Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reed

This morning, from my spot on the couch, where I've holed up for the past several days, I had a very vivid dream about walking Duncan down Reed, the street my grandparents lived on in Idaho Falls until I was 15 years old. I think it was still some time in the 70's because the people who lived across the street when I was very young were there with their yellow Volkswagen Beetle. And the house next door was occupied both by the obnoxious neighbors with their hundreds of filthy children my grandmother constantly warned us about, and Alice, the kindly woman who replaced them. The big shrubs in front still reached up to the windows, a perfect hiding spot for grandchildren who spent much of their time pretending to be Steve Austin, The Bionic Man (that was me!) and Jamie Sommers, The Bionic Woman (my cousin Sheryl). The wretched Godfrey's were next door in the blond brick house on the corner, and from their garage issued a cacophony of saws and engines and all manner of noise-makers. Grandma was often so frustrated by them that she joked about taking her violin out at five in the morning and playing it under their window just to give them a taste of their own medicine. Grandpa's old turquoise truck was parked out front, as was the dark orange truck he drove to work at Bingham Mechanical. I didn't see Grandma's red Pontiac because it was always parked in the garage. The tree in front was standing at the corner of the front porch, the arc of one of its boughs worn smooth from all the grandchildren sitting in it like we were riding a pony. The short fence, red and peeling, still stood on the side of the house but I couldn't quite see the backyard. I don't know if the apricot tree was in the northwest corner or if it had been taken down. I was very excited to be there with Duncan, happy to finally show him the place where I had spent so much of my childhood, made so many of my happiest memories, from Christmas mornings to Summer afternoon taffy-pulls with Casey and the cousins. I can't think of a more perfect place in all my memories than that street and it seemed right that Duncan should be there with me. There was no feeling of loss or nostalgia, as there was at Christmas when my family drove slowly by to see what had become of the old place (the shrubs in front were cut down to nothing and the tree, the first tree I climbed, was gone) but only a sense of homecoming, timelessness and belonging. And when I awoke, the scene still strong in my head, I did not feel sadness or grief at having passed out of the dream but rather as though I'd been blessed to have been taken there at all, even if only in a dream, with my best friend at my side.

3 comments:

Lori said...

Curt, I did that very thing with Ripley and Sprocket a number of years ago! My dirt road had been paved, the trailer I grew up in had been hauled off and replaced with a lovely two-story house that I'd have KILLED to live in (and they had an above-ground pool!), my first climbing tree was long gone, as was the weeping willow tree we'd planted the day I started kindergarten. It was bittersweet. Then Sprocket slipped his leash, took off into the woods, and Tom's entire family and I spent hours trying to guess which ridge or hollow he'd followed, driving all over looking for him! Turned out he'd followed the road after coming out of the woods, and had been found by people with a house full of toy poodles. My brother in law found them walking him along the road (three miles from where he started), hoping his people would drive by, as his tag had an out of state phone number! (Wow, long comment!)

Murphy's Mom said...

oooh...you brought a tear to my eye. I could feel the affection and the tug of loss contrasting with the sweet memories. I feel my childhood calling. I need to go hug Murphy...

muse said...

Those are my favorite dreams-the ones that take me back to a much simpler time when someone was taking care of me. When all I had to do is have fun and enjoy life-how healthy would our psyche be if we lived the lives of our youth daily?