I spent the weekend at a Christian writers’ conference — Re:Write, the Ragged Edge. Before doing a post on my wonderful weekend of learning, meeting, schmoozing, and encouragement, I must tell about my three nights in a lovely hotel.
I left home on Thursday afternoon, and wanted a little pick-me-up before going out the door. There were some chocolate candies in my fridge calling my name. I should not be eating chocolate as the caffeine can keep me awake all night. Dumb! Once in a while, I have tried something chocolate and had no ill effects. Even if it did buzz my body, I hoped, after three hours of driving, my exhaustion would make me sleep all night. Wrong! Not much sleep at all! Maybe some dozing, but no restful sleep. Not a good way to begin a conference of sitting still hour after hour, listening attentively with the intent to learn. My concentration and absorbing skills were severely diminished.
Second night. The hotel had wonderful accouterments . . . except . . . the pillow! They definitely did NOT come from dreamy-land bedding. These Renaissance very fluffy pillows allowed your head to sunk to the mattress while the billows of fluff inside the pillow encasement flowed up the sides of your face. <sigh> But I was very tired and fell asleep quickly in spite of the pillow, only to be awakened by a nightmare.
My adult son was only about 9 in the dream. He attended a private school with children from families who lived in mansions. The phone rang. The father of one of Greg’s classmates was inviting Greg to his son’s birthday party. We had less than an hour to arrive on time. The father proceeded to give me directions to their house. I became frustrated, because, in that pre-GPS era, I did not recognize the names of ANY of the streets. I had to question over and over asking for a major cross street which I might recognize. Unfortunately, the conversation reached a point of becoming contentious. I finally had some directions on paper which I hoped worked.
Obviously, we had no gift purchased for the occasion. Greg said he would make his buddy a gift. He used paper to create a 3-D bin in which he glued some of his toys: a teddy bear, a ball, some Matchbox cars, perhaps another thing or two. Then I needed to figure out how to wrap this heartfelt, loving gift. While I worked on my project, Greg disappeared. When I called for him, I heard no answer. I noticed the Jeep was gone! Greg’s Dad had learned to drive at age 9 on country roads, so he taught Greg to drive at age 9 — in a parking lot, not on a street! In spite of this being before GPS days, I had a livestream Google Satellite view of the streets in my area. I could see where the Jeep moved through twists and turns. Panic set in! My cue to wake up!
Night three. I awakened at 4am with dry sobbing. I had gone to a hardware store, with three young children in tow, for duct tape. The salesperson knew nothing of duct tape and called the store owner for assistance. The owner said the only tape she had was back in the warehouse, so she led us outside, through a muddy passage to her office and warehouse. There we found package tape, not duct tape.
I had not met this woman before, but my mother had taken our aging, incontinent dog to this woman who said she could find a wonderful home with lots of outdoor time for our dog. I asked the woman about our dog and where he lived. She coyly stated, “That is a sad story.” Well, of course, deeply concerned, I HAD to know! She pointed to a large , closed cardboard box. I opened it to find my precious dog nearly comatose, near death. I went into hysterics, screaming at this woman and calling her names I cannot type! My cue to wake up came as I lifted Hershey out of the box.
No redemption can be found in these nightmares. They must have been the result of an overly-stimulated mind. Thank God, no truth exists to either climax.
I am a non-fiction writer. Perhaps my brain was trying to come up with a fiction story which, necessarily, includes conflict.