In the fragments of my dream-state, I saw a past I didn't wish to uncover.
My old home-street.
It was the summer of a childhood memory, and the air was temperate-- like lukewarm water, suspended and perfect, almost vacuous-- without breeze or gust, as if strung up in some test-tube of a world.
The suburban houses lined the path, it felt the dawning age of autumn-- that though the trees were green, I could feel them ready to release themselves. to fall and die-- but not yet.
In the front lawns of these houses, exotic vehicles-- Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis-- an Italian road show strange and deeply uncouth.
With bright fantastic colors of cherry red and enamel white and neon green and twilight blue and midday yellow and magenta-- they portrayed as monuments, movable statues, and like a hometown get-together the families of the houses stood next to them, proud...waiting. For something.
I walked past, the spectral calls of my childhood friends and neighbors following and whispering inaudibly behind me-- a muffled shadow of voice that I yearned to understand, but could not. They laughed and spoke of illusory things, and within their voices dictated golden, pleasant memory, and a creeping sense of melancholy.
I could see my house at the end of the street. As we walked, it was as if a million summers came and went-- fathers pruned their oak trees, waxed their automobiles, pantomimed cooking and eating and drinking and mirth-- while the sunless sky glowed soft and infantile, a cloudless blanket.
Deep in my consciousness, I felt dread to return home. There was something off-- and as the dream world strips you of your familiarity, of your defenses and rationale, the raw beating flesh of fear spasms.
We reached the house, the procession of childhood friends all but dissipated. The old oak tree in the front lawn had been removed, the soft scent of lavender replaced with the vibrant colors of red rose and lanky yellow tulips that stood in piqued attention, long leaves of perfect green-- a new garden for a new soul.
An unfamiliar girl/woman-- perhaps the new owner of my lost home-- opened the garage, guided me inside.
Inside there was a McClaren, grey and yellow and unbelievably beautiful-- but dark and covered in dust. The garage was always dusty. How interesting that she would leave her prize hidden from the festivities...
She opened the door, in I walked.
In dreams often what we understand of geography and place shifts radically-- so that we may encounter a more unfamiliar world, to recognize it as distinct from waking memory. Perhaps so that we do not get lost-- to give us a way out, a logical incongruity to feed ourselves-- to convince ourselves that this world is imaginary, that it is irrational and inexplicable.
Yet when I entered my home, it was as if I had never left. The television cabinet, the floral couches, the wrought-iron fence through the kitchen door-- all of a sudden I was home again. For all the times I wondered, imagined the new family that took my childhood home--it was okay. It was safe. it was respected.
In the living room, the new family was unpacking posters. Old cartoons and comic characters next to the Christmas fireplace. Upstairs I heard muffled conversation-- bouncing off the vaulted front atrium to my ears, they were in the rumpus room-- the room I had so often called my own-- where I lost myself in books and games and puzzles and dreams. I wanted desperately to see it, yet I felt a slight unease-- I did not wish to push further than I would be let.
The woman guided me to the family room table, where we would so often have our family dinners-- and I would hide myself underneath the legs of unknown relatives, playing with the dog or tracing my finger along the exposed, unfinished wood of the underbelly-- and these memories flooded my dream-- a daydream within a dream-- calling with it a deluge of melancholic nostalgia-- a sort of hypnogogic recollection.
I could feel the stinging ache of these memories. I could hear myself weeping against the chair leg, looking out the french doors into the garden full of roses and grass and lilies and tulips-- familiar yet alien, alive and dead, lost and found. The ache was painful, yet when I suddenly awoke I found myself overcome with a sort of exhausted pleasure-- the kind of feeling one gets after crying for a long time, crying into the end of one's breath-- at the end of a long period of pain, or a resolutive tantrum.
I'm still thinking about this dream, and the one of the night before. Long has it been since I have had such vivid hallucinations, as with indiscriminate drink and smoke managed to mostly eliminate them from my life. It is both disturbing and satisfying to see them once again-- to perhaps withdraw meaning from them once more.