Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Dream - The complimentary cake

Sunday morning, May 23, 2010, I dreamed I was in Nevada, driving off to work and then, after work, driving back to town. I was in the dark blue 1987 Oldsmobile, I think. I had recently come back from Arizona, maybe the previous day.

When I left for work, I was worried about having enough gas, but I thought if I had to I could stop at a couple of places before I got back to town, particularly the service station on the corner where the road turns toward town. I didn't want to, though, and besides I was a little suspicious of the service station on the corner's gas, and probably more so of the other one. I did have enough gas to make it back, though, and didn't think about it after that.

I had read something in the previous day's local newspaper, in the want ads, about someone giving out free cake tonight. They didn't say free, it was some other word meaning that, maybe complimentary. They were doing it because of something else that was happening, maybe a special occasion, maybe a fund raiser, maybe something else, I don't remember now. I thought I would stop and get some on the way back from work. I thought about it off and on that day at work, sometimes looking at the ad again, and sometimes wondering if I would really go ahead with it, but I kept reminding myself of how I had wanted to do it. I also thought if I should mention it to other people at work.

I was driving back into town now, into a neighborhood. It was night, early evening I guess. I didn't take the turn I normally did in the neighborhood, I went the other way. One of the cars from work went by, turning in the normal direction, the people in it looking back at me, probably wondering what I was doing. I took a few more turns, and the street itself turned back to the left, the area beyond it a broad dirt area. A lot of cars were parked along the curb. It was difficult to see the numbers painted on the curb because of them. I went on for a short while, just a few houses, then decided, based on the numbers and my feeling about the matter, that I had gone too far, and the house I was looking for was way back, maybe near the corner. I picked up the paper from the seat beside me and peered at it in the dark. It was supposed to be number 75.

I parked back at the corner, in the dirt area, and walked up beside a house and looked in the front window, from a distance. The kitchen table had a lot of stuff on it, including some large odd shaped un-iced white cakes, apparently in the shape of animals, maybe rabbits. A woman was there, slightly overweight, and a couple of kids. This looked like it was probably the place. I thought I should probably ask them.

One of the kids, a boy, went out back to the swing set. I went out there too, at a distance, staying out of the yard. The mother came out the back door, and I saw that what she was wearing was a pink flowered house dress or nightgown. She called to the kid to come back inside, that it was time to eat, and the kid said something and started to head for the house. The woman turned around and started to go back in. The soft rain falling on what she was wearing looked oddly slick and shiny, and I realized that she was wearing a transparent raincoat over her dress. I also saw that the dress had a seam down the back which had separated in the area of her rear, maybe two or three inches. Nothing was visible through it right now, though, it was just a dark line in the seam. I wondered about the advisability of actually asking them about whether this was the place with the cake, and wondered if I should just leave and forget about it. I really wanted some cake, though.

I went back to the front, and the sidewalk, and wandered there for a bit and among the cars, thinking I would try to find the house numbers on the curb I guess, and maybe getting some courage to knock on the door, when I saw an old woman out there, dressed in fancy clothes and heavy makeup. She was smiling, grinning, and asked if I was looking for the cake. I said that I was, and she took me in the house. The younger woman and the kids were at the kitchen table, the woman standing. The kids might have been, too, or might have been sitting down, and the woman was talking to them. I looked over at them as we went into the house, but we didn't go into the kitchen with them, and they ignored us, paying no attention.

The old woman took me instead to the left, to a table in another room. A huge rabbit-shaped cake was sitting upright, with light brown icing in heavy swirls. It didn't seem to have anything cut out of it yet. She talked to me, still happily grinning, as she went to it and made a cut up on the head, not quite enough to get the piece loose, as it still needed a cut down from the top. Then she reached down to get something to put it in, a piece of plastic wrap. She asked where I was from, and after a slight pause I said Arizona. She was asking something then about that, some nice conversational comment maybe, and apparently forgot where she had started to cut the piece earlier, and put the triangular serving blade under the bottom of the cake, where the bunched legs of the rabbit were. Still talking and distracted, she lifted up and tried to take the piece out, which hadn't been cut at all, and a big section broke off the cake, going up about eight inches, slanting to an edge at the top. She looked at it, startled, and said, "Ohhh!" Then, grinning again, said that I would just have to take the whole thing, referring to the large piece she had broken off. She put it in the plastic wrap, somewhat awkwardly, got it sort of cradled in it, and gave it to me. I thanked her and left.

I went out into the night and the soft rain, holding the cake that was awkwardly set into the somewhat bunched plastic wrap, which went around the bottom and up the sides some like a bowl, and not too much at the top. I was eating the cake as I went, and slowly walked back to the car.

I found it was the old green 1970 Chevrolet El Camino, a mid-size car that was half pickup truck. I had left the window most of the way down too, in the rain. I hadn't intended to be gone this long. Trying to find where the door lock was, I saw that it was in an odd place on the back fender, a foot or so from the wheel. I put the key in and turned it, and a window started to rise up from the fender that formed the side of the pickup bed. I think the window in the door also rolled up. I was startled, not expecting this, especially the window in the fender. I guessed it was some kind of automatic thing that had been built in, in case someone put a roof over the bed.

I got in and tried to shut the door, but it wouldn't latch. I wondered about that, thinking about a car I had that kind of trouble with, but it hadn't been this one. I wondered if this one had developed it, too. I seemed to be too crowded also, that might be part of it, I was too close to the door. I tried to scoot over some, without much success, and turned and saw to my surprise that my father was sitting there, and on the other side of him was one of my nieces. They were both younger than in real life, and she was still a child. Then I realized that this was one of the car models with a back seat and four doors (which didn't exist in real life), and I was in the back seat. I got out and went around to sit in the front. I had a lot more room, there.

I slowly backed off the dirt into the street, and turned so the back was pointing down the street. Another car was now trying to come from around the turn, and had paused. I put the car in drive, feeling tired and sleepy, but the car was still rolling backwards a little. I looked at the transmission markings and wondered if I had moved the lever enough, whether it might be in neutral instead. It was hard to tell. I moved it over some more, and after a pause, because of its age I guess, it suddenly caught and the car started slowly moving forward.

I drove around the curve and started looking for a way out of the neighborhood and back home. I sometimes ate my cake as we went. They were both somehow in the front seat with me now. My father suggested I share it with my niece, and, I guess, with him, but I had been looking forward to eating it and didn't want to. My niece started whining about wanting some, and started to cry a little, and my father was saying I should give some to her. I said, somewhat irritated, that I would find some place that was open and get her something there.

I went to the left and found after a little bit what seemed to be a main road, though it was just two lanes, and got on it, going left. We drove away, the neighborhood on our left, and very little our right. Soon we were driving through a long area that was largely empty, seeming to be on the outskirts of things. After a while, I found what seemed to be a very small shopping center and turned left onto it. A few other cars did too, not many. It was closed, and I think I was just looking for a place to rest, to sleep for a while, though I'm not sure I did.

Then it was getting lighter, toward morning. I started the engine and began slowly driving along the shopping center parking lot, trying to find a good place to get back on the road. There was a break in the curb, but it was raised too high from the level of the parking lot, which was mostly gravelly dirt in that area, and I thought the car would bottom out if we tried it. We seemed to be somewhere in Arizona now, on the outskirts of things, though it didn't feel that we had gone very far.

I finally got out somehow, turning right, going back the way we came. After a while I stopped at another small shopping center. It seemed to be in the afternoon now, on Sunday. I carefully drove through it with my car, through the entrance and into the building and then out into a large open area, a kind of large outdoor plaza, with the shopping center forming a big rectangle around it. Some kind of local celebration was going on, some kind of Indian-themed thing, with pots and ceramics and other things on display, and various minor games set up for the kids.

I drove slowly and carefully through part of it, along the edge of it. They had some little pots and ceramic figures set up in a partial ring in the way, though, a little ways into it, and I had to carefully thread the car through them. I turned right, then, and headed slowly into a space between buildings, heading out of the shopping center, but then turned around and headed back. My father was asking why I didn't continue, they might have had a shop somewhere on the other side where I could buy something for her to eat, but I said no, I wanted to try somewhere else. I didn't say any more, but I just didn't want to try searching around this place any more, it seemed too much work, and it bothered me to be in there with all this activity going on.

I tried to go back the way I came, but found that the ceramic stuff on the ground was now too much in the way. There was enough room to walk through, but not drive a car. I stopped and stared at it for a while, and started to go and then stopped again. There wasn't any way I could safely drive through it. Like before, it curved around an area with a tall thing in the middle, maybe a statue and fountain, but now there was just no opening big enough to get through.

I finally reached down the outside of the car door with my left hand, my right hand still holding what was left of the cake, and, still inside the car, picked the car up. With my feet sticking out through the bottom of the car, I then walked on through the display, and went through the entrance to the inside of the shopping center. I found though, that the way out was narrower than I remembered. Instead of double doors set together, they were now set apart from each other, with maybe eight feet between them. They were also being locked by some women. It had evidently gotten too late and the place was closing. It was still afternoon, but might have been around 5:00 now, and I guess the place, not being in an area with a large population, closed early on Sunday.

They saw I was trying to leave and one of them went toward a door to unlock it, the one on the left. I stared it it. It seemed awfully narrow, just intended for a person to go through. I finally headed for it, thinking it would have to work somehow, that I would make it work, somehow. While the woman held the door open, I went toward it, and I found the car was narrow enough now that I could walk on through, and I walked on through, happily.

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