Moving Pictures (2)

As mentioned in the first post in this series, my subconscious has been having a bit of fun with me as I grapple with the maddening process of moving from my old home to a new one. Because the brain-noise hits keep coming, I’m sharing those oddball dreams here.

Dream 2: Monday Avenue

It all began with furniture.

My mother and I were selecting and arranging a sofa and some chairs in my new house’s living room. It was fun, actually, and a little surreal — the sofa unexpectedly turned out to be a convertible sofa-bed, and the randomly appearing chairs coordinated with it no matter what shape or color it took. Then, for no reason at all, the mirror above the fireplace mantel disappeared and was replaced with a sort of hole, inviting (we thought) the purchase and placement of a television.

Obviously, we had to go find one, so we trotted off into the night down Monday Avenue to find a pawn shop.* Also: for some reason, we were not going to the pawn shop to buy a television. We were going because I suddenly needed a part-time job.


The pawn shop we found was small. When we entered the single front room, it was decorated like someone’s idea of an old saloon — red cloth-textured wallpaper and too much mahogany combined into something faintly lurid. The proprietor and another man were talking at the counter, both using an exaggerated Boston Southie dialect. When I told them why I was here, I was given a sort of test to see if I knew what I needed to know to properly value the objects brought in to pawn. I noticed that behind the counter, there was a carefully secured shelf full of books that I instinctively knew to be nearly worthless — damaged middle volumes of unpopular old series, worm-worried journals, assorted artsy novelties, and a middle-grade literature textbook from the 1940s that seemed a bit water-damaged.

Water-damaged page from A Specimen Book of Types of the Athenaeum Press (1907)

It occurred to me that things might not be as they appeared here.

Just as the proprietor was about to tell me when to start working (apparently, I passed the test), two young men with old guns entered the shop, shouting angrily. My mother and I thought that this would be a good time to leave, so we hustled out into the night on Monday Avenue. On the way back to my house**, we suddenly detoured into a gigantic church full of people (mostly women and children) who seemed to be waiting for something. We waited, too, until we stopped waiting and ran off into the night again.

We never did get that television.

*I have no idea where Monday Avenue is, or why it featured so heavily in my dreaming mind.

**My new house is not on Monday Avenue. I have no idea why my brain kept insisting that it would be, or that it might be nearby. There is no Monday Ave in the town to which I am moving, as far as I know. There is, as it happens, a Monday Ave in or around Mount Airy, NC, which is the town where Andy Griffith grew up (the model for Mayberry). Make of this odd little fact what you will.

About L. M. Bernhardt

Deaccessioned philosopher. Occasional Musician. Academic librarian, in original dust jacket. Working to keep my dogs in the lavish manner to which they have become accustomed.
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