Dream of: 01 June 1995 "Fixing Holes"

As I was walking close to downtown Portsmouth, I remembered a second-hand book store nearby where I used to buy comic books and Mad magazines when I had been in high school. I even remembered the last time I had been in the store I had seen a large stack of Mad magazines which I would have liked to have bought; but the old woman who ran the store wouldn't lower her price, and I hadn't bought them. I thought I would now like to return to the store. If the Mad magazines were still there, this time I would buy them. As I walked in the direction of the store, however, I suddenly remembered that the store was no longer there, that in fact it had been torn down many years ago.

***

My father and I were walking along Chillicothe Street, the main street in Portsmouth, headed north, with the U.S. Grant Bridge and the Ohio River behind us. I immediately noticed a major change: the entire street had been blocked off so there were no cars. Instead, throngs of people were in the street. I noticed Babcock (a former high school classmate) pass by. He looked as if he were in his mid 20s. Although I hadn't seen him in many years, I didn't say anything to him. I also saw another fellow whom I thought I recognized.

Almost all the young people in the street were wearing roller blades. They all seemed quite adept at using the blades, and it occurred to me that I had previously heard that Portsmouth had become renowned for the skill of young people who used roller blades, mainly because of the liberal policy of blocking off the downtown area and letting people roller blade there. I was pleased to see Portsmouth finally doing something right. It occurred to me that the west end of Dallas would be much nicer if it were blocked off and people were allowed to roller skate like this.

***

I was in the upstairs of the Gay Street House. My father had rented out part of the House and retained the rest to live in. I was in the upstairs living room, looking around. I poked my head into the closet and noticed a cardboard box on the floor with some junk in it. In the box I saw an old Time magazine which had a picture of Richard Nixon on it. I thought I would pull the magazine out to make sure it wasn't thrown away.

Several other cardboard boxes of old papers were also in the closet. I recognized the boxes as having come from the Gallia County Farmhouse. I had been up at the Farmhouse a few weeks previously and had worked on cleaning out a lot junk which had been stored in the upstairs. Among the things we had cleaned out had been several boxes of old papers which my father had said he wanted to keep. Now I knew what he had done with them.

I turned away from the living room and headed toward the upstairs bathroom. Carolina was in the small room beside the bathroom, talking with a blond-haired fellow (probably in his late 20s). It vaguely seemed as if I had hired the fellow to work for me. He seemed a bit like Fowler. He had brought some things with him to the House, including a large bunch of red artificial flowers which he had set down on the floor. He also had a couple oversized magazines, one of which looked like a Newsweek, except it only contained comics inside instead of news stories. I thought Carolina would like that. The fellow was talking with Carolina when I walked into the room, but he stopped when he saw me, as if he were waiting for me to tell him what to do.

From the small room I looked into the bathroom, which  I immediately saw was in rather poor condition. The large old bathtub wasn't there any more. The plaster was coming off the wall in places and the wainscoting along the bottom had holes in it. Two old wall clocks had been placed by my father over a couple holes at the top of the wainscoting. The clocks were the kind which had many pieces of wood about 30 centimeters long emanating out from the center like sun rays. The clocks looked out of place because they were so close to the floor.

I thought I might be able to fix some of the holes in the walls. At least the area where my father was living should be kept in shape. I might give him a hand to help fix things a little.

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