Monday, November 24, 2008

dreaming again

I dreamt I was riding a bicycle, and it didn't belong to me. It was the property of CW's mother, who (CW assured me) would probably report it stolen even though she knew it was being used by me. But I decided to take my chances and went for a ride, CW and I parting ways as the sun sank towards 4 o-clock. Peddling up a steep hill towards a bridge that crossed the river, I remembered that CW roomed in a house nearby. (A yellow house with white trim.) "The river is right in my back yard," she was always saying, and I decided to find out whether this was true. I turned left before crossing the river, and coasted down a long drive into a parking lot that adjoined an alleyway. The river was on my right. I left the bike, and began walking up the alley, parallel to the river. The alleyway narrowed to a walking trail, and soon I was climbing through thick brush on the steeply-terraced back yards of the houses on my left. "It's not really in her back yard," I thought, as I looked up toward her house, then down the slope towards the river, noticing the paved alleyway continuing along below me, an alleyway and a fenced barrier between it and the water.

I went exploring. The woodland on the slope was dense, bare of leaves in late autumn, thickets of unkempt twigs and detritus broken by occasional half-hearted attempts at landscaping. There were steep concrete stairways that led from level property down to the path; the path was many yards above the alley, and crept along the face of the slope. The time was late afternoon, getting dark. After marching around in the wilds of the back yards, trespassing, I decided to return the way I'd come before it became too dark to see my way. I began the climb back down, and soon jogged along the walking trail again, still a narrow path hemmed in on both sides and above by branches and dead leaves. Running, in the dark now, I nearly collided with a man who was coming the opposite way. He had a flashlight. As he stepped aside he reached out his hand to stop me, grabbing my shoulder, and I realized I was in danger. He didn't speak. (He looked like the man that offered me a ride at the bus stop last night.)

Then the dream became a story, something I was reading in the newspaper, about a man who tried to rape a woman on the walking trail by the river as she jogged alone there. And then I awoke.

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