Day-dreams by Dee Artea

Dee Artea

One of the weird and puzzling things about dreams is the metamorphoses that occur, and often.

Why am I thinking about this, on this dog-day afternoon, trying to stay cool in the shade of this oak tree? Glad I wore a short skirt, so the slight breeze can cool my legs, and more. Yet, feeling tired. Very much so.

I gaze across our field, looking west – and almost the entire horizon is blocked by grandpa’s big, old barn. Was supposed to be painted in red – of course, it’s a barn on a farm. But grandpa didn’t have enough red paint, so he mixed in several cans of yellow, which were still good, and he didn’t want to waste anything. Grew up during The Depression.

So now we have an orange barn. A family joke. It was a neighborhood joke too, as passing cars persistently honked. Grandpa didn’t know if they were mocking him for breaking the “red barn” rule, or honking in admiration for being different. Grandpa didn’t care either way, he just waved with a smile.

But now the whole darn thing should just be torn down. Hardly used anymore. The walls are weak. All of it could easily collapse in a heavy storm. Also, right next to it, the large old elm is rotting from the inside out, barely has any leaves, keeps dropping dead branches. Both should go.

Grandpa’s no longer with us – may he rest in peace – so, let’s just get on with it.

Dog-day afternoon, huh? Reminds me of a dream I recently had about grandpa. We were going for a walk around the farm and talking about (I don’t remember what), but I do vividly recall the metamorphosis that happened — because all-of-a-sudden I was walking with a dog. Yeah, a dog. Not grandpa.

Here grandpa, then a dog.

Now here’s the thing. In my dream, I just took this transformation for granted. Didn’t flinch. Grandpa instantaneously became a dog. So what?

But really, that’s weird.

And here’s the puzzle. Why did I accept this in my dream? Why didn’t I freak out? If it happened in real life I would surely freak out. Big time!

And what about that dog? Was it any particular dog? Can’t recall. We had so many farm dogs over the years. Let’s see if I can bring back some names. Yeah, for some reason, we named them after tools and things. Like: Spike, Hammer, Nails, Scr―

Uh, did I doze off? … Seems I did. … Ah, it’s hot. This old oak isn’t giving me much shade. I should go inside, where it’s air-conditioned. Read a book, or go on the computer. Drink something cool. Um, reminds me of that old June Christy song, Something Cool. A cool song too.

I’d like to order something cool. It’s so hot in this town, and the heat

Hey, what’s that? Straight ahead, sitting on the stump. Uh, I believe it’s a … pumpkin! A pumpkin? Where did that come from? In the middle of summer, no less. Impossible. No? But there it is. Sitting right there on the old elm-tree stump.

All alone. One pumpkin.

Where did it …? It wasn’t there when I … was it?

A pumpkin on a stump: the only thing barely blocking my view – as I peer across the vast open field under an empty sky and along the wide western horizon.

Pondering: pumpkin … orange … the old barn. … Grandpa!?


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