Once again I begin to run out of things to say and ways to say them … so we will stop briefly in two separate places this week, and leave it at that.
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Just a few days ago I dreamed quite vividly I was on Hope Street again, in my
grandparents’ old house at 1107.
The plot of the dream, such as it was, was farcical. My high school winter track team had been invited to a meet in Stamford, and somehow it’d been decided that about 16 runners were going to save money by bedding down on Hope Street.
(Me and about five others were wedged into the small studio-slash-bedroom where my brother and I used to sleep.)
Even if this had been permissible in real life, it would not have been possible, as my grandparents were gone from Hope Street before I began running winter track.
The setting was not entirely true to life either — a large (totally fictional) aquarium with a small AM radio built in was part of the action, for instance.
And the dream was not entirely pleasant, as much of it revolved around the discomfort of trying to squeeze all these people I knew into this small old house such that they could attempt to sleep, with the resultant fear that they were all going to hate me after their restless night.
But it felt real to be there, and I felt pretty good to be there again, even as I was trying to figure out how to turn off the damn AM radio to get the place quiet enough for bedtime.
I bring this all up, as much as any other reason, because I’ve spent more than five years thinking about my grandparents and Hope Street for the purposes of this blog.
I’ve recalled just about every detail of the now-demolished building — from the location of the cesspool to the medications in the bathroom cabinet. I’ve even recreated a room-by-room walk through the house. I’ve delved into the hearts and minds of the people who lived there, too.
And I’m pretty sure this is the first time in all that time I’ve dreamed about the place.
I buy into the theory that dreams are a sort of funhouse-mirror repository for the things we think about during the day. So, for all the hours I’ve thought about Hope Street, you’d think I’d spend more dreamtime in Stamford.
Or, I dunno — maybe I clear out my Hope Street thoughts so thoroughly via this blog that there isn’t anything left to consider at night.
At any rate, it was nice to be back, even on an overbooked flight, and I look forward to the next time I can punch my ticket there.
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We’ll go here this week, too.
I have no idea where the hell this actually is: On my thumb drive of my grandpa’s scanned-in slides, my father labeled this photo “Who Knows 38.”
I know it was taken in 1962, most likely in New England someplace. I suspect it was taken as possible inspiration for a future painting, though I don’t recall ever seeing one that looks like it.
Beyond that I have no idea. Sunrise? Sunset? Spring? Late autumn? Your guess is as good as mine.
I lean toward sunrise, because the sky has none of the colors of sunset; and autumn, just ’cause that’s what time it is now.
The people on this farm (we’ll say it’s in western Massachusetts, or one of the more rural precincts of Connecticut) are already up and doing the salt-of-the-earth farm-grind thing.
They did it yesterday and will do it again tomorrow. It wears on them some, and sometimes they daydream about what life would be like without it, but it’s what they know, and it’s what they do.
At least, that’s my suburban-snobby guess of what’s going on in this picture. I have no dirt under my fingernails; it’s entirely possible that I’m wrong.
Who knows? It’s even possible that last night, someplace in America, a grown man dreamed nostalgically of finding himself back in that long-gone barn again.