About me and this blog

I was born on a native reserve in Ontario, grew up on the west coast of Vancouver Island (as far west as you can go without running out of Canada), came of age in Mexico City. Between times, I lived in the Fraser Valley, Texas, Seattle, Oklahoma, Bella Coola, on the BC north coast, and the Fraser River Delta, just south of Vancouver. For now, I'm "settled" in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island.

I have a boatload of stories to tell. These are some of them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three dreams: Dream One

Mom and Dad were on their way through town. They had left the house they were renting, and they were moving. Somewhere; it didn't really matter where. Something would turn up. But they had more stuff than they could take with them. Not a problem; they brought it over to my place; they knew, they said, that I wouldn't mind keeping it for them. It was just a little while, anyhow. A few months, at most, maybe a bit more.

And I said, sure, I could store a few things; just bring them in.

Dad got James to help; Mom sat on my sofa and knitted. They brought in a few cardboard boxes, an old suitcase or two. I stashed them neatly in the laundry room closet, and came out to the living room again. They were carrying in the big things now; bed rails, a mattress, folding chairs. Dad stacked them against the wall behind the dining table.

I went to clear space in the shop, but when I came back, there was stuff leaning against all my walls. Chimney pipes. Odd-shaped sheets of plywood. Copper tubing. Tires. Creosoted lumber, scrounged from someone's garden; the dirt still clinging to the back sides, the sides marking my freshly-painted wall just at eye level.

"Thanks, Sue," Dad said. Mom packed up her knitting and they left. In the driveway, Dad rolled down the car window. "We'll be back for our things as soon as we get settled somewhere," he said. "Bye, now!"

I went into my bedroom -- at least there was no stuff there. Just my things, my photos and baskets and bottles, my collection of mirrors. My clean desk, my dresser with its crisp white dresser scarf. Everything in order; everything carefully co-ordinated to create a soothing haven. I went to bed.

In the morning I woke up mad. How dare they? And why didn't I stop them? Why did I always have to be such a dutiful daughter?

I tried to go back to sleep, to put off facing the lumber defacing my living room walls and staining my carpet, but my eyes kept popping open. Even with the blanket pulled over my head, the sun shone through, turning my crazy quilt into a kaleidoscope. I was forced to get up.

At the door to the living room, I stopped cold, my hands arrested half-way through tying the knot in my bathrobe belt. My walls gleamed. The room was spotless, awaiting company, the way I had left it every night since I moved in. But not last night; surely not last night!

I went to check the laundry room closet; nothing there but detergent and fabric softener. I forgave Mom and Dad. But not myself; dreaming or not, I had done what I would have done.

Stories from Alternate Realities
© Susannah Anderson, 1999

1 comment:

Clytie said...

There is something about dreams that follows us into reality. Or is the other way around?