Good morning, everybody.
I was in a bedroom of an apartment or of a mutli-story house. The bedroom was dim and small, with dull, wood floors and a small bed that probably had a pink bedspread over it.
I was a strong, young man with olive complexion, dark hair, and a little bit of stubble on my face. I was in the bedroom with a woman who may have been beautiful, though she may have been twice my age. She may actually have been a family member, or the mother of a group of my friends who were downstairs.
I had gotten into an argument with the woman over something, possibly some crime the two of us had taken part in. I felt like the woman was going to get me in trouble by revealing something about the crime. I may have been planning to kill her to get rid of the evidence.
I traced my feet around the bed, moving clockwise around the bed from the head of the bed, down around the foot of the bed, and up just a step or two back toward the head of the bed.
The woman now stepped near the bed. She didn't know -- maybe I hadn't, either! -- that my feet had actually cut into the floor, like in cartoons. The traced area was ready to collapse. I must have had an idea of this, because I'm pretty sure I told the woman not to step any closer.
But the woman did step forward and fall through the floor. The bed, the section of floor, and the woman all vanished through the floor. I looked into the hole. I'd expected to hear a crash or something. But there was nothing. And the hole was shallow, like there was another floor only one or two meters down. Everything had really vanished!
I hurried downstairs, hoping to find the spot where the woman had landed. I met the woman's children, who were probably all about the same age as I/the young man. I don't know whether the family actually was angry at me for letting their mother die, or whether they even suspected me of being involved in it. But I was afraid they were angry. They all seemed kind of savage and capable of really harming me.
I was trying to justify what had happened to the woman. But the conversation between me and the others went to other topics. The hole in the floor, I learned, also had something to do with demons. So perhaps demons had drawn the woman to the hole in the floor. The woman was definitely in danger of demons right now, wherever she was.
Something else I learned from our conversation, which continued as we walked down a big complex of old, institution-style staircases and balconies, was that the woman had actually said something that had tempted fate, or tempted the spirits, to pull her into wherever she now was. She had something that had to do with keeping her distance from spirits, something like always staying two steps or five steps away from something.
As people -- including, now, for some reason, my grandma P -- continued to tell me this story, in an almost pitying tone of voice, I, continuing to walk down the staircase, began playing with the bannister, running my fingers along a knob of white-painted wood.
We ended up down at the bottom of the staircase, in a fluorescent-lit basement. I had expected to find the woman down here. I could even visualize her, laying wrapped up in a blanket, even cluttered on either side by stuff that had fallen with her through the hole in the floor.
I walked out of a living room and into a hallway, at the back of a group of older family members, probably including my mother, my grandma P, and my step-grandmother.
We had all been planning on how to take care of some older woman in our family who was having physical troubles. I had understood that I had been assigned certain tasks, and I had adapted my thoughts to the anticipation of taking care of these tasks.
But now that we were walking through the hallway, I learned that I had been assigned a whole different group of tasks. The responsibility I had accepted, even come to look forward to, was now replaced by a whole different set of responsibilities, which were things I felt could have been assigned to a child. I felt like it was being implied that I was no more than a little child.
I had only found out about these changes as they'd filtered through the conversation my relatives were having with each other. But I found out that my mother had actually been the one to make these changes. She'd made the changes, and she hadn't told me a thing!
We all ended up in a bedroom at the end of the hallway. The bedroom, like the rest of the house, was kind of small, narrow, and flimsy. But something about it also felt like a great library, like the Morgan Library.
The rest of my relatives had kind of dispersed, leaving just me and my mother in the room. My mom may have been trying to have a nice conversation with me. But she may also have been gloating at me, trying to needle me with the fact that she had changed plans on me without telling me anything.
I got extremely angry. Suddenly I was floating a bit above the ground. A book was also floating in front of me. Ostensibly the book was an edition of Dickens' Little Dorrit. But it was much thinner than any edition of Little Dorrit could be. And the covers and all the pages were made of some kind of backing and white fabric. The white fabric was all emroidered with quaint illustrations, giving the book the look of a folk art cushion and a child's book.
As I looked at this book, calmly entranced by its strange, Christmasy beauty, I was think/talk/yelling at my mom. I brought up some instance where a relative, possibly my grandma P, had needed her help. But some decision my mom had made had gone wrong. I yelled at my mom, "You! You really -- fucked -- it -- up!"
I knew that that would hurt my mom and get back at her for her having changed plans on me. But now that I'd done it, I felt bad. I'd gone too far. I worried that I'd permanently damaged my mom's emotions. I felt really terrible.
I was now in an SUV with some co-workers from my present job, probably including MM and SC. I was sitting in a backseat. We were driving through a quaint residential area. We drove up to a property that was fenced around with a solid, white wall of fence that had some kind of green ivy draping over it.
We stopped at the gate. It was understood that I needed to head in and hand a payment to an old woman who lived at the house. This payment was partly something I'd owed from the past. But it was almost like this payment was a kind of rite of passage, something that would make me part of my group of co-workers.
But I either didn't have the money or else was so low on money that paying the fee would really put me in trouble financially. I tried not to let on about this. But somehow SC found out. She, and probably the rest of my co-workers, were a little disappointed in me when they found out. I knew I'd be held in lower esteem because of this mistake I'd made -- not having enough money.
My co-workers, or maybe just SC, who was probably driving the car, may have handed me a twenty-dollar bill, or even a wad of twenty-dollar bills. I now had enough money to give to the old woman.
I was now standing before the door. But, where before the house had been in a kind of tight, wall-fenced place, it now stood out on some wide, sunny lawn, maybe even a wide valley.
Two old women opened the door. One woman stood tall. The other woman may have been very short, or hunched over, or even sitting in a wheelchair. She was kind of fat, very pale, very baggy-faced, with pale blue eyes and thin, white hair. She wore a peach-tan, satiny nightgown. She was the woman I was supposed to give my money to.
The woman didn't really seem concerned with my money. She was talking in a rambling manner that was uncanny and spooky. (I want to say now that it was autonomous or beyond my control -- I'm not sure why, or even what that would mean.)
The woman wanted me to stay to keep her company. She may have been offering me dinner in return. But something about the woman, the degree of her illness, made me realize that it wouldn't be good, either for me or for the woman, for me to stay with her.
I may still have wanted to stay with the woman. But I was now sitting on something like a child's tricycle combined with some (not sure what) aspect of a Radio Flyer wagon. The wagon was being pulled by a yellow and blue rope attached to the front. I was being pulled away from the house and out of the valley.
I kept trying and trying to pull myself back toward the woman. But the rope kept pulling me farther and farther away. Moving through the rolling valley, I was surprised by its vastness. I really felt like things had changed -- for the better (?). I saw a few small groups of beautiful people, mostly beautiful, little girls, playing in the valley.
Getting toward the edge of the valley I now saw that the people who were pulling the rope attached to the wagon were the co-workers who had been in the car with me, in particular SC and MM. They stood on a clear boundary of lands. The area they stood in was more like a pine forest, with trees and dusty, needle-strewn ground. I knew that my co-workers were doing what was best for me. But I still kept reaching back toward the house and the old woman.