Most of what I can remember of my dreams are usually surreal fragments, bits and pieces of some hypnogogic landscape where nothing makes any real sense and ghost-like others appear, make a cryptic remark or two and disappear. The landscapes are vaguely familiar – familiar enough so that I know that I have been there before but cannot quite put my finger on why I am to be there now. Those dreams usually flash through my mind in a subliminal fashion and vanish into the fog of awakening never to be found again, leaving me feeling strangely unfulfilled for not being able to remember them in their entirety.
This one was different. This one was for the most part grounded in absolute reality. The timeline was correct as was the setting for the dream. This one I can remember completely.
It was the house at the Beach in the old Cove neighborhood. She was getting items ready for some sort of garage sale. She had placed a circular clothing rack – the type that you see in TJ Maxx or Marshall’s that display the mark down items – on the driveway just in front of the garage door. Hanging on the rack among the other sale items were my baseball hoodie and my old Chief Petty Officer blouse, the one with the gold hashmarks.
‘She must have made a mistake’, I thought, and brought the two items back into the house.
I showed her the hoodie and blouse. “You made a mistake,” I said. “We’re not selling these.”
She said nothing in response and just gave me the look that she had been so fond of sharing with me of late.
“How much do you want for your jacket on the rack?” I asked.
She looked at me: “Ten dollars, no excuses.”
“You mean no exceptions,” I corrected.
She gave me that look again.
I walked outside and noticed that there were three packages by the front doorstep. I knew that we hadn’t been anywhere recently and was slightly irritated that the UPS guy didn’t make an effort to get them to me. I looked at the label and saw that they were addressed to someone that lived in the beach town fifteen miles away.
“UPS is usually better than this,” I said aloud, wondering how I was going to get the parcels to their rightful owners.
I started to walk into the garage to tell her about the packages when I noticed a man approaching me. the man was dressed in a dark suit and tie and looked very uncomfortable in the suit. He was a working guy and was wearing the suit for this encounter only.
“I’m from the laundry” he said, “and I understand that you and she have had a baby so I wanted to come and tell you about our laundry service.”
The man in the suit had an odd, strained smile on his face.
“You have the wrong address,” I replied. “I used to own and operate a dry cleaning plant, did all the spotting and ran the machines, bagged and put the orders on the conveyor, all that. Had to hire pressers, though. I couldn’t press.”
The man seemed uninterested in my reply.
I looked down the street toward the light green house diagonally across from the street’s intersection. A man was walking up the drive toward the front door. I waved to the man and he responded with a desultory flick of his hand.
I walked into the house to tell her about the man at the green house.
“I thought that it was Clarence but it wasn’t. It was Jimmy, you know the light-skinned kid with the bright blue eyes. The one that slashed our tires that time.”
She said nothing in response and just gave me that damned look again.
I sat up and looked at the clock. the time was a quarter to eight.
“I better let the dog out” I said aloud to no one.
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