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The last few days I was on a very random sleeping schedule as a result of working many night hours. And so today, when I collapsed into bed at 9:30 in the morning, my over-stimulated, sleep deprived brain birthed the following dream…

I wake up and sleepily roll out of bed. It is about 11am, I am fumbling around in my room, only pj pants and a thread-bare wife-beater on, when in burst Gri. He is excited and proud, and he holds by the shoulders in front of him a man of average height, light-skinned and sandy-stubbled, with a trilby hat covering his pale hazel eyes. “Look at her! Isn’t she lovely!” he exclaims gleefully. The man looks at me calmly, smiling with his eyes. “I don’t even have a bra on!” I murmur embarrassedly to Grisha and shove past them into the bathroom, trying to cover the outlines clearly showing underneath the tank.

When I come out, dressed and slightly irritated at my partner’s lack of tact, he is happily peering into a pot of something gurgling on the stove while his friend wanders aimlessly through the house, picking up objects, touching things, sniffing. I am shocked to notice that Grisha is not wearing any pants. No pants whatsoever. I rush up to him and in a hushed voice hiss, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?! Why did you take your pants off??!!”

“Oh, it’s a tradition of ours,” he replies, “When he comes over we always walk around without our pants. It’s freer that way!”

“But what about his wife?! She’s gonna come any minute now, and this is totally unacceptable!” I am incredulous. This is so absurd. I literally take and shove him into the bathroom, telling him that I’m not letting him out until he gets decent. As I’m guarding the door, I hear noise in my bedroom. Coming into it, I see the man and a woman, with full, strawberry blond curly hair below her shoulders, standing in the middle. They have moved my bed and rearranged all of my furniture, and at their feet lies a pile of broken picture frames and photographs that were just in them, hanging on my walls. I am speechless and so they explain matter-of-factly, “We thought you should try something different. It’s a better look, don’t you think?”

“These are the guests from hell!!!” I think. I start hyperventilating because I have a special affinity for pictures, a peculiar sort of attachment to them. Mustering my last bit of courtesy, I ask the woman, “Who are you?”

She looks casually at the man, smiles evasively and says, “Oh, I’m a friend…”

Somehow I realize that she just showed herself inside our house, and get the feeling that Grisha, who’s come out of the bathroom, is also quite surprised to see her. She is someone from his past, but not the proper friend’s wife we were expecting, nor the man’s girlfriend. Quite bewildered, we show our guests back to the living room and there, right in the middle of the room, we discover a huge monster truck, standing with mud dripping off its wheels and its hood scratching our ceiling. “I couldn’t find any place to park” the man says unapologetically. Grisha and I telepathically share the understanding that they must have knocked down our whole garage wall to get the thing inside.

I take Gri to the side and, now in full panic mode, tell him that we have to get these people out of here RIGHT NOW, while we still have a roof over our heads. He isn’t willing to do it though, explaining that the man’s an old friend and that it would be rude. “Let’s just let them hang out for a while longer” he suggests as I glance over his shoulder and see that now we have four guests instead of two. The newcomers are both children, of different ages and degrees of haphazard messiness. One takes me by the hand and leads me outside into my little garden. Long hours I spent there nursing my dill, cucumbers, tomatoes and zennias. But now, everything has been dug out and replanted according to height in one long row. The child is delighted with her creation. I feel like this is more than I can take and stumble blindly back into the garage.

And so the day continues. Eventually four more children appear, as if they belong there, and each gets busily to work. One plays in the kitchen, another plants huge globs of oil paint unto my almost-finished painting, suggesting that it looks better this way. Their connections with each other and the two parent figures are not clear. In fact, it’s a pretty even spread from the 30-year old thoughtful, quizzical man, down to a two-year old rambunctious munchkin. Some sit reading (pulling out of the shelves) all of our books, others wash a long-haired mutt who weaves in and out of the picture in our dining room. A couple others want me to play with them, to run around with them and pretend that I am a dragon. And at some point I just give in.

The sinking sun catches glimpses of me chasing two of the smaller kids across puddles in the backyard, hunched over like a monster and growling in exaggeration. Grisha is talking with the man and the woman, bits of dialogue float past me, “So what is it you do, exactly?” “Oh, I sell money.” The woman responds. “I borrow it from Mortar (evidently a special lending company) and sell it for more…” I come up and chime in, “But why are people buying it from you?? Why can’t they just get it from Mortar for cheaper?” She shrugs, “I dunno. Guess they ain’t very smart” she drawls with a southern accent. “Well, it’s probably time we be headin’ back” the man says softly and glances at me from beneath the rim. “Yes. It’s been awful nice…” the woman adds and disappears into the already moving van. Most of the children are sitting there too, and I catch up to it with the last two, who were chasing me in an exciting game of tag. The van pulls away slowly, and I run after it, feeling unusually light.

I realize that something magical happened today, and in my last attempt to make order of things, I yell after them, “Who are you guys? What do you do??” A girl of about ten, with wavy, flowing hair, pulls a little out of the gently moving van and responds softly, “We just visit people, is all….”

Losing speed, I come to a halt and watch as the van turns into a small street I have never noticed. It slows at a house and one of the kids jumps out, waves a goodbye and heads home. Several houses further, it slows again and another kid nimbly crawls out an open window and skips towards his house. The van is too far away now to see clearly, but I somehow intuit that the man and the woman are the last two left. The darkness brings a haze that envelops the van, and it’s gone.

I turn around and start walking home. Unconsciously I pick up speed, and before I know it I am flying across ditches and driveways, running as fast as I can, feeling as if a thousand weights have been lifted. I realize that these mysterious people came to me to rescue me from the multitudes of complexes which oppress me. Overwhelmed by tremendous relief and gratitude, I rushed home to start a new life. I was finally free.

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