Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yarn and shipwrecks

My dreams last night were no doubt influenced by the fact that I had no heat in the house last night.

Yup. The heat went out, I called the rental agency, and the HVAC guy came and fixed it. The fix lasted one whole cycle. It's kind of cold here. Thank god for the miracle of cashmere plus down. (I'm convinced that cashmere is in itself the perfect winter fabric. It's soft, it's warm, it's not bulky, and it's beautiful.)

So. I had two main cold-inspired dreams. One was about an estate sale. I hadn't found all that much, but then I came across a cache of crafting/sewing/knitting supplies. SCORE. I got about 10 skeins and other units of gorgeously colored Lopi yarn, all the while internally crowing that I'd be able to send Jamie more cheaply acquired wool to fuel her winter hobby.

This dream was certainly related to a visit I took to my friend Maria's father's house on Saturday. He died some time ago (he's the only person whose ashes I have actually held in my hands. They're REALLY heavy!), and the family was clearing out the contents of his home. I ended up with some good cookware I'd been lacking (food mill, bundt pan, springform pan, angel food cake pan, a new tea kettle), some books, a puzzle, and a ball of brown Lopi much like the one I'd already sent Jamie's way.

The other dream was not as fulfilling. Wait. I just realized I had *two* more dreams!

OK, so the second dream was the woman who had a house outside the town where I used to live. I don't know why, but I went up to her house and just walked right in. I vaguely recall I was interested in the rural property and thought it was abandoned. The yard had an abandoned ski-hill that reminded me of a place down the street from my Dad's house*. There was more to the dream, not much though. I talked to the woman. She caught me in the house, and I told her that "Yeah, I just walked in. I figured it was OK." I remember feeling like I was trying to dig myself out of the hole I had created in entering without her knowing. But also I knew that she really was OK with me walking in without her knowing. It was weird.

The third dream was the scary one. It began with me walking down a beach/boardwalk and seeing a bird. I have a very specific picture of the bird in my head, because I didn't know what it was. I described its physical characteristics out loud, as I do when I need to ID a bird.

White water bird. Egret-like, with a yellow crest. Large black patch on the throat. Yellow legs. Curved heron-like bill, white.

It took off like I had flushed it, heading for the river behind the weathered wooden structure that faced the water. It seemed scared.

I kept walking, thinking briefly that I'd have to look the bird up as soon as I got my field guide. Then I noticed that there were TONS of these birds. They were all behind the plexiglass window of the barn-like, high school bleachers-esque building I had noticed before.

There were hundreds or maybe even thousands of them. They were all dead, piled up against the dulled though still transparent window.

I knew then that I was prey. So I began to hustle along the large wooden structure until I finally went inside.

(I'm feeling panicky just writing this! Seriously panicky...blech!)

The building was actually a ship. A wooden ship. Peeling paint, trapdoors and bleacher steps aside, it was clearly some kind of vessel that had been either abandoned or crashed at the beach. It had rooms that were linked to one another via wooden fence gates.

I saw my sister and her boys inside one of the rooms, and realized that I was fighting for my family. I had to not only fend off the (still unknown) predators, but also provide sustenance at the most basic level for a family of four.

So I went on reconnaissance, looking for food and drink. I went from cabin to run-down cabin, opening cupboards, refrigerators and freezers. There were many, and they were still powered, despite the abandoned state of the ship. I came across some odd possibilities, but nothing that seemed particularly promising. Mostly I found dregs of former meals. There was usually some kind of potential food or drink in each place I looked, but it was always unfit for one reason or another. The only find I specifically remember was ice cube trays full of frozen Jello shots. Thirty to forty-year old Jello shots.

Eventually, as I was trying to elude the man chasing me (who looked a HELL of a lot like Freddy from Scooby Doo), I ducked back into the room where I'd stashed my sister and the kids. They were being really good and quiet. Then I saw the motherlode of goodness, hidden from immediate sight, but seemingly endless once you saw it. Pringles in size 10 cans, pop**, bottle after bottle of liquor, granola bars, trail mix, cheese on wheat and other Lance (Warning, sound. Hilarious marketing sound!) products... I specifically remember thinking that Phew, these had to still be OK to eat, even after 40 years!

I gathered up a handful of snacks and took them to the kids. Oh there was red licorice as well.

That's where the dream ends. Saved by junk food. Maybe. It was never clear if we survived.

I don't feel very well now. I think I'm going to lie down for a bit. Reliving that dream caused much real anxiety.


*A sadder sight you've never seen. Imagine two rope-tows and a snow machine.

**That's the word that came to me just now, so that's the word I'll use. As I examined the stash, I was pleased to note that there was Diet Coke and Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, and Annie and I had a pretty calm discussion about how nice that was. Notably, there was nary a Pepsi product to be found.