4. John Kenyon (Etats-Unis)


22/12/05

*

Bernadette


 
As per suggestion by Ron Adams, I am forwarding to you my one recalled dream of the previous night (Longest Night, night of the winter solstice) in the hopes that it will serve some small part of the purpose.
 
Brief background : The dream was remarkably lucid. This happens for me fairly frequently, but not every night. These are the ones I remember best, because they most resemble "real-time" experiences.

The dream was set in Rock Creek National Forest, which lies near the center of Washington, DC, and which divides the city vertically. Some of the fondest memories of my life involved this park, including any number of sexual and spiritual adventures, although those are pre-dated by early childhood trips there from an adjacent neighborhood as well. It is worth noting a bedtime conversation with my wife involved the question of aging and how men and women are percieved to age in different ways. I am 60 years old but often presumed to be as much as three decades younger. I don't know whether to attribute this to my appearance, behavior, both, or something else. But the background was supposed to be brief, and so :


 
I find myself, with a female friend who is so close to me that I cannot identify her (always in the periphery of my vision), in Rock Creek Park, nearing a divided road that has been closed to vehicular traffic. This would probably be a portion of Beech Drive, the "main drag" of the park, which is closed to traffic on weekends. There used to be a portion left open, several hundred feet, to allow motor vechicles reach parking spaces just beyond the intersection. It was this way in the dream, but there was set, in the median, a bale of hay, and seated on the bale was one National Park Police officer, and a much older man, someone who resembled an old prospector or something similar, grizzled and mustachioed. The pair sat there, looking defeated, as young people passed them on foot or in cars, on either side of the median, to enter the "parking zone." Almost all the people who trespassed this way were young women or girls, and they were all acting silly, crazy, winsome, all different aspects of what might be considered a form of "spring fever." Some were driving. One, who I knew but cannot identify from my present life, was driving a red 1965 Mercury Comet convertible, and drove it beyond the usual parking slip and up against the hill unceremoniously, threw it into park, and almost literally "bailed out", flipping over the top-down toneau (sic) cover where the fabric of her tight-fitting pink jumpsuit hit the waxed and polished surface of the trunk lid, and she slid, out of control, toward the back of the car. I lept forward to catch her in both arms (an odd thing, as I presently have painful injuries to both my shoulders and couldn't possibly support even a 100 pound girl right now) and set her on her feet. I remarked that she could get hurt doing things like that, but she seemed intoxicated wth spring and thanked me but continued acting "crazy" like the rest of them. For the first time I saw this person in a new light, for the first time found her attractive instead of annoying (this person is embedded somewhere in my memory, I am certain) and yet I wandered back to talk to the beleguered ranger and his companion seated on the hay bale. The ranger complained that "this was the worst one ever", meaning whatever seasonal or annual event was taking place, hung his head and shook it mournfully. The older man talked on and on, over and through the ranger's comments, about how "it didn't used to be like this", etc. I blocked out his commentary except to ask him why he was here if it bothered him so much and he replied "Wouldn't miss it for the world !" I then shook my head, more in perplexity than anything else, and walked back into the fray, where it was now almost all girls (the exception being a few old friends I have not seen in a number of years, but who all frequented the Park with me at one time or another during my youth), and took note of a girl who had joined the wild pink-clad one. 

This "other" girl I knew as "Bernadette", and she was dressed in a typical Catholic school uniform of white blouse, very short, pleated, plaid (blue and green) skirt, white socks and saddle shoes. Her hair was thick reddish brown, and although I know who this person was, I was addressing her by her dream name of Bernadette (not her real name, but the name of the saint after which her school had been named - a real school in a real-life interlude years and years ago). "Bernadette" had incorporated, though, some characteristics of some other Catholic girls who were physically similar to her, so that she wasn't so distinctly "her." The one in Pink, who eventually was called to by the name "Rosie" (god, all this seems so obvious and predictable!) had brassy blonde hair, not quite shoulder-length, and while she made all the advances and spoke all the innuendos, they all involved "Bernadette" in that "Bernadette" was clearly to be my courtesan during this fiasco in the woods.
 
It appeared there had been a fairly recent flood. There was a great deal of dried mud and sand on the roadway, and some of the hillside was freshly eroded. The creek was flowing loudly and people came and went almost as though this were some sort of municipally-sponsored event. Even the hay bale mentioned earlier looked as though it had fallen off the back of a truck. It was a scene of pleasant chaos. Someone - the girl near me, the one I couldn't actually see, referred to the old man sitting with the ranger as "the old goat" and when she did everyone laughed, and I looked at him only to notice he had taken on some rather goatlike features about the face. He gave me a knowing look as the ranger just stared rather mournfully straight ahead, and said, in an oddly out-of-place drawl, "Love's th' law. Love under will. So will ya' or won'cha ? Hah ?" and began to laugh a rather goat-like laugh, then begain to cough, mutter and chuckle to himself. "Bernadette" appeared in front of me at that moment, as real and as fresh and still as archetypal as before, but in much clearer focus, and extended a hand, saying "Come on. She can come too", and gestured toward the girl who seemed so near as to be a part of my own self - the one I couldn't clearly see. I took her hand, entranced, and we wandered through the chattering, babbling crowd of young people, existentialists, academics, punks, the group seeming to grow more diverse with each step along the way. We passed the noisy group and came to a place in the road where an old, dead tree had fallen, and "Bernadette" said "You have to step over the dragon." It was almost like a challenge. It was difficult to overcome the reluctance to step over the log "dragon" (I used to refer to such an old log in one of the neighborhoods of my youth as a "dragon" because it looked like one to me. It resided in a vacant lot near an alley a short ways from our backyard gate).

"Bernadette" when I had stepped across the "dragon", was clearly a girl named Cecile, an Irish Catholic girl who I had lusted after in early adolescence, and who had lived just beyond that vacant lot, where now I found myself and her, as well as the stranger always to my right, who I still could not clearly see.

"Bernadette" said "She's the future, so she has to watch or she won't know what to do", and the next thing I knew we were in a messy second-story room in Cecile's house, back in the 1950's, on a bed together, naked, sweaty, with a warm summer breeze wafting through the curtains across our bodies, giving me chills. I was watching her breasts move up and down with her breathing, her hair, gorgeous, wild and tousled, and I remember the light in that room, that southern exposure, and I know that I did something there, under the pretense of having come to see her brother, years ago...

Commentaires

I awoke to the pleasant chills and the certain knowlege that I had done something from which there was no turning back, something that would, in some way haunt me. My wife was up and gone to work. I was alone, the light coming in the high window in my "real" bedroom, but no breeze, although it has been unusually warm here in southern california the past day or two.
 
So there is my contribution to the deam project. Thanks for sending Ron my way to suggest this. I hope it is of some value.
 

John Kenyon
Laguna Niguel, CA
Etats-Unis   

jekenyon@sbcglobal.net


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