Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was strolling through the airport with my father, carrying my worn, trusty, ten-year-old veteran of a backpack (which was presumably stuffed full of clothing and other necessities for a trip) and a furry, light blue Blue's Clue's briefcase (which was surprisingly light -- I couldn't fathom what could possibly be in there) that I have never seen in my life.
Eventually, we reached the car, which was parked next to an oddly-situated information booth.  I threw my bags in the back and got in the front passenger's seat.  Strange.  Earlier on I had been under the impression that I was about to travel somewhere by plane.  Perhaps my flight had been delayed for an egregious amount of time.  It was raining pretty hard, but that didn't bother me.
Without ever seeming to have traveled anywhere, Dad and I were in the house again.  My bags sat heaped on the couch, and I puttered around the kitchen, preparing a bowl of soup.
Looking at the soup can, I had the strange feeling that it was very familiar.  "Where'd these come from?" I inquired.
Dad, who'd been standing at the back doorway since we'd come home, suddenly appeared at my shoulder.  "Don't you remember, Green?  You helped Bjorn make those this summer."
At that particular moment, I had no clue who Bjorn was...but after looking at the soup can for a while more (it read "Bjorn's Amazing Stew -- That Smoky Flavor You Won't Find Anywhere Else!" and had a picture of a chimp on a Hawaiian island playing guitar and smoking a cigar on it), memories started filtering back (these were really a mish-mash of events from other dreams, but oh well): making soup on the patio with Bjorn, trying to decide what ingredients were going to be in it; the night-time scene of somebody's back garden, filled with ferns and frond-y plants; walking along a beach somewhere in Thailand with Bjorn and a group of other peope when I was just four or five, stopping because we found an interesting carnivorous plant that would leap into the air, catch and devour anything that was thrown it's way; collecting seashells on a beach in Florida with Bjorn; and finally, the late nights from back when the now disbanded yoga club met up at the house with the fern-filled back garden, training themselves in balance and ease of contortion.  "Oh," I said.  "That Bjorn."  Understatement.
I finished preparing the soup and then ate it, savoring the smoky flavor that I now knew came from copious amounts of chili powder and burning the soup on the bottom of the pot before canning it.  By the time I was finished, it was nearly eight-o'-clock in the evening -- we were going to be late!
Dad and I bundled back into the car, Dad hurriedly explaining to me all the while what I was supposed to do when we got to the airport.  Suffice to say, I heard everything he said, but didn't understand a snippet of what I was hearing, so by the time he dropped me off at the information booth where the car had been parked approximately two hours ago, I was utterly confused.
I decided I might try going through security, so I strolled over to where I knew it to be.  Upon arriving there, I tried to check in and follow normal procedure, but my passing through the metal detector set off a horrid alarm.  So I tried again.  Same result.  I beat a hasty retreat back to the little gray information booth, sat down on a train track that dead-ended when it hit the building, and put my head on my knees in despair.
Quite a while later, a duo of airport police officers' shoes appeared in my limited line of sight.  They told me I couldn't sit here anymore.  I jumped up in indignation; where else was I supposed to go?!  I didn't know how an airport worked!  They were already strutting away, though.
Fortunately, the man inside the information booth was kind enough to give me some assistance.  He said that if I took the escalator directly in front of me going down, turned left and took the moving pathway heading that direction, I could bypass security and still board my plane on time.  I thanked him, picked up my bags and walked to the escalators.
These presented another conundrum.  Both the escalators were going up, and there was no hope of just walking down them because they were moving too fast.  As I stood there, unsure of what action to take, a man came up behind me, pressed a button in between the escalators that I hadn't seen, and one of the pairs of stairs reversed the direction it was moving in.  The man stepped casually onto the escalator.  Well, that solved the problem.  I followed suit.
The escalator was moving more rapidly than I had expected.  At the bottom, it flung me off, nearly landing me on another rapidly moving walkway.  I managed to straddle the path like you would a treadmill, and carefully extracted myself from the situation.  I then prepared myself to ride the up-going escalator and hopped on.  This time, I was ready for the dismount, and hopped off at the right time.  I then took the down-going escalator again.
When I got off this time, I noticed there was something different about the room I was standing in.  The back wall was missing, and through that hole I could see moonlit ferns swaying gently in the breeze.  Forgetting my plane, I strolled into the garden.
Everything was there, just the way I remembered it.  But that also meant...
Before I could finish that thought, the large pit-bull I had been expecting to see rounded the corner of the house, saw me, barked and started to advance towards me.  Knowing this scene all too well, I turned and ran, jumping into a raised fern-bed that the dog couldn't reach and concealing myself in the ferns.  Now, if I wanted, I could make my escape by jumping over the high picket fence that walled off the garden.
But I waited.  The dog barked below me as though it had treed a raccoon, incessant and angry.  Still, I waited.
Eventually, the French doors on the house slid open and out stepped a scowling little girl wearing a white sundress that glowed in the moonlight.  "Hush, Puckett," she said, walking over to stand below the place where I was hidden.  Yes, this was exactly like all my other dreams of this place.
She looked up and was about to discover me when, out of nowhere, some shelving to her left collapsed and tipped over on top of her and the dog, burying them in boardgames, buckets, cans of Bjorn's Amazing Stew and other items.  I turned, jumped over the fence, and was devoured by a carnivorous plant.  "Well, that was a new addition," I thought wryly.

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