Sunday, November 11, 2012

the Blue House

There is a small blue house just down the street from the center of the city. The business sector suddenly ends, and then there is a row of houses, just like that. The blue one is the third or fourth house down from the cut-off between business and residential.

As far as I know, the house is not for sale. At least, there are no signs in the yard indicating that it is. And yet, I can’t help but think that I would like to live there. You thought so too, and said as much when we were last there in the city. We agreed that we would probably be quite happy in that small blue house.

* * *

I finally got the chance to show you around the city. We were on foot, so I didn’t get to show you much of it. But there is enough of interest within just a few city blocks to make it worth the visit.

Not long after we began walking, we stumbled upon a certain street, one that has become rather special in my mind. I almost forgot the street was there until we were actually upon it. I told you that whenever I come here in my dreams, for some reason I often dream about this street.

Who knows what dreams mean, really, but the street feels important because of its prominence in my dreams. Dreams can do that: add meaning to something that would otherwise be inconsequential. The street always looks a bit different, of course—different stores and restaurants, different neon signs and intersections—but déjà vu tells me that it is always the same street, even if it is re-imagined by my mind each time.

We went into a small bookstore on the street and quickly split ways, looking in different sections for books that interested us. You were looking for British classics, and I was hoping to find a section devoted to the Oxford World’s Classics series. No such section existed—it turned out—but it was just as well.

I turned my attention to looking for a book by a foreign author whose name I can’t even spell, let alone pronounce. Pierdoit? Peridot? Peirot? His first name was Andres…or, at least, something that started with an A. They didn’t have anything by him—it was a rather small bookstore, after all, and he’s a decently obscure author. French, if I recall. The thought came to mind that perhaps I was confusing this author with Georges Perec, but then that didn’t sound right.

After a few minutes of looking around on our own, you and I found each other again. You had found a book you wanted to buy, something by Jane Austen. Even though you already had a copy of it at home, this was a special edition. And anyway, it would be a good memento for your visit to the city. I also told you that this was the store where I bought my first copy of Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, and, for that reason, the store held a special nostalgia for me.

After we left the bookstore, we continued down the street. It must have snowed the night before, because the further away from the city center we got, the more snow and ice there was on the ground. Though I’m not much of an ice skater, still, we decided to skate along the sidewalk and the street, me in my black Converse, you in your yellow. It was while we were skating that we came across the small blue house, the one we wanted to buy, the house where we would be happy.

And then we started heading back into the city, and I woke up.

Oh, London—do you even exist?

Not all is lost: for what it’s worth, you really do have yellow Converse.


Michelle Dyer Peterson said...

Of course it is exists! The very fact that you dream it means that it exists! I guess it goes back to that "emotional truth" idea we've played around with. It may not exist in the form that's on the surface and that we understand, but it exists underneath all of that, that deeper than we can really understand is a truth we are desperately trying to unfold. Is this making any sense? Do dreams make any sense? It's just turning into one giant philosophical bubble. :)

aaron searle said...

Perfect! :) I love giant philosophical bubbles. ;)

This post and the previous (London) are not at all scenes from--or even outtakes from--my new novel, but there certainly is a connection there, especially when you start analyzing it in light of everything you just said.

"The very fact that you dream it meants that it exists." --keep this in mind when you're reading my new book. ;)

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