As I previously implied, I have several different nightmares. That night I had a doozy.
This dream began as it usually did.
My room was darker than normal. Or so it seemed to me. The temperature dropped.
I knew he was there.
I no longer bothered to scream. No one would hear or come. Just him.
But this time it was different. Instead of my Uncle glaring at me, hungrily, in the dark, there stood a Salmon; a full fish, on its tail, staring blankly at me.
I woke screaming.
I had never screamed before.
“What the F*** wuzzat?!”
The cold water from the bathroom sink was refreshing. I kept the cold, wet washcloth over my head as I laced up my in-line skates. “This is going to be a long one.”
(NOTE: When I am stressed out beyond rest, I skate. I go as far as to pack my skates when I travel because I know the dreams will come and I must work it out of my system. So far, this has been the only remedy.)
I didn’t bother bringing my phone. I didn’t want to be bothered. Not that anyone would call me at 2:15AM.
The air was cool and humid but not frigid. It was just what I needed.
After what I thought was about 5 miles of hard, laborious, skating, I stopped and turned around, ready to head back. I looked ahead, towards where I thought I had just come from. It was still dark except for the rare street light every 100 yards or so.
“Where the hell am I?”
When the old Indian stepped out from nearby trees, I nearly had a heart attack. He made a lot of commotion with his push cart. I thought maybe he was homeless until I saw that his cart was full of dead leaves and branches. Was he working at the break of dawn? He must have been hard of hearing because HE nearly had a heart attack when he turned and noticed me rolling up to him.
Can you imagine?
I must have been a fright.
“I’m sorry.” I half yelled, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Well now. You MUST be lost.” He, quite calmly said. “I don’t think Angels visit me at this time of the morning.” His eyes glistened at me.
I think I actually blushed. “Yes, thank you, I am lost. I got turned around. How do I get back to town?”
He looked a little confused. “Town? Why, you may be surprised to know this,” he leaned in towards me, “you ARE in town.” Then he giggled a little.
“You are one street back from the main street, ma’am. Come with me.” He giggled and walked away.
I rolled after him as he led me to a dirt path. Sure enough, just on the other side of the dense stand of trees lining the road, was the back side of several buildings and homes that I surmised lined main street. The old man called out to someone.
From a cute cape cod style building, a short, middle aged woman opened the back door.
“Jerry, keep your voice down. People sleep around here.”
Then she noticed me. “Oh, hello. I didn’t know Jerry had a guest.”
“Oh, no. Sorry, he doesn’t. He is just helping me find my way back to town. I got turned around back there.”
The woman noticed my skates. A quick flash of confusion played over her for a moment and then, just as quickly, went away.
“Well, you must be cold, dressed like that. Would you like to step in and have some coffee?”
“Oh, no, I don’t want to intrude.”
“It’s no intrusion. Believe me.”
From inside the house, I could now hear and see that there were several people inside. This was no house. It was a hall of some sort. Jerry smiled at me, patted his hands on his dirty pants, and walked into the hall. Several voices could be heard in unison;
“It’s a homeless shelter dear. It’s safe.” The woman smiled.
I didn’t want to appear rude, so I untied my skates, took them off, and walked into the back door of the hall.
Next – Pancakes.