Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Have a Dream #4: Extreme Home Makeover Edition

Three weeks into the new house, I had yet to remember a single dream until the night before last. I attribute this to sound sleep, as a result of going to bed exhausted on almost a nightly basis. But on Tuesday night, I’d had chili cheese fries at EZs, which caused me to toss and turn all night. Also, Eli decided sleep on the bed with me, but instead of sleeping on his side with his back to me, he slept with his legs toward me. He must have had chili cheese fries too, because around 3 AM, he had a dream that made his hind legs jerk and kick me repeatedly in the small of my back. Anyway, restless sleep usual correlates pretty strongly with crazy, memorable dreams for me.

As with my last memorable dream, last night’s falls into the my-recently-purchased-house-has-all-sorts-of-problems category. Again the house I had purchased was in the neighborhood in which I was raised. But instead of it being the Yocum house across the street from my parents, this house was located several blocks away on Gateway Drive. I can’t remember clearly any of the actual houses on that particular stretch of block, but for some reason, that nondescript stretch of neighborhood makes frequent appearances in my dreams.

I was moving into the house, with the help of most of my extended family (Shröats, not Müllikins). The house looked like many of the homes I looked at in Allandale and Rosedale. Specifically, fifty to sixty year-old shit-box, teardowns for which I’d basically have had to pay $250,000 for just the lot.

As I began to unload my moving van, I noticed an elderly black woman, with her own moving van, directing movers toward my house. She kept saying, “Make them drapes down to nine quarter inches, make them drapes down to nine quarter inches.” I immediately confronted her, and demanded to see her “papers” for the house. “This isn’t your house, old lady, this is my house. Why do you think it’s your house? Where are your papers, where are your papers?” She seemed confused, and I noticed that she had a large retinue of elderly black women with her. Some were morbidly obese; others were shriveled crones; many had walkers; and all had facial hair in the form of random, irregular whiskers. Despite their collective confusion, I continued to berate them and their movers, finally bullying them back into their moving van and away from my house. I don’t suffer from white, liberal guilt in slumberland.

After dispatching Pearl Bailey, I entered the house to find a host of problems. The house was a duplex, and the smaller, “rental” portion was a mess. Upon seeing it, I told my mother, “this is all kinds of fucked up.” Most of the flooring was either rotten wood or rotten linoleum with dangerously large holes. The previous tenants had left their crappy furnishings in the house and most of it was damp and sticky.

The other half of the duplex was marginally better. Most of the rooms were reminiscent of the basements in houses from my childhood neighborhood, with stucco sprayed, concrete walls and small, long windows at the very top of the walls. Of particular note was the kitchen, which was entirely pink and fuchsia. The walls were textured to resemble hardened, rosy meringue waves.
As with my last dream, this house also had some bizarre plumbing choices. In my bedroom, directly adjacent to the head my bed was a brown, metal, pedestal style drinking fountain. The fountain didn’t drain properly, and using it caused my pillows to become soaked. In short, the house was going to need a bit of work.

So compelling was the dream, that I actually fell back into it after getting up to drag Eli’s lanky ass off of my bed and onto his own. Again, I had to confront the elderly black woman who still seemed determined to have my drapes altered. My house doesn’t have, nor ever will have, drapes. But since the dream, I’ve been keeping a closer eye on my window treatments. I can’t be certain, but some of my Venetian blinds seem to be missing slats.

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