Moving Pictures (1)

Moving to a new house is often a bit nightmarish. It’s a lot of work managing the innumerable details of the process (selling or ending a lease on a house, buying or renting a new one, packing, finding a moving solution, changing addresses, changing banks, dealing with utilities and other service providers at both ends, cleaning…). It can be stressful and expensive, and I don’t know many people who do it for fun (although fun can be had along the way).

With my own move coming up alarmingly fast, I find myself having actual nightmares (or at least very weird dreams) about it. I’ve decided to share them. That’s what they say about nightmares, isn’t it? The more the merrier?*

Dream 1: The Wrong House

“A Beautifully Furnished Dining Room”
(screenshot of image from Hazel H. Adler, How to Choose Colors and Furnishings for Your Home (1926), p. 10., courtesy of the Internet Archive)

I woke up in the wrong house.

That is, it was my house. I knew it was my house — I was lying in my own bed, my dogs were in the room with me, I was surrounded by my own stuff — but once I left my bedroom, it was abundantly clear that everything about it was wrong. The layout had changed and expanded in unexpected directions. Outside, the yard was still fenced, but differently — just a small bit was confined by a fence in a style quite unlike the one I expected to see.

“Alcove Breakfast Room”
(screenshot of image from Hazel H. Adler, How to Choose Colors and Furnishings for Your Home (1926), p. 11., courtesy of the Internet Archive)

There was an old woman inside with her daughters (I’m not sure how many — they seemed always to hover in the background, busy at some chore or other). She didn’t seem at all alarmed to see me, although she insisted the house was hers, and not mine. She cheerfully led me through ever-increasing halls and rooms and corridors, insisting that she knew just how to help me.

“Cheerful and Tasteful Farmhouse Dining Room”
(screenshot of image from Hazel H. Adler, How to Choose Colors and Furnishings for Your Home (1926), p. 10., courtesy of the Internet Archive)

As we traveled, I noticed that slowly, terribly, inexorably, every room was becoming a dining room in some historical period decor or other. The old woman’s cheerfulness began to wear a little thin when she noticed (I think it was the weirdo fuzzy white 1970s dining set that nearly broke her). We moved as quickly as we could, but we could never escape it — every turn led to a table and chairs and a sideboard, and we knew that we didn’t dare stop to rest, or we’d be waiting forever for dinner.


*Obviously, no, they do not say this about nightmares. Nor should they, whoever “they” are.

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About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15+ years), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've recently finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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