October 23, 2014
We found the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood: smaller homes, one story, nice lots, and neighbors in our age bracket. It was moving day. Before we could even get our sofa in the door, several neighbors gathered around to welcome us to the neighborhood. I heard one say, “Did you hear that Dick and Jane failed the test. The association told them they cannot move in. They had to haul all their things away to storage.” I said, “Excuse, me. What test, what test is this?” She said, “Oh, you haven’t taken the test yet?” “No, nope, no test.”
All the neighbors turned to look at me with that tsk, tsk expression on their faces. The woman continued in that elementary schoolteacher tone, “You cannot move in until you pass the test. Dick and Jane studied for weeks and could not pass. Have you studied?”
“No, nope, no.”
H and I rushed to the office and got our test. It was the size of one of those grocery flyers that you get in the mail on sale day – the Sunday version that has extra pages.
A classic anxiety/fear of failure dream. Wasn’t this the same dream we all had in our senior year at exam time – just before graduation. Shouldn’t I be over that?
I was in an elevator, and I needed to get off on the third floor. It stopped on every floor except the third floor. I really needed to get off on the third floor. I kept going up and down, up and down. As I’m sure you know, it never stopped at the third floor.
Okay, so those were my dreams a few of nights ago. I had this next one the night before those dreams, but a little explanation first.
I recently read a John Grisham novel, Sycamore Row. It’s the first Grisham book I’ve read in a long time. I finished it just before his much talked about remarks regarding child pornography inflamed everyone, and I had the dream just after he walked those remarks back in his apology.
Jake Brigance is the protagonist in Sycamore Row, the same Jake Brigance that Grisham brought to life in his first novel, A Time to Kill. Matthew McConaughey played the Jake Brigance role in A Time to Kill, and those are the threads from which my third dream materialized.
H and I were walking on a beautiful beach. We came to the bottom of a flight of stairs that led up to a large beach house on a cliff. Workers were just beginning to paint the stairs white. Matthew McConaughey walked out on the deck above and shouted down, “Come on up.” As we ascended, he bounded down the stairs with a light step and shook H’s hand. He was all Matthew McConaughey in his white, loosely fitting linen shirt that flapped lightly in the sea breeze. His radiant, blond wife came out and shook my hand as she drew my fingertips to her lips and lightly kissed the tip of my index finger. It seemed strange, but hey, they were the McConaugheys. They invited us inside. There were a few other people there (no one that I recognized), and they asked us to enjoy some blue crabs with them. Those crabs were the biggest blue crabs I’ve ever seen. They were at least eighteen inches long. At least. I said, “My father would love to see these crabs.”
The dream vanished. I didn’t even get to taste a single crab.
Did you hear Grisham’s remarks? What was he thinking?