This is based on a dream I had this morning:
She caught me with my pants down, as usual.
“It’s okay,” She didn’t even laugh, “You’re taking a long journey out there in the snow.”
I was struggling to adjust my rain pants against the bottom layers underneath. “These damn things are always riding up!”
Catherine sat next to me on the stairs. She didn’t seem to mind how ridiculous I looked. With one last tussle against the stubborn fabric, I was comfortable and collapsed heavily on the stair.
“Phew!” I looked at her and couldn’t help but smile. “Can’t wait to not be doing this routine anymore.”
“We’re going someplace better soon,” Her eyes seemed to shine up brighter than usual as she spoke, “No more fighting with the snow… or layers of thermal underwear.”
Catherine always had a regal feeling about her, but this time she took on a younger, more innocent looking guise. Her hair was dirty blonde with gentle curves and waves. Her clothing was befitting a country girl’s taste; boot-cut denim jeans with an oxford sleeveless top. Those blue eyes that shined so brightly drew me in more than anything else. Her majesty was still present and accounted for, yet hiding just beneath the surface. Like royalty who wants to experience being normal for a day.
The setting around us changed suddenly. Instead of sitting inside the cool, uncomfortable confines of my old church, we found ourselves deep in the woods on a quiet summer’s evening. The stairs of the church foyer were exchanged for the back steps of my best friend’s house. We were in bluegrass country.
Catherine and I began to talk. Away from the false pretenses of make-believe institutions, I felt much more comfortable opening up to her.
“They tell me that you enjoy radio.” She said. I had no idea who “they” were, but I answered anyway.
“Yeah, though I gravitate more towards the classical programs they play on NPR.”
God, that sounded snobbish. I thought. “What do you like to listen to?”
“Talk radio.” She replied, without missing a beat.
I blinked in surprise, “Really? Like Rush Limbaugh? Howie Karr? Those guys?”
“Sometimes,” Her smile grew as though she was about to land a whopper of a punch-line, “I’ve had to adjust my tastes, living with you for so long.”
“So, you went from being a conservative to a red-pilled conspiracy theory buff?” I chuckled, though still wary about the verbal trap I might’ve been waltzing into.
“No, it’s more like being a girl, who just wants to find love, falling head-over-heels, and figuring out the details as we go.” She explained.
I didn’t say it out loud, but I figured that was a nice way of her saying, I don’t like the crazy stuff you listen to. Let’s just make love already!
“You should check out Bill Cooper’s radio shows.” I offered, half-jokingly.
“Oh, really?” She snuggled up closer as the environment changed yet again.
“Yeah, Behold A Pale Horse, and shit like that.” I was cut short by the appearance of a large projector screen standing at the foot of the stairs. An animated cartoon film began to play. I also noticed a few children had gathered about us on the stairs. Their attention was mostly focused on the movie. Some of them were draping themselves over large stuffed animals.
I couldn’t bring myself to ask Catherine if I had anything to do with these little ones, figuring that I should know better. Surely, they must belong to someone else, and they just want to see the movie.
The film was like an old Disney cartoon, replete with talking mice enduring incredible circumstances. I recall one family of mice, where the youngest sibling was kept like a slave inside of a record player. He would constantly crank the machine by himself, while his parents hurled insults at him from outside.
My attention turned back to Catherine. One of the large stuffed animals was between us now, and she was resting against it. I succumbed to sleep shortly thereafter.