1. I live on the shoulder of a long gradual hill, and in the dream blizzard snows had been falling, so that all along the curb of the four-lane road that traces the incline, parked cars were submerged to their hoods and fenders in the plowed and layered accumulation of several days. Between two cars a space had been hollowed out — think of an igloo, more or less — and in it a small white dog was sheltering, something like a Bichon Frise, injured and bleeding with some specific damage to its left eye.
I hate dogs, as anyone who has wandered through this blog much well knows. However, the woman who is my soundest friend on this continent adores her two Bichons, and if they and I all outlive her — I am afraid if could happen — I will do anything short of adopting them myself, which is out of the question, to make sure they are okay.
In the dream I pick up the small hurt dog and huddle it into my coat, walking any distance you care to mention down the snow-choked hill until I reach an apartment occupied by the woman who was my best friend during my school years, though she decided I was not classy enough for her as soon as we had dispersed to college. This is only a place to shower and change into dry clothes before taking the dogs to the local shelter — something which another occupant of the building starts to lecture me about as soon as I am ready to set out.
I can’t take the dogs home, I tell her; I have three cats. I know the local shelter is a shit-hole. I’m sorry. What did you want me to do, leave the dog between the cars in the snow?
2. My onetime husband died homeless, a circumstance I have described here in various posts, though the civilized social-safety-net provisions which the Republican party seems to find too-oppressive-to-millionaires allowed him to do his dying in a hospital bed. (Forgive the station identification, but it must be made.) In the dream I am standing beside him close to a lamp-post; what is it about lamp-posts? They guide us into Narnia, or darken to allow Harry Potter to transition between worlds. In front of us, in the near distance, is a woman acting as a choir director, leading a smattering of homeless men in song. A few are uninterested and remain prone on their park benches. My ex-husband remains close to me, reluctant to join the ensemble, though in life he boasted a small but distinctive talent as a comprimario bass, the “little man who sings the patter song” so essential to operetta.
In these Godawful spring weeks when tree pollen and drugs combine to make my brain into a fun house, these are the things that happen in the few hours after dawn when I get the only sleep worth the name.