In our dreams…
In Our Dreams….. by the Blah, Blah, Sisterhood.
I’ve had this recurring dream for several years. Ever since I met Jenny and Anita four years ago. The dream reoccurs about once a year, and always has the same three characters, JPRazz, Anita, and myself. And the dreams have always been pleasant, kind of with a twist of drama… until this year…
We’d always be approaching this ramshackle house in the woods down by the river, which is bigger than the Arkansas was during the drought the year I arrived in Colorado. The river was always dark and murky, looking like coffee with a lot of milk in it. As we approached the house, Jenny would always caution us to go quietly, but at the same time reassure us that the house belonged to a friend of hers.
We’d enter the house through a basement door at the back of the house, wind our way through a dank and dark basement, never really having enough light to see what was there. We’d wipe at cobwebs on our faces as we progressed. We’d see shadows of things that looked like cupboards or shelves but never take the time to explore. JPR was always hurrying us up the stairs, with the promise of spending the day lolling on the river in the sunshine. We’d climb some rickety wooden stairs, sneak quickly through a kitchen that was only slightly lighter than the basement. When we’d ask JPR who lived there, she’d always say it was a friend of hers who was away. If we’d ask her if we had permission to be there, she’d never really give an answer but nod her head with her professor look that said, “Do you doubt me?”…
We’d quickly speed through the dusky kitchen, out the back door, over the short wooden porch to a connecting bridge that took us across the river, still looking like milky coffee as we walked over it, but this time the sunshine would glance off it, giving the impression that stars were buried beneath it trying to break free of the mermaids holding them. We’d race to the porch of the house where we’d spend the day. Mind you, this house was always totally locked up, but had a wonderful deck surrounding it, and this mysterious “friend” had deck chairs stacked conveniently there for our use.
This trip happened every year, and we’d have a wonderful day having “ladies” time to explore our thinking and complain about the men (or the lack of) in our lives. We’d leave refreshed and ready to face our families, but each year as we made our way back across the bridge there were challenges getting back. One year, the basement door of the house on the other side of the river was locked, (after we’d wound our way back through the kitchen, and down to the dank basement) so to get out we had to go back through the kitchen again, and climb the railing around the porch to get to the path in the woods back toward home.
Another year, the trip went smoothly until we were back in that basement trying to get out, and the door was stuck. We started to panic when we heard footsteps above us, and all three of us leaned into the door, bursting it open with our combined weight, and we RAN up that path through the woods.
This year, however, the dream was quite different, with more drama and less of a sense of a “pleasant sisterhood” afternoon. This time, instead of approaching the houses through the basement, we approached the house with the deck via a boat. As we neared the deck, the boat began to take in water bigtime! Even though we were trying to bail it out (as Jenny steered, Anita and I were bailing), it took in more water than we could push out with our hands (of course there was no bailer, as the boat was as rickety as the houses). As we drifted toward the deck, we stopped bailing figuring we’d be safe and dry in a few minutes. However, as we pulled up to the deck, a stout, short lady came out waving her hands and saying hello. It was clear that she had no idea who any of us were, not even JPR. We explained out plight with the boat, and she said that her deck was falling apart and that we couldn’t land there as our combined weights would make it collapse. So she directed us to cross the river to her neighbor’s house.
We slowly drifted the boat across the murky river, now knee deep in water, only to meet a stone faced man at the other house, who said his back porch was in extremely poor shape, and that we’d need to take the boat around the house to the bank near his basement door. He also gave no sign of recognizing any of us, even Jenny.
We banked the boat thankfully on the land near the basement door, and started up the path on which we usually arrived at that same door. Only this time the path was mixed with murk, and looking like a stream was starting and flowing into the river. It was probably because the area was now coming out of a drought, and it had rained more in one year than it had in all three of the previous years. As we started to go up the path, JPR held back, seeming to be afraid of the mud, but Anita and I charged ahead, jumping over some puddles, and getting goop on our shoes. I moved in front of Anita, and was leading the way, anxious to be away from an area where we were no longer welcome.
As I stepped into some mud, I noticed a movement between my legs near my heels, a slithery type of movement that rose until I could see it’s back… a huge light colored snake with a pattern on its back that I couldn’t quite make out yet, as most of its body was still covered with mud…. I was afraid to move ahead as the snake was moving but I couldn’t tell in what direction it was going.
I looked behind me to see if I could back up, but Anita was very close behind me, and between us was another snake that was raising its head …. And on this one I recognized the pattern and head of the poisonous copperhead….