Among a crowd of frenetic students changing classes, a presence walked up behind me. I’d found myself caught up in a crowd that made no sense, I was just searching for the hallway to the laundry room in what others said was a nonsensical place.
I lost the landlord, a woman with a snarky pride over her Air BnB that she denied was in disrepair. She scurried through dark hallways and then she wasn’t there. I returned to the place where the others had complained about my clothes left in the dryer. There another led me through the toddler nursery. A cat slipped by my feet and joined in our fast walking. Suddenly, I’m in a room filled with cats and dogs. We pause to confront the property manager who asked “Where the hell did you go?”
I gave no reply. A cat vomited on my foot and the frustrated helper sighed.
I struck out on my own again, ready to gather my laundry next to my chest and begin the long trip back home from this less than idyllic weekend getaway.
That’s when the students were thronged together, they chattered and marched or had heads down persevering.
The man measures his steps to match mine. Asks, “Why the sad face, are you lost?” He comments about the owner, agrees with the rooms being in disrepair. He walks beside me.
I’m hesitant, but turn to see an easy smile, a jawline in need of a shave and a glint of hazel eye.
He points me to the door that leads to the laundry, has my warm clothes in the dryer.
Quickly and cautiously I say, “I gotta hurry, gotta get back to South Carolina.”
He walks on his way.
I gather my laundry and think of describing the encounter with the stranger who showed me the way, of the satisfaction of finding words to fit emotion. In my dream, I wrote a story about the kindness of a stranger.
The kindness that gave me comfort in the finding again of just the right words.
I decided to write here about this dream not as an invitation to interpretation or to cause you to consider how deep or a little crazy I might be. On both I concur. No, I had a dream that made me think of writing as beauty and I woke to think, maybe, just maybe I will write. I haven’t shelved that dream altogether. It’s still a joy.