Dream: The Hinged Skull

Dream 20021007, 10:00 AM:

This is the tail end of a longer dream; there was some tie-in of some of the strange threads.

I’m walking around a grassy area near some buildings; it seems like a yard, but it’s not in front of any of the buildings in particular. I see a white thing on the ground, and pick it up. It is about three inches long and not quite as wide, and looks like a white walnut shell. It is hinged at one end like a clam shell, and I open it up, trying to decide what it is. I feel like it’s an animal skull of some sort, but it has no eye sockets or teeth. Next to where it was, I see a large hole in the ground, and look in; there are what appear to be white armadillo scales all over the sides, and a sense that the ground is crawling. There is another skull-shape down in there, too. I look closer, and realize that the ground on the inside of the soil is moving because it’s crawling with ants, and I decide that I don’t want to try reaching into it to get anything out.

I carry the white skull-thing to another place; I show it to some friend of mine at a house. I am explaining where I found it, and looking at it, it becomes much more like a normal skull, although it still seems to hinge open at half its height, as if the jaw is almost as big as the rest of the skull. It gets teeth at the front, and eye sockets. I don’t notice it changing at all, just seems that I’m figuring it out. Whoever I’m telling about it, starts telling me about a person who lived here a long time ago, and they found out that he had keys and blue jeans long before they were available in this area; he must have been a traveller or something. I think he had been wanted by the law for something, or at least that’s the impression that I get from the conversation.

Then, I’m standing in front of a tiny house that seems like it was built by pioneers. It isn’t a log structure, but is just one stage from it, with rough-hewn wood siding and wood shake shingles. I’m watching as a young black man is writing names on a piece of paper; these are apparently the former white owners of this house. He writes one name after another, and crosses each out after he writes it, shouting each aloud. He seems very agitated and angry. He runs out of paper, and continues writing on the side of the house. He is really getting worked up, and starts giving a little diatribe after each name, telling how they unjustly held this land, etc. A big heavy-set but sweet-looking black woman in a pastel skirt and blouse with a head-rag on comes up, and taps him on the shoulder, then *bam* punches him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. She turns around and looks at everyone, smiling sweetly, and tells us we can come in now, he’s done. We all laugh, because she surprised everyone with the punch.

Inside, we’re having a dinner, seated around a big table. There are probably a dozen or so of us. We are talking about the house, and apparently now it belongs to the people who own the house next door; they are our hosts. They’ve acquired it today by some kind of legal action. We start talking about various things that the house has, and some of the work it needs. Someone says that they want to not have the old paper filter drains for the floors; they apparently allow sewage to come up and make a bad smell. There is a child here, who asks what a paper filter is, and the person talking about it laughs, and says that she won’t need to worry about it, they don’t make them any more.

Someone speaks up and asks for another round of dessert or some food thing; a couple of kids run off to get it. One woman says that we ought to arrange for service at these gatherings, or raise some young folk who can take care of it. I nod in the direction of the kids who have just run off, and say, “Haven’t we done that?” and everyone chuckles. The whole dinner has a friendly, warm feel to it, like we are all old friends.

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