he thing that can really
drive me nuts about dreams is the fact that you can't continue them when you want to. I woke up this morning from some dream that had morphed from something else into a very fast, crowed multiple-level interstate highway scene (like the Marquette Interchange in Milwaukee or, more closely, the I-88/I-355 interchange in Illinois) to pulling off the highway and suddenly being out in the country around my hometown of Oregon, Illinois. I don't usually dream about real people, but this dream suddenly loaded up on cast of characters from mostly jr. high or high school ages, although, in the way of dreams, details kept morphing from the time of jr. high to the present.
Anyway, the scene was some combination of two favourite and fabulous youthful haunts: Stronghold Castle
north of town and the grounds from Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center
south of town. Deliciously, the dream was a "sneaking into the huge haunted house/manor"-type story. It might have echoed an earlier dream of a many-leveled house that I can remember exploring, even to crawling through crawlways between levels: I remember thinking that the wing of the building to the left as I came in was familiar or already known to me. Perhaps there were added elements of a tongue-in-cheek amateur film I thought of making in high school, when camcorder technology started to become more available, of exploring a mysterious place that started with the gag of being the small, ruined exterior of David's Tower on the Stronghold grounds, and inside was something like the vast interior of the Lowden Mansion, which I had seen following Brian around his Dad's work on the grounds. So now, in the dream, I sent off a few groups of friends, divvying up my hand-drawn maps among them (apparently from earlier excursions) as they left from the darkened entry hall of the place in whispers by flashlight, the last going off being my brother Joe looking as he did in his earlier high school years.
Finally my waiting ended when my friend Brian showed up, a bit late, to my annoyance, and he and I set forth. But then we were opting to go out onto the grounds of the place for some reason, as a cut to some other entrance perhaps, and I began to baffled by the remaining map that I had, perhaps committing the fatal dream error of trying to get reason and stability out of a dream setting. Was the map suddenly showing the land north of town or the south of town? Was I looking at it the right way, or was it reversed, since it seemed just as strong on the backside of the page? If this was south... then this spot would be the south end of town, from where Greg Payne's old house had been up to Pineway Supermarket. But then the attached photographs (for now the map had links to Panorama photos a la
the maps of Google Earth) showed the recent construction of high, modern apartment buildings of the sort that I might expect to see on the Chicago North Side, not in Oregon. I asked Brian if these were apartments in that area, and he told me that no, there was still nothing like that in Oregon. Baffled, I woke up – utterly frustrated that I'd never gotten to actually get into the haunted house after all that anticipation!