I don’t usually remember my dreams. Some people do; Carey can tell me every morning what she dreamed about the night before. That rarely happens to me. So when I have a really cool dream that I remember, it’s a big deal.
Last night I had a really cool dream. I just wish I could illustrate it as well as write it – it was so cool. And weird.
Allow me to tell you about it . . . (wavy dream sequence starting…)
I live in a duplex. It’s an old duplex; the paint is chipping and the metal gate is rusted. But it’s home. Next to me, in the other unit, lives three old people. One man and two ladies. They are all somewhere between 70 and 80 years of age. Old, but still mobile.
There is a small open-air courtyard between our two units. The sun can shine through on cloudless days – of which there are plenty here in Florida, next to the water.
Oh, didn’t I tell you? My duplex backs up against a river – a BIG river. When I walk into the courtyard, the only thing keeping me from falling in the river is a waist-high rusted metal fence.
It’s great living on the water; I get to fish all the time. I have a big fishing pole with a lure that has 6 hooks on it. It takes me a few tries, but I manage to get raw hot dog on all 6 hooks, and I am able to cast it out far into the swiftly moving river.
The fishing pole almost slips from my hand a few times so I prop it up against the metal fence and recast. This time I cast perfectly and almost immediately I feel a massive tug on the line. I’ve caught a big one! Maybe it’s a catfish. Maybe it’s a ray – or even a shark!
I struggle to reel it in as the sun goes behind a cloud, but reel it in I do. The unseen fish puts up a huge fight, but I slowly bring it closer and closer to the shore. When I have the fish less than 20 feet from me, a monstrous bird lands in the water!
This bird is huge! It looks a lot like one of Dr. Seuss’ birds in his books. It has long skinny legs, an absurdly pear-shaped body, with a tiny head on top. Oh, and it has a tuft of hair on top.
The bird looks interestedly at whatever is struggling at the end of my line. Very casually, the bird walks in front of me, blocking my view of where the fish is. Looking back at me smugly, the bird opens its mouth, which is now huge, and scoops up whatever is in the water and swallows it.
I am helpless to do anything. I try to call out to the bird to scare it away, but for some reason I have no voice. Now, my fishing line goes down the bird’s gullet. I could cut the line, but I don’t want the bird to die! What do I do?
Surprisingly, the old man who lives next door walks out of his house and the bird wades through the water and up to him. They stare at each other for a second.
Then I am shocked, and amazed! The old man, hunched and decrepit, leans forward and displays a mouth so big that it swallows up the bird in one gulp!
Now I am really beside myself. The fish ate the bait, who was eaten by the bird, who was swallowed by the old man. My fishing line is now dangling from the old man’s mouth to my fishing rod.
Frantically, I follow the old man into his apartment, where he immediately sits at the dining room table as the two old ladies who live there bring him heaping plates of food. He starts eating, with my fishing line still snaking from his mouth to my reel. How does he do it? How can he eat so much?
One of the old ladies offers me a red-trimmed china plate filled with raw, uncooked, sausage. I decline politely and she shrugs and eats it herself.
Producing a belch, the old man looks up at me and says “Now you know our secret.”
I nod, even though I have no idea what he is talking about.
The old man grabs the line dangling from his mouth, “I guess you want this back?”
Again, I nod but can say nothing.
Grunting, the old man opens his mouth and tugs on the line. I can see all the way down his throat. Covered in half-eaten food, something is coming up. My fish?
No! Attached to my fishing line is not a fish, but a large cuckoo clock! I had caught a cuckoo clock and not a fish after all.
The old man wipes excess food and juice from the clock and hands it to me. I take it and walk out of his apartment and back to my own – where I hang the clock on my wall. After all – that’s where it belongs – that’s where it is every day. In fact – there’s an outline on the wall because it’s hung there for so long.
(wavy dream sequence ending)
Weird. I thought I caught a fish, that was swallowed by a bird, who was in turn swallowed by an old man, who in turn pulled a cuckoo clock from his belly, which I hung on my wall because what else are you supposed to do with a cuckoo clock?
What a great dream.