Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ian Returns to Dreamland - Part 1

It's been a while since I had any dreams that were either blog-worthy or notable enough to stick in my memory five minutes after waking up. Maybe I just wasn't getting that sweet R.E.M. sleep (and my malaise last week might support that theory). Or my unconscious self wanted me to keep blogging about the Oscars. But that's all changed over the past two nights. Let's see what you think of this first one. I'm always hoping someone can play Dream Interpreter for me.

My father is playing tennis. He was quite the player when I was a kid, and sometimes I'd tag along because I could goof around in a nearby park. And that's pretty much where this dream picks up. But here, I'm not playing elsewhere. I'm watching, either while sitting on the bleachers or standing behind the fence on his side of the court.

And Dad is running around the court like Andre Agassi, man. He's darting from sideline to sideline, stretching out to smack those shots that look just out of his reach, and rocketing returns past his opponent. (I couldn't see who he was playing.) The whole time he's smiling, having a great time and looking he's never felt more alive. My face is pressed right up against the fence, with my fingers curled around the chain links.

The tennis court is bright, almost blindingly sunny. It's warm. Inside that fence, it's like summer. On my side of the fence, however, it's chilly. The wind is blowing underneath my sleeves, making me shiver. The sky is gray. And there are leaves all over the ground. Every time I move my feet, I can hear them crunch under my shoes.

Then a tennis ball is accidentally hit over the fence. I chase after it behind the bleachers. At first, I can't find it underneath all the leaves. I hear my dad call out to me, asking if I've found it. Finally, I feel it in my hand and uncover it. And it's bright yellow, glowing against all the dark brown and red leaves. The ball is also perfectly clean, as if none of the leaves and dirt had touched it.

I try to throw the ball back to my father, but I can't get it over the fence. It keeps bouncing back at me and into the leaves again. And each time it comes back, I become more frantic because I don't want him to get mad. I'm frustrated because I just can't get the ball over that damn fence. I look at my dad and expect to see him mad at me, holding out his hands like "What the hell is going on?" But he's not. He's smiling and shaking his head. He then points his racket toward the door at the corner of the court. Just bring it to me, he says.

So I jog over to the door. I can barely reach the latch, but I eventually push it up so the door can open. It swings open slightly, and my dad's hand reaches out. I place the ball in his hand, and he pulls it back onto the court. As he nudges the door to close, I look up at him and he smiles again. He then runs back to his position and serves the ball to his partner. The door shuts, the latch slams down, and that's when I wake up.