The one about the beach house

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February 20, 2008 by 8junebugs

I keep having the same dream with rotating cast lists. In this dream I am spending time in a cabin sort of abode belonging to an old pal from the Dumb Year (who’s going to be a daddy—woot!) and his sister. This is probably as close as the dream gets to reality. I’m pretty sure he does have a sister.

There are people with me and there’s a sense that we’re not really supposed to be there. We were given an open invitation that my old pal kind of forgot he gave. But when we get there, no one’s home. (I have a key.) In some versions, there are a couple of people there and we boot them out.

This cabin-type place is up one level with nothing but stilts under it, the way houses are built in the Outer Banks. It’s ramshackle as hell and seems to have more rooms than you’d expect. It’s more like a forgotten kids’ fort with electricity and indoor plumbing.

Sometimes the old pal shows up and wags his finger at me for not calling first. That prompts an acerbic exchange because that old pal? Lived, when I knew him, by the seat of his pants. Proudly. (Along the lines of “Hey, I want to come to the airport with you guys!” when my flight out of SFO leaves in an hour, it takes 40 minutes to get there, and he’s 10 minutes away. Much as I love the pal, he’s the only guy I’ve wanted to kick in the balls in the last 20 years.)

One or two of the other Dumb Year players turn up sometimes. We try to cook—that always ends badly. Sandwiches work better in another version. Friends and, infrequently, boyfriends from different periods of my life are sometimes there. We interact. No one fights. Words are muted. No one, oddly, is drunk.

There is a balcony on this place, the enclosed kind you get at a lot of high-rises out here. We’re smack on the beach, lifeguard-stand-style, and we’re looking out over the ocean. We appear to be at the far left of the beach with dunes in front of us (and a cave-like spot underneath them) and a long stretch to the right that we mainly ignore. That side of the beach looks like Lake Dunmore in Salisbury, Vermont, back before the dirty diapers outnumbered the fish.

Do not ask me how a lake and an ocean share a coast. I’m not a mapmaker.

There’s an eeriness to this whole thing, like there’s a thunderstorm rolling in and we’re totally going to get hit by lightning. But there’s safety to it as well. During the Dumb Year, you see, I learned not to take everything so seriously.

There’s no lock on the front door—there’s barely a latch. (Why did I have a key, then? Grrr, stupid dream!) And I keep checking it with peripheral vision because, incredibly, there are more cabin-lifeguard-apartments above us and a crew of leering locals streams by with six-packs. I’m sure they’re going to come in and we’re going to pretend to ignore them.

The middle scenes are varied and blurry. At the end, we always pack too many people in a car with our beach stuff and drive back to civilization, which looks a lot like Court Street in Middlebury circa 1988.

We split up. We walk to the park and play football or climb on KidSpace. Or we walk to Grand Union (circa 1988, remember) and I run into my cousin Amy, who works there and is very, very busy.

The end.

[To come: The one about the parking garage.]


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