Dream of: 03 June 1998 "Town Of My Birth"
My father and I were sitting outside on a bench, talking together. I was a little surprised when he asked me to tell him what I thought of the way he had led his life. Rarely, if ever, had he sought my opinion about his life. But apparently he had overheard me say something to someone about him, and he had been impressed by the incisiveness of my comment. Now he wanted to hear more. Realizing this was a rare opportunity, I decided to go ahead and tell him what I thought.
I started out by saying that he was a man who had never found himself. His problem could probably be traced back to his youth. For some reason, he had become very religious when he had been young. When he had been barely 20 years old, he had even become a dedicated preacher. However, before he was 30, he had given up preaching, and instead, began concentrating on making money. He had never been the same after that. He had never been as happy again. Almost feeling a tear in my eye, I told him that the years when he had been preaching had been the happiest years of his life. He didn't say anything, but I sensed that he agreed with me.
As I spoke, I could tell that he was becoming troubled by what I said, as if he were worried that I was going to say that his life had been in vain. I quickly decided to point out some of the good aspects of his life. I began by saying that he had always had the capacity to jump on a job and stay with it until it was done. I specifically had in mind the cellulose insulation factory which he had built from scratch and turned into an impressive success. In that way he reminded me of Jon. I thought how Jon could work on a car, take the engine apart, and stay with the job until it was finished. My father could stay with a job that way, and I admired him for it.
I also pointed out that I admired the way he had always worked for himself. From where we were sitting, we could look across the street to a train yard and see the large locomotives passing by in front of us. I told him that he could have spent his life, as some men did, repairing those behemoth train engines. But then he would have had to have worked "for the man." By "the man" I meant rich men with money who controlled big industries, and for whom most people ended up working.
We were sitting not far from the Ohio River. From where we were, we could look up and see houses perched on the hills on the other side of the River, in West Virginia. I pointed to those large luxurious homes when I was talking about "the man," indicating that those were the kinds of homes in which rich people lived. But as I looked more closely, I realized some of the homes didn't look terribly luxurious. I wondered if everybody who lived on the hills overlooking the river was rich. I became so engrossed in looking at the homes, I finally realized I was actually moving toward them. I was sitting in a bus, apparently the only passenger, which was already traveling toward the houses.
Now I could clearly see that some of the houses on the hillside were little more than modest one-room structures. I also realized exactly where I was. I was on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, looking back at Gallipolis. As I looked more closely at the little houses on the hillside, I intensely wished I could live in one of them. The desire to live here was so intense, I actually began to feel pain, I had an extreme longing to live here, high above the river, looking out over the town where I had been born.
As we rode nearer the houses, I could hear someone hollering inside of one. The word "fuck" was repeated several times. I certainly wouldn't want to live close to somebody screaming like that all the time. But I felt sure I could find a quiet place somewhere here.
The bus continued on through the village and went a little farther. Finally it stopped to turn around, after reaching the end of its route. But I wanted to stay on the bus and ride back into the village. I would pay extra if I had to. The bus turned around and drove back into the village and stopped in front of what appeared to be a small department store. I stood up and stepped off the bus. I immediately walked into the department store, and almost as if I knew exactly where I was going, I walked over to a small room right in the middle of the store and opened the door. I stepped inside the room, which was a small bedroom. Just inside the door I had to step down three or four steps because the inside of the room was lower than the rest of the store.
Two beds with white sheets were pushed together in the small room. I immediately stretched out on them. I was so glad to be here. I thought if I could just stay in this room, I would be happy. The only drawback was that since the room was in the middle of the store, it had no windows. But I felt sure I would like to live here anyway.
As I lay on the bed, I noticed two little white bunnies in the bed with me. They were playing with each other and running in circles around me. Finally I reached out and grabbed one of them. It acted as if it were going to try to bite me, and I was a little worried that it might be able to hurt me. The other bunny also seemed as if it wanted to try to protect the one I had grabbed, and I thought it might also attack me. Finally I let the bunny go and they continued romping through the bed.
At last I stood up and walked back out into the store. I immediately noticed a woman sitting at a desk at the end of the store, and I knew she wanted to talk with me. I walked up to her desk and sat down in front of her. I recognized her as a lawyer whom I had met from somewhere. She was thin and about 40 years old. I knew she and I detested each other. She pulled out some paper which I immediately recognized. I had once ordered a set of colorful stone-ware plates from some company. However, although I had received the plates, I had never paid for them and there was a bill owing of $480. Obviously this woman was the attorney for the company. I was surprised and dismayed to see that she had the papers, and I asked, "Are you going to sue me?" I had the feeling she didn't actually intend to sue me, but she did intend to harass me. I thought maybe we could reach some kind of compromise. I figured the plates were actually only worth about $40-$50. I would be willing to pay that for them. But I didn't intend to pay the entire amount.
As soon as I could, I stood up and left the woman. Immediately I found Carolina waiting to talk with me. She was upset about the bill for the plates and wanted to pay it immediately. I tried to explain to her that I didn't think we were going to be sued, and that we should be able to work out some kind of settlement for the plates. But Carolina seemed adamant that the only thing to do now was to go ahead and pay.
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