the winter, but I’m thinking how I never shovel around there anyway.


My neighbor leaves but this other specterish fellow is still around, and then I am in an apartment I have just moved into. I share the apartment with X, from the food co-op in Marquette. She found it, rented it, and it has all her furniture in it and I’m just moving in now after it has all been set up. It’s very nice. Nice furniture. A lot of furniture. Dark polished wood. A lot of glass. Josie and I walk around. It’s a big enough place but there is so much furniture and glass it feels tight and narrow. Everything is bright and colorful and dark polished wood. X shows up and I tell her how nice her furniture is, how glad I am that I just let her move in first, let her set it up, because she did such a good job, and she seems pleased if not a bit smug, too, and I become uneasy, thinking perhaps I’ve gotten into a situation where my environment will be under someone else’s control.

I go into the dining room, which is dark, and flip a light switch, one of many, and there are a lot of lights, a lot of switches. I flip another switch and a set of colored spotlights on a track begin to roll along the ceiling dipping down halfway and then back up, in an arc, and as the contraption dips down it knocks an amber-colored glass off a table and it breaks, so I switch the thing off and go into the kitchen to find something to clean up the glass. All over the kitchen are small colored glasses, grouped by color, but mostly green, an array of sizes, but mostly the size of votive candle cups. The green glass is all around the sink, on the counter, the drainboard, and on a deep shelf behind the sink.

I begin to sweep up the broken glass. X walks by. I apologize for breaking the glass. A teen-age girl comes in. She is X’s daughter, which surprises me—I didn’t know she had a daughter—but we are not introduced. X disappears, the daughter goes into the kitchen, comes out, is looking for something in the dining room. She is thin, has long, straight, light brown hair. I am on my hands and knees sweeping up the broken glass when I introduce myself. I think she is going to ignore me or just grunt some kind of greeting, but she turns to me and says, “Oh, I love your work,” then leaves.

I leave the dining room, come back in. Along one wall is an elaborate shelving unit of iron and glass with attached lighting. I look closely at this shelving, marveling at it. The glass is thick and bubbly, the iron bars sturdy, the attached spotlights bright. On the glass shelves are round glass vases of red and blue and yellow. Long tendrils of variegated philodendron wind around the iron bars and along the shelves. There are people in the room, as if at a cocktail party, every one standing around, small clusters of two or three or four chatting and laughing, but the sound is muted. It is very light. I am looking at the shelving unit. Then I realize, as do others, that a window is talking. The window is at the other end of the room. It is nearly a wall of window, a large multi-pane window that is dark but sparkled with light, as if there are strings of little white holiday lights all around it and behind it. People seem pleased and surprised, perhaps enchanted, by the talking window, but while looking at the window I put my thumb up to my nose, waggle my fingers, stick out my tongue out and say bbbllllllllllltttttt. The window says nothing, or nothing that I can remember, I don’t remember hearing its voice at all, I just know it was a talking window.

The chatting and party atmosphere continue. There are glints of light everywhere—everyone is holding a glass of sparkly liquid. I turn my back to the window, but then look over my shoulder and say, “You’re a pane in the ass.” It seems a funny thing to have said so I start laughing, as does a person near me. Then I wake up.