Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Exploring my neuroses in dream form

(Based on about 36 actual events)

I am at my grandparents' house in Louisiana. Time is warped, because they died 10 years ago, and yet I am my current age. Nobody is home but myself and my sister, who is of indeterminately young age. I am sitting in the middle of the living room, alone, watching a lovely sunny afternoon through the windows. It's not the best neighborhood in the world, but today it's delightfully quiet.

Then I hear a familiar, "tit tit tititit...tit tit" on the front door. It's my great aunt, "Boo," who lived next door until she died in 1992. Guess she got better.

"Ian!" I hear her say urgently. "Let me in!" I open the door.

She runs in, immediately ducks on the floor and covers her head, as if defending herself from a bear attack. I knew her to be a bit timid, especially when alone, since the death of her sister and roommate in 1986.

"There's a man knocking on my door, wanting to sell tickets for softball or something," Boo tells me. "I don't have any money. I don't want to deal with that today."

Next door, I hear, RAP-RAP-RAP-RAP! "Barbecue tickets," the man shouts. "Barbecue tickets!"

"When he comes to this door, don't answer! Wait for him to go away!" she tells me, as if the barbecue is laced with cyanide. I say OK, and proceed to close all of the blinds so that he can't see that we're home. That's when I start to get paranoid.

Soon enough, the man gives up on her house and proceeds to ours. We're mere feet away from the door, and we hear two sets of feet rustle. From my vantage point, I'm able to see through a crack that the burly barbecue man has been joined by a graying Jehovah's Witness. They knock gently at first. We're quiet as can be. Normally I'd open the door myself and talk to them, if only to politely decline, but Boo has me whipped into full-on stealth mode. We can hear murmurs between our two callers.

I think to myself how differently my grandparents would have handled this. They would have invited them in for coffee like old friends. They always bought whatever people were selling if it was for a good cause. Once, a local Republican politician came to visit, and the rapport was so easy that I thought she was just another visitor. My grandfather grilled her big-time, but even then it was friendly. This, lying on the floor, wasn't like us.

The knocking began to subside. Just then, my sister walked in from the kitchen. Assessing the situation, she quickly dropped to the floor. She sported the grin she always cracks when she's about to comically dash my efforts.

"WHAT'S UP, IAN AND BOO?" She asks excitedly.

"Shhh!" Boo and I respond.


The knocking resumes. Rap-Rap-Rap!


"We know," I hiss.



"Barbecue tickets!"


My sister opens the blinds, as well as the slats in the front door. Boo and I sheepishly look up at the men, who have now been joined by a barefoot neighborhood kid selling a piece of furniture.

"No thank you," I say before any of them can launch into their pitches. "We don't have any money. Sorry!" The barbecue ticket man looks hurt, the preacher hands us a pamphlet and the kid shrugs with indifference. They leave. We stand up.

Just then, we notice that another solicitor is rapping on Boo's house. Nuts. I look down the street, and see that a long line of people are knocking on every other door in clockwork fashion, almost as if they're daring us to answer.

Boo runs into the bathroom. My sister starts yelling through the window that we're home. I brace for the barrage.

Then I wake up and ease my mind by reading a book about serial killers.

1 comment:

rhonda said...

you think like i drive (you know it's true), and i love it :)