Dream 20030109, 7:15 AM:
I’m looking for a friend of mine. I know that I am in the right general area, but the houses where he lives seem to have changed – like they’ve been remodeled and repainted. The area where I’m searching for him is a bunch of old-style duplexes; they remind me of the Shotgun House at OCP, around the turn of the century. They are painted with strong colors, I particularly remember the greenish ochers and a blue one – they seem freshly painted, but in old colors. The houses are old-fashioned, with screen doors and simple cut-out decorations on the eaves. Most of them seem to be duplexes, sharing a large common porch, with separate entry doors.
The friend that I am looking for is someone I haven’t seen in a long time, and I miss him horribly. It’s kind of a pleasant, nostalgic feeling, though – like missing him but at the same time having fond memories of time we spent together. The image in my head is of an average past-middle-age-but-not-old black man; he is thin but not very, and average height. He reminds me of an actor, but I don’t recall the actor’s name. I see a black man inside one of the houses, and am momentarily hopeful that it will be him, but it’s a much younger man. I knock on several doors, and nobody knows who I am talking about. I can’t remember his name, and keep asking for Rob, or Bob, or somebody like that – but I know it’s not the right name. I have a key in my hand that he had given me a long time ago, and I try it on one of the doors – it opens, and I peek inside, but there are people in there, and I just apologize and back out and shut the door. I am momentarily disappointed, thinking that maybe he’s moved, but I try it on another door, and it opens too. I realize that I’ve got a master key of some sort; I think that maybe he’s given me a landlord’s key. I look into a couple of empty houses, their occupants gone to work or some place, and don’t see any evidence of my friend. I sit down on the porch of the ochre colored duplex, disheartened.
As I’m sitting there, a young, artistic-looking Oriental woman comes out of the door. She is kind of solidly built but not fat, and has her hair pulled back in a ponytail that looks more sensible than stylish. She has a key ring in her hand with a scrap of my tablet weaving – it’s the red black and white trim that I wove to put on one of my first Renaissance shirts, ten years or so ago. I jump up, and say, “Where did you get that?” because I know that I had given it to my friend. But she doesn’t get a chance to answer, because right behind her, walking out the door, is my friend. He is wearing a tweed jacket and a little old-fashioned hat, and I jump up and grab him and hug him tightly. He embraces me back, and we just look at one another for a minute. I ask how he’s been, and tell him that I’ve missed him. They are on their way out the door, and can’t wait, so I tell him I want to get back in touch. She goes back into the house and picks up a heavy wooden easel from a stack of easels in one of the rooms, and brings it out with her. They ask me if I want to come along, she is going to some kind of painting class, but I say that I can’t right now, there’s not enough time. They walk off down the street. She turns as she is walking off, and says something about how she “gets all tight in the a ss from wearing jeans and boots.” I chuckle, noticing that she’s wearing a short skirt and clogs now. I tell my friend that I’ll leave a card so he’ll be able to get in touch with me, and I fish through my wallet and find an Oaken King card so I can put it in the house.
I open up the door and go inside, and I put the card down somewhere. I am looking for something with my friend’s name on it – for some reason I can’t remember it, and it’s frustrating me – I look through a couple of rooms. There is nothing in the kitchen that has his name on it; there are a couple of post-it notes in a neat round handwriting, but they are all lists for groceries and such. I look into a neat studio room, with a drawing board with a chair in front of it, and a couple of stacks of plastic drawers. I note to myself that it’s a lot neater than mine, and Chris would like it. I step into another bedroom, which is full of shelves of books; it reminds me of Richard’s new place, with posters on the walls and no obvious light from the windows. I see text on a couple of the posters, but nothing that jogs my memory.
Finally, I see a drawing board with the name “Carl” written directly on it in what appears to be a paint pen marker. That clicks, and I remember that’s his name.
I turn to go, but a very tall, somewhat mannish woman with very blond long hair comes in through the front door. She is looking for Carl and his friend. She is sobbing, and keeps calling out a short name that I can’t remember, and looking around the corners of the house and the porch – she is looking for her cat. There are several cats on the porch, but it’s apparently not one of them. I start asking her what kind of cat it is, and she tells me that it’s a “Lulu” – which doesn’t make sense to me, but she says it like it’s a breed name. I ask her what the mask is – what its face looks like. She starts to tell me that it’s got a cute shiny bald spot, and some other facial feature that I don’t remember. She holds out her hand to shake hands, but tucks back her ring finger; her fingers are long and thin and feel kind of clammy in my hand. It feels weird, shaking her hand with the finger tucked back.
It’s obvious that the cat isn’t in the house, and I feel like we need to go. I move us onto the porch and lock the screen door behind us, but I realize after I lock the door that I’ve left the water running in the kitchen sink. I don’t remember if I washed my hands, or got a drink, or what. I look through the screen, and reach out with my fingers as if pushing the sink handle down, and reach out with my mind and do it at a distance. I turn to the girl, wink and grin, and say smugly, “Dream Powers.” I realize – “which means I’m dreaming! And before the dream ends… where’s your house?” She starts to explain, but the alarm goes off.