Dream of: 08 January 1996 "Treehouse"

My good Dallas friend Eloise, two other men and I were seated at a card table and playing poker in the backyard of a large home where Eloise lived. As each player took turns dealing, I was surprised that each person dealt whatever kind of game of poker he or she wished, and that we didn't confine our playing to straight five card draw poker. I contemplated that when the deal came to me, I would simply deal five card draw. But when I saw Eloise also choose something besides five card draw to deal, I thought I might likewise deal something else. Perhaps I would choose a seven card hand. But then in a flash I knew what I would deal: five card stud. I seemed to recall that five card stud was the granddaddy of all poker games, and I thought by dealing it, I would show that I was truly a connoisseur of the game.

I had bad luck at first, losing the first hands. I bet heavily on a hand where I had two pairs – kings and queens. But someone else had two pair with a pair of aces. I watched ruefully as the pot was raked in. But finally I had good luck and won the biggest pot yet. As I bent over the table to put both my arms around the pot and pull it in, I saw I wasn't going to have enough room on my side of the table to hold all the chips. Some chips were even falling off on to the ground, and only when I picked them up did I realize they weren't chips at all; they were pieces of puzzles.

I knew Eloise was supplying all the supplies for the poker game, and I was surprised to see she had given us puzzle pieces to use instead of poker chips. Clearly we were using the pieces to many different puzzles and I could just imagine how difficult it would be to sort out the pieces and put all the puzzles back together. I seemed to recall that Eloise was an aficionado of puzzles, and looking around, I saw she had some more puzzles which had already been put together and were lying nearby. In fact, Eloise had even picked up one puzzle and was now looking at it. The puzzle was so sturdy it didn't fall apart even when it was held in the air, but I did note that it had a few pieces missing. I thought perhaps the pieces were already mixed in with the rest of the loose pieces on the table.

I had the feeling Eloise was going to tear the puzzle in her hand apart and likewise use the pieces of it in the poker game. I suggested it would be better to leave the puzzle together and to use poker chips instead. I thought Eloise might have some chips in her house.

Eloise seemed to hesitate, as if considering what I had said, and we both looked over at her house, which was quite a sight. Since the area we were in was so tenebrous, apparently due to the many trees around us, I couldn't clearly see the house. The house seemed real, but it also seemed like somewhat of a vision. As well as I could tell, the house was inside a gigantic tree which had grown around the house and which was part of the house. The base of the house wasn't exactly on the ground, but farther up on the trunk of the tree. Large brown branches came out the sides of the house in a phantasmagoric entanglement. The house appeared to be twisted and unleveled from the outside, but I had the feeling it was level and secure within. I could even somewhat visualize the living room: a sparsely furnished room, rough wood for walls, with a bright well-finished hard wood floor.

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