What Parade?

These things are not smooth when you ride in them... just sayin.

I had a dream this morning that I don’t really see a way to turn into a real story of its own, but I don’t want to let it go either. It seems like fun to share it for it’s connection to my other dreams and to the stories I’ve written from them, so here’s a “sort of” story, like the ones I started with back in October…

I was riding around in the passenger seat of an old, boxy, root beer brown pickup truck. It jerked and rattled with every bump in the road and the single seat was hard and uncomfortable. I wasn’t wearing a seat belt and I was turned sideways with one hand on the dash and one leg up on the seat, talking incessantly to the driver.

I was pretty young, but old enough to have an attitude, maybe about sixteen. The driver reminds me of Clint Eastwood, but younger and fatter, probably because I saw Rango the other day, I don’t know. I’d been complaining about something over and over, and it was starting to make him mad. It was hot outside and the windows were open, but I could still hear him grumbling to himself about my bitching.

“She wants to see a parade, I’ll show her a damn parade.” he grumbled.

The next part doesn’t make any sense because two different things kind of happen simultaneously. Electricity started sparking in the sky in the shape of a perfect circle, like some kind of portal opening up to another dimension or something, but it was low, close to the ground. The man pulled the truck over to the side of the road and at the same time and he drove the truck right through circle. The truck went through and disappeared, and somehow that left us standing on the road with the truck parked right in the middle of a set of railroad tracks.

The man… I’m going to call him Walter now, because well, because he has bushy eyebrows… Walter and I were standing there by the truck, but at the same time I could see from inside the truck, and there was a train coming toward me on the passenger side. The engine looked much more modern than the pickup, and it was reddish orange with powder blue stripes, really very pretty for a train. Walter took my hand and pulled us back-first through the hole in the sky, which reminds me a little bit of the one time I jumped out of an airplane (sorry, I’m not going to write about that).

Once on the other side, the train rushed past, but after it passed by, I could see the truck coasting down a parallel track that wasn’t there before, unharmed and empty. I stared at it for a second, confused, and then Walter let go of my hand and pushed me in the back. “Come on,” he growled, and we headed down the street together in the direction we came from.

I started talking to him again about his wife (I’ll call her Claire) which is what I think we were talking about before, so I don’t really understand that parade stuff.

“I don’t see why you think she’s such a bitch,” I said.

“Try living with her for twenty years,” Walter said. His voice really sounded like Clint Eastwood at this point too, and again this would be because of another movie, called Gran Torino, which I saw not so recently, and I’ll just leave that at that.

We talked about a lot more, as it was a long walk to his house, but it kind of fast-forwarded and we were just there. When we arrived… at an old white house with wooden steps up to a porch (I dream these a lot, but they are never quite the same)… we turned away to the right and into an extremely cluttered garage. In it, his 5 children, all younger than me and very close to each other in age, 3 boys and 2 girls, were loudly fighting over toys.

My attention fell on the two girls. I understood from our conversation during the walk that Walter was raising these kids without Claire’s help. But the girls were fighting over who got to play with a knife that they both thought was their favorite. The knife was in a felt-lined knife rack with several others and there was a similar gun display next to it that was also theirs. [I seriously think these were prompted by all the stuff I read about Mafia Wars]

I was in shock. “Walter, you can’t give girls guns and knives!” I said.

“What the hell you want me to give them?” he gestured around the garage.

“Um, I dunno, maybe girl stuff?” I didn’t know what to say. Dolls was what came to mind, that image being from a small dollhouse plate I just saw at a picnic recently, but I never had dolls myself… and um, well… I’ve written about that, but not in these posts yet.

Walter left. I think he expected me to stay and babysit, but that didn’t happen. Super Spy Girl came out and so I tailed him. The kids would be fine, guns, knives and all. They’d been fine this long, right? …so I left them, and I tailed him.

I followed him quite a ways, carefully staying out of sight, until finally, he went down a long alley between two tall brick buildings (I dream this a lot too) and reached a wall with a black wrought-iron gate on one end. Walter went through the gate, and I stopped and peered through the bars.

Claire waited on the other side. She was a tall and… I’ll say thick… woman, kind of masculine in her features and, well, she seemed powerful. She wore jeans and a white top with tiny blue flowers on it. Her hair was an unnatural blonde, bobbed short in an irregular shag. For that moment, there was nothing but joy. She and Walter ran to each other and embraced, and then the two of them strolled up the (you guessed it) wooden steps to the porch of another white house (I could go on at length about the similarities and differences between these two white houses, but I won’t). They hugged again, and kissed for a moment, and then disappeared inside the door.

I was confused. This was “The Bitch”?

It dawned on me that neither of these two was raising their kids. Befuddled, I turned away from the gate and walked back up the alleyway. Walter loved Claire! And she loved him! It was all too much for me, but it all disappeared at the other end of the alley.

A young man was waiting for me. I have to come up with a new name for him, because he is really pretty much a male version of Brittney, so… whatever. These are dreams. I’m going to call him James and if I ever need him to… LOL, be someone besides Brittney again… he’ll be James.

James was excited, but I was too caught up in my confusion with Walter and Claire to understand why. I followed him back along an avenue lined with trees (the same trees where I saw the lady sunbathing), and I’m afraid my head was still full of guns and knives and neglectful parents the whole way. At the other end, the way became paved with walls like cobblestone on either side. It branched here and there, but James seemed to know where he was going and so I just jabbered a lot about Walter and Claire and followed him.

We ended up at a line of people and my eyes wandered off while we stood. James was talking now, and I didn’t hear a word of what he said. I was looking out over the hills above where we were to our right and a zeppelin was flying by. It was not like any other I’ve seen. It was a completely wire-mesh cage, suspended from a chassis that was the exact colors of the train at the beginning of the dream… reddish orange, with powder blue stripes. The zeppelin was full of seats, like an amusement park ride, and I watched it in fascination, thinking how fun it would be to ride.

It circled around to the left and then suddenly my view was interrupted by a smaller but similar vehicle moving the opposite direction. This one was much faster! James was still talking, and I still couldn’t hear him. I looked past him at the sign on the other side of the fence we waited behind. It said, “Velociraptor” (I checked the name to be sure this time) in fancy yellow cursive letters.

It had a single car on a sliding track at the end of a long mechanical arm, with the riders suspended beneath it. The car and the mechanical arm were both painted reddish orange with the powder blue stripes. The arm moved up and down while it turned in a circle and the sliding track rotated at the end of it. The riders were being whirled about this way and that and screaming their heads off.

I had to go on this ride!!! James pointed out that we were already waiting in line, and then I remembered waiting in line for the Velociraptor once before. Suddenly nothing was more important than Jessi. I had been separated from her and I had to find her again.

I ran away from James and up the trail lined by cobblestone walls. It didn’t matter how far or long I ran, nothing was what I needed to find. There was no sign of Jessi in my dream, no memory of her in my thoughts. My best friend was just sort of gone like she never existed. And then I remembered that I had been through that portal thing at the beginning of the dream. If I wanted to find Jessi, I had to find myself!

Everything about this amusement park place seemed vaguely familiar, like it was and wasn’t someplace I’d been. I had confidence that I could find myself there and so I began to search. …and search. …and search. I searched for years. I searched for decades that flew by in moments. I grew old and grey and tired. Here and there I saw things that I thought I was supposed to remember. At each one of them I would stop and say to myself, “Think Annie! …leave a message that if I ever came here, I would find it and I would know.”

Eventually, I was so old and so slow I could barely move around. I struggled up a path. The walls were not cobblestone-like at all anymore. They were more like the commercially-laid stone-and-mortar walls like I saw recently at a zoo. But somehow, one wall looked strangely familiar in a way it had not before in all those years. I followed it to an opening surrounded by trees, with a few benches for resting. I sat on one to rest and looked up. A young girl stood at the other side of the opening and I stared at her in disbelief.

It was Annie! It was me! I was overwhelmed with joy. I wanted so badly to ask her about Jessi and in a moment I realized she couldn’t know what I asked if I did. Jessi didn’t exist here. So I cried. It was all I could do.

I looked down at my old and wrinkled arms and back up at her… at myself. She was crying too. I could tell she recognized me. And then she ran to me and hugged me. She wanted me to know that she loved me. For a brief moment, everything inside of me screamed to ask her… to ask myself… about Jessi… but I couldn’t tell which one of me wanted to ask. And then I woke up.

Stupid portals.

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About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
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2 Responses to What Parade?

  1. Wow! Aren’t dreams intense things that haunt us throughout the day sometimes? Haha! This was a great one and I’m glad you wrote it down.

    BUT…I still want to hear about that time you jumped out of an airplane! 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      [debates… Should I? Shouldn’t I?]

      I have avoided non-fiction stuff, just feeling like if I’m writing it, it mixes oil with vinegar a little. BUT… it is kind of a fun testament of Murphy’s Law, and in actuality, The Cove is pretty close to the truth, so maybe it’s a line I’ve already crossed. I’ll consider writing it. 🙂

      I love dreams!! I am so fascinated with them, how they so often take me into times and places I could never go when I’m awake! And I love turning them into stories, because the rag-tag bits and pieces we remember when we wake up really don’t do them justice. I’m glad you took the time to let me share them with you. Thanks for your comment!

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