Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recurring dream.

I have a recurring dream about the neighborhood surrounding my maternal grandparents' house.  Back when the house was built in the '40s, it was an upper middle-class area that seemed to peak in the late '80s with the onset of "white flight" to the suburbs.  When too many break-ins and armed robberies happened in their neighborhood (even at their church), my grandparents sold the house they'd raised their children and grandchildren in to live in a garden home in a safer area to the east of town.

When I go home to visit, my sister and I often end up driving around the old neighborhood, sometimes parking in front of the house our grandparents helped to raise us in, the one where we had our weekly Sunday dinners with its many cream puffs, jello molds, and casseroles. It was the immaculate house that always smelled like soap and coffee and that we always knew we were free to be our full selves in.  The house was the brightest spot of my childhood.

I have dreams, like the one last night, about trying to get to the house but finding it difficult for various reasons.  Usually it's because the area surrounding the house is so derelict.  Once, the area was a third-world slum with a triage hospital down the street treating drug addicts and patients with missing limbs. 

Last night, the area was a marshy swamp of fallen trees and mud.  I was in a boat, trying to get there but finding it hard.  I pointed to an area where the local park used to be but was now just a cavernous area of muddy trees and fallen statues. 

In my dream last night, I never got to the house that nourished me as I grew up.  I never made it there.  I just woke up.

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