Dream of: 21 January 2001 "New Home"

I was fixing up my new home, a few small rooms on the upper floor of an old frame house. The two principal rooms were laid out like the two rear rooms of the second floor of the Gallia County Farmhouse. Although a door already connected the two rooms, I had decided to knock another hole in the wall between the rooms and install a second connecting door. The task was difficult. I would have to accurately measure the size of the door and install the jamb correctly so I could properly close and lock the door.

I was also laying new carpet on the floors. I had already put down the padding, but I hadn't yet brought in the carpet. My progress wasn't speedy – I had already been working four days – but I wasn't in any particular haste and I wasn't particularly concerned about how long the job would take.

As I worked, different people came and went. A woman who resembled my old Dallas friend, Eloise, stopped by. She somewhat dubiously looked over the place, as if she questioned the sensibility of this move; but at the same time, she didn't seem to disapprove.

My sister (16-17 years old) also stopped by for a visit. As she stood near me, I noticed she was naked from the waist down. Sensing she was in an amorous mood, I stepped up to her, pulled her into my arms and hugged her. As our thighs pressed together, I was uncertain whether I was also naked. I enjoyed the feel of being so close to her, but I was concerned because I feared my father might show up. If I were naked, I might not have time to pull on my pants, and there would be no place to hide.

Indeed, I could now hear my father downstairs, arriving at work in his office on the first floor. He had been away for several days and had now abruptly returned. My sister and I quickly separated, and I ascertained that I was properly dressed. I could hear my father mounting the stairs, and without knocking, he pushed into the room.

He was about 40 years old, fit and strong, with black hair which hadn't yet turned gray. He was already talking as he entered, as if he had been conducting a conversation with himself which he carried over to me. He explained that he had discovered a new method of working which would dramatically increase the amount of work which a person could produce. According to him, a person was capable of far more work than normally achieved; with his method, he explained, I could have accomplished in 33 weeks all the work which I had done in the last 20 years. I immediately responded, "You'd be wrong."

I told him there was no way I could have accomplished the last 20 years of work in 33 weeks. Why, law school alone had taken three years. And I had practiced law for 10 years. I explained that in the practice of law, time was often wasted, for example sitting in court, waiting for a decision. He seemed unpersuaded by my arguments, and he pointed out that it was exactly the wasted time that his method would make use of. He looked around the room at the work I had been doing. He didn't criticize or praise my progress, but I sensed his dissatisfaction. He seemed hurried, and having put in his appearance, he turned and thumped back down the stairs.

I turned my attention back to the rooms. People continued to come and go; a girl who was particularly close to me finally arrived. She was black and only 15-16 years old. This was the first time she had been there, and as I showed her through the rooms, I perceived that she wasn't particularly impressed. She was especially taken aback by the kitchen, which hadn't yet received any attention, and which exuded a fetid odor. She couldn't seem to understand why I would want to live there.

I had difficulty explaining my affection for this place. As the girl faded into the shadows of the other people coming and going, I tried to explain the sense of freedom I felt there. The building was actually many stories high, an old frame building. Now that I thought about it more clearly, I realized my father didn't have an office on the first floor – all the other floors actually contained run-down apartments like this one. I recalled this building from somewhere in my distant past. It had been owned by an old woman who had neglected its maintenance, but who still kept the building in good enough shape to rent out rooms.

My rooms were on a corner of the second floor, and as I went to look out the front window, I could see a park on the other side of the street which I recognized as Mound Park in Portsmouth. I pointed out that at least from the window, I had somewhat of a view, something I had been lacking in my previous home.

As I looked out the window, two women (each not more than 20 years old) were standing in the park. One woman had pulled up her skirt; I strained to see whether she was wearing panties. Both women looked up at me – they didn't seem at all embarrassed. They walked across the street toward my building and headed toward the side of the building. I hurried over to the other window on the side to try to see them, and I caught a glimpse of them. The woman's skirt was once again raised up; was she raising it on purpose or was the wind blowing it up? It looked as if the women were entering the building by the side door, and I concluded they must also live somewhere in the building. They weren't beautiful, but still they interested me; maybe I would get to know them.

When I had stepped to the side window, I had noticed something which had escaped my attention before – a brick fireplace in the side of the wall, in a tiny little room on the side. I pointed out the room and the fireplace to the others in the room, thinking how pleasant the fireplace would be if it were usable. Then I noticed the fireplace had a fire in it, with blue and red flames licking up into the chimney. Obviously, the fire was from gas and not from wood; it must be used to heat this place. It seemed a bit unsafe, but nevertheless cozy. This would be a good place to sit and read a book.

This place was anything but perfect, but I thought to myself that living there, as modest as it was, was definitely a step forward from the more luxurious home I had left behind.

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