heavenly bodies

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Disaster

I dreamed that my husband and I had bought a caravan and were towing it up a steep incline behind his rather old banger. (In reality we bought a caravan twenty years ago and towed it to France.) We felt a judder in the tow bar and he pulled over cautiously to the left of the road, but at that moment the caravan broke free, rolled past us and as we’d just reached the summit, careened at gathering pace down the other side of the bumpy mountain. We followed it with mounting panic, hoping nobody would be hurt as it left the road and ploughed through hedges and fields of crops, finally coming to rest at the bottom. Relieved that no pedestrians were around, the only harm had been to the farmland uprooted in passing, and to the caravan itself which was in pieces. We went to pick them up.

Now I found myself at a customer service counter first thing in the morning with no assistants in view. I was early, first to arrive, having realized that the insurance on the caravan was within minutes of expiring. I was concerned about damages that farmers might claim as much as a vehicle write-off. In the absence of an assistant I wrote a note in my file to explain the situation, dated and timed it and left a check to cover the insurance premium, recording that I’d come back later.

Later: Only one person ahead of me in the queue, then another beside me (it was a long counter). When it was my turn the guy to my left protested that he was here first and I should step aside. ‘No, you don’t understand,’ I said, ‘I was here earlier and left my file and check so I’m in the process already.’ He was annoyed but seemed like a pleasant man with a kind face which I suddenly thought had a gay man’s expression, so I relented and said ‘It’s OK, you can go first as I’m not in a hurry and you are gay.’ ‘I’m not gay!’ he said vehemently and I answered ‘I’m not against gay whether you are or not, I just thought that a gay person deserves a break because people are so often unpleasant to them.’

‘I see,’ he said in kindly manner, calming down, ‘Have you had a lot of unpleasant experiences?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I’m not gay either. But I know some of the staff here are, because I recognize them from our Unitarian church where LGBT people are welcome and they are in our soccer team.’ Just then an assistant arrived at the desk and apologized for the delay. The man said to her in a helpful way, ‘Would you find this lady an assistant who plays soccer?’ ‘You play soccer?’ asked the assistant, her surprise not unreasonable, as I’m pushing eighty. ‘No, I said patiently, it isn’t an issue,’ and the guy next to me chimed in ‘Then could you find her someone who is gay?’ The assistant looked bemused, as well she might at these exigencies, but in the tradition of customer services she was nothing if not polite. ‘Have you experienced a lot of prejudice?’ she asked sympathetically and I said ‘No, I’m not gay. I just want to establish that I’ve paid my insurance bill on time. The check is in my file if you’ll look.’ Just then two of my gay friends from church wandered by and waved to me a greeting. I waved back and then turned to the assistant to sort out the insurance on the caravan. There would be another hurdle to jump when it came to dealing with compensation for the damage, so I saved my strength for that.

 

The Beatles

The night before, I dreamed that Paul McCartney and John Lennon were both about to propose marriage to me. They each knew about the other but neither was jealous and they were prepared to settle down and share.

I hoped to marry Paul, but I was not sure about John. I thought he was a difficult character to deal with and more than I could manage. Paul always struck me as good natured and kind, qualities I value beyond riches. I didn’t mention these proposals to anyone, even to my friends, as it might not come to pass and I didn’t want any publicity.

(Ha! Marrying one or two Beatles and keeping it quiet?) John Lennon was forever forty in my dream. I was not interested in George or Ringo, and that’s pretty much how I felt about them when we were all young.

 

Another George

The nicest dream I’ve had lately is that I was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car (it must have been British) with Inspector George Gently to my right. It was really the actor Martin Shaw, whom I recognized from the TV series. He took my hand in his and smiled into my eyes. This gave me a tremendous sense of warmth and comfort and I edged a little towards him, saying ‘It feels nice to hold your hand. I don’t feel so alone.’ (In real life it’s too long since I had a significant other but at my age I’m just about resigned.) When I woke up I was still glowing from that tender moment, reluctant to let George go.

 

Awake

I’m glad my sense of humor, sex appeal, logic if not reason, and political correctness are still intact while I’m asleep. What I lack in adventures during my waking hours I make up for at night. I’ll see you in my dreams.

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Eileen Dight

Eileen Dight

Eileen Dight is a retired British specialist on trading in Spain, now resident in Ireland. Spanish- and French- speaking, graduate (at 46) of International Politics and History; former editor, interpreter and fundraiser. Her five sons and twelve grandchildren live in four different Time zones around the world. She has lived in England, Wales, Spain, France and Virginia, North America for 11 years. In 2012 she self-published her memoir Plate Spinner and Only Joking, 200 pages of collected jokes categorized for easy reference, as well as What’s On My Mind, her first 50 essays published in Like The Dew. All available on Amazon.com.