Dream of: 13 October 1994 "Burned-Out Church"

find meaning in damaged beliefs

After my black-haired, Salvadoran-American wife Carolina and I had arrived in Portsmouth, Ohio, we headed to a place on Gallia Street (just east of Gay Street) where we were living in an upstairs apartment. Before reaching the apartment, however, we stopped at a little store on the corner. When we entered, I recognized a couple women working in the store and I walked over to one (about 30 years old, rather obese) and lay down next to her. The woman laid her hand on my leg, barely touching my penis on the outside of my pants. At first I didn't think she knew her hand was touching my penis, but then I realized she knew what she was doing. Finally she moved her hand and rubbed it right across my penis. Nobody but she and I saw what was going on, and she acted as if she weren't doing anything, but obviously she was.

I stood up, walked over to the second woman (probably in her mid 20s) and began talking with her. She kept moving closer and closer to me, until finally one of her breasts was right in my face. Carolina, who was standing behind the woman and watching what was going on, wanted the woman to stop, and she hollered out, "Hold on!"

Only as the woman backed away did I realize that she had been too close to me. I continued talking with the woman and I asked her if she knew anything about Beverly Hazlett (a black-haired girl with whom I experienced one of my earliest sexual encounters when I was 15 years old). I thought that Hazlett lived nearby, but the woman told me that Hazlett had apparently moved, and that she didn't know where Hazlett presently was.

 Although Carolina and I had been staying in Portsmouth, we had been away for two weeks. When I asked the woman if anything new was going on, she pointed out that two grocery stores (one on each side of the street where we were) had closed down since we had been absent. Apparently things were really changing fast around the area.

When Carolina and I finally walked out of the store, I looked toward the other side of the street at a gigantic, old, dark-brown church with large windows separated by columns. Obviously the church had been on fire - all the doors had been burned - and I could see the church's interior which had been blackened by the fire.

I recalled that this church had never been open to the public and that it had always been closed. I stopped in my tracks, walked back into the store and asked the women what had happened to the church, but no one knew anything except that the church had burned.

Looking back at the church again, I could see through one of its windows and I thought I saw people inside. When I again turned to the women and asked them about the people in the church, one woman told me that some parts of the church were now open and that people could enter and look around. Carolina and I immediately decided to walk over to the church and venture inside to see what was there.

After we crossed the street and walked through one of the church's doors, I first noticed how old and how beautiful the church was inside. Thinking that monks lived in the church, I became somewhat angry that the monks had lived in the church for so long without opening it up to the public. It had taken a fire to force the monks to open up a church which should have been opened long ago.

The walls of the church appeared to be constructed of rocks piled on top of each other. Timber was interspersed among the rocks, and some of the timber had been burned, but nothing looked as if it had been burned so badly that it couldn't be replaced. Carolina and I walked down a narrow passageway which was so damaged at one point that the roof had fallen down, so we had to lie down on our stomachs and crawl along. I was somewhat concerned the whole edifice might cave in on us.

When we were finally able to stand up again, we continued along another passageway. The whole church seemed to have filled up with garbage and dirt over the years and obviously needed to be cleaned out.

We emerged into a large room with many people milling about. It seemed as if we were up high, perhaps on the third floor. I first noticed things sitting all around, such as might be found in a flea market. It didn't appear as if anything was for sale, but as if the items had simply been piled there. I had a feeling, however, that everything was going to be sold at an auction at some point.

A barrel was filed with walking canes, some of which displayed intricately carved handles. Of particular note was one cane's carved horse's head with a purple feather emerging from the top.

A couple old typewriters were sitting on a nearby table. A fellow walked up, picked up a typewriter, and after examining it, set it back down. When the fellow walked away, Carolina and I walked over to the typewriter and I looked at it more closely. I had never seen one like it. It was all black and about 60 centimeters tall. It had a small keyboard which would slide up inside the typewriter, then slide back out again. The keyboard wasn't made of individual letters, but of a line of letters which could be tapped. I thought the typewriter was well over 100 years old. Although the second typewriter was just a typical typewriter, the one I was looking at was quite extraordinary, and I thought I would love to have it. Carolina could immediately see I wanted the typewriter, but we weren't even sure yet it was actually going to be sold.

We walked over to another area, where I saw a slender box about 60 centimeters long. I picked it up, opened it, and found some long knives inside with blades the length of the box. I thought the monks who lived in the church used the knives, but I was unsure for what - perhaps for cooking. I picked up one and swung it around over my head. Although clearly only a knife, it did seem somewhat like a sword. I laid it back down.

Carolina and I discussed the probability of an auction taking place. When I told her that I didn't want to miss the auction, she said we might miss it if we didn't find out when it was going to occur. I told her that the town was so small, we would be able to easily find out when the auction would take place. I said, "This is your home town."

What I meant was that Carolina should could call Portsmouth her "home town" since she didn't really have a home town and since we would always be returning here.

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