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Dream 2-5-15

March 5, 2015

Into the New, or Welcoming the New (?)

My wife (somewhat like Michelle Obama but white) and kids and I were living in some place like Indiana, and I was teaching at a university, maybe while finishing grad school. We had decided that we wanted to move, or it was time for a move, and I had applied for jobs. I was offered a position at what seemed like a very good school and place to live, and I told them that I accepted the offer. That felt good, a success, a good future opening up.

We were living on the edge of town, with a view out across fields. We put the house up for sale and were getting it ready. Our friend Erik transplanted some flowering bushes to a spot next to the front steps, and they were doing well. I walked across the side lawn and into a field that the farmer had recently planted. The spring weather was mild and slightly damp, the plants were sprouting well, and the farmer had installed irrigation lines above the rows. All of us were feeling good about life and were excited about moving to the new home (and town and school).   We looked at our neighbor’s house, a hundred feet or so away, a large square stone building, and saw that it wasn’t right—a structure on the top was leaning. These neighbors were a little off, a little wrong.

Then we got to thinking about—happily envisioning—where we were moving to. The new university was a good one, Wichita State. And then we thought, wait a minute, that’s in Wichita. Kansas. Now we had doubts. And more doubts. And I began to feel as though I was not going to take that job after all.

I was standing in the kitchen, where my wife was washing dishes—lots of bottles especially, that were all soaped-up. There was a knock at the door. But I was wearing only my BVDs, so I asked my wife to go to the door. It was a group of three or four middle-aged men, overweight, dressed in pin-striped suits, whom I thought of as a combination of Mormon and Seventh Day Adventist missionaries. They had come to welcome me to Wichita State University (although we had not yet moved there).

I went into the living room and told them that I was not accepting the position. They were dumb-founded, but then said, “We didn’t know. Why didn’t you tell us?” And I replied, “I just this moment decided” [and dreaming, that’s how it felt].

My wife and kids and I all felt good about moving, however; and then we became excited about the prospect of simply picking out a good place and moving there. My wife could get a job for sure, and I would get some kind of work. Definitely we were going to do that, and we all felt good like spring.

[Notes: That’s the kind of move that I’d like to see friends make. I’ve been aware of W St for a long time, because they have had a good basketball program. Then, they became known for a good creative writing program; a friend got her MFA there. But recently Wichita has been famous for their anti-abortion fanatics (even killers); and furthermore (coincidence?) it is the home of the notorious Koch Bros Industries! Shortly after Xmas I watched the John Cusack absurdist sleazy small-town corruption gory murders film, “Ice Harvest,” with its recurring written line: “As Wichita Falls So Falls Wichita Falls.” Last night I watched the “Foyle’s War” episode (early days of WWII in England) that included, almost as a character, the neighbor’s house that is in my dream, as a place of insufferable family oppression, corruption, and murder.]

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