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    The House That Time Remembered

    2011 - 09.21

    Dreams are weird-ass things.  I seldom dream (or if I do, I sure don’t remember them). Since I graduated from College roughly six years ago, I’ve had two strings of recurring dreams. The first revolved around me finding out I didn’t take some obscure math class, so my diploma wasn’t valid. I believe that’s a fairly common dream for folks who are newly inducted into the peace of the real world versus the previous 18 years of academia. That recurring dream went away soon enough. It’s the series that followed it that piques my curiosity.

    When I was attending the prestigious Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA, I dated a girl that lived in an old frat house right across the street from campus. My apartment was a couple of miles from the campus, so needless to say, I spent the vast majority of my time at her place.

    The fraternity that inhabited the house previously absolutely trashed the place. They kicked down the rails on the porch and put holes in the wall, all the sorts of things you expect a college fraternity to do. The damage was further compounded by the fact that the house was in the historic district and all upgrades had to be approved by the city’s historic commission. Basically, all repairs were really expensive because they had to preserve the vintage nature of the home. For these rental houses, it was easier for the owners to just let them fall down around the tenants.

    I thought the house was awesome. I love old stuff and this house had all these cool little details and sliding pocket doors and all sorts of cool features you just don’t see in homes anymore. It was great for parties and it pretty much was the center focal point of my favorite year of college.

    My girlfriend and her roommates lived there for a year until the new owner threw them out because they were a pain in the ass. A year after that he sold the place and some new owners did it the right way and fixed it up to live in. This is what it look like now:

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    I always regretted not buying that house when the guy that owned it before it was fixed up sold it.

    Anyways, I had this dream one night a couple of years ago that some friends were living in it and it was even worse shape than it was when my girlfriend did. You could see holes in the floor in the back part of the house where the kitchen was, the second floor had exposed joists everywhere, and the extra bedroom on the second floor had no flooring or walls whatsoever, just framing. The one big difference in the house from the dream versus the real life one was a porch off the the master bedroom. In the dream there was one and it was collapsing. I remember one leg of the porch being too short and someone had stacked bricks underneath it to shore it up.

    There was some premise to the dream outside of the house, but I don’t recall what it was. What seems strange to me is the level of detail I had about the house.

    A short while later I had another dream about the house. In this one, the house had grown, but it was still essentially the same thing. I don’t remember quite as much detail, but the second floor basically had a landing after you went up the stairs and rather than the house being split into four bedrooms on the second floor, it was now split into two, one at the front and one at the rear. Someone I knew was living in the front room (Hence my being invited into the house in the first place. My dreams always tie up loose ends like this.) The rear room was the landlord’s when he was in town.

    In this dream for some reason, Angela, my girlfriend that lived in the house, was with me. We went into the landlord’s room, (which doubled as the guest bedroom when he wasn’t there back in her time) and it was nothing but bare framing like the previous dream. This time, however, it had this weird sort of loft where the the third floor would have been. you had to walk across boards to reach the ladder to the loft much like you’d walk across boards in an unfinished attic.

    As we climbed the stairs/ladder to see what was up there, the loft started swaying and began to collapse. We jumped back down to the boards below as the loft fell to the framing below. I remember very vividly being able to see through holes in the wall on the backside of the house and most of the panes of the windows being broken out. Also the room was way too big for the external dimensions of the house. It’s like the house was growing, but collapsing at the same time.

    It’s important for me to point out that these dreams aren’t scary. They’re really more like an exploration. The house also changes from dream to dream, but I always know that it’s the one in Milledgeville, albeit with in a different location or an added floor, or a porch, etc.

    The next time I dreamed about the house, it was on a hill near a grove of trees. The interior orientation of the house had been changed. It was wider and not so long, front to back, but I still knew it was the house. This was an odd dream. I really think it was two in one. It started out with me “discovering” the house on the hill in a little clearing. It was in rough shape, with the front right corner nearly collapsed. This is the only dream where the front of the house was really damaged, but when I think about how the interior orientation of the house was rotated, this was really the right rear corner of the house, at least internally. Basically, it’s like the inside of the house was rotated clockwise one quarter turn.

    I was with an unknown acquaintance and we ventured inside the house. To the right of the door would have been the dining room area and kitchen had the second floor not collapsed into it. To the left was the living room area that was bare. Beyond that was the stairway. The space above the stairway was open, and a walkway curved around to the upstairs rooms and left a view of the living area. Beyond the stairway there were some additional pantries or rooms or something. I don’t remember opening any of the doors except for a closet in the right rear of the house behind the collapsed portion where I found a pile of blankets and a possum. Surprisingly enough, the possum didn’t startle me in my dream. I just laughed and shut the door on it.

    I can remember this house having a lot of elaborate scrollwork in the wood on the stairway. It also had great hardwood floors in the entryway. But in the living room, the back part of the house, and the upstairs hallway (which I’ll get to in a moment) there was this hideous brown carpeting that looked like it was from the 1970’s, which was probably the last time the house was inhabited.

    We continued up the stairway that curved around the left rear corner of the house. The stairs took a sharp right turn at the wall, but the handrail was curved. I remember thinking that that was really a cool design. At the top of the stairs there was a row of doors to the left presumably leading to bedrooms. I find it odd that the stairs were at the back wall of the downstairs, but once you got to the second floor, there was additional floorspace beyond that point. In these dreams I always seem to be keenly aware of where I am in the house, but the house doesn’t always seem to be constrained within the external dimensions. Perhaps that’s why I always know it’s about the Milledgeville house.

    I can remember walking down the ugly brown carpeting to the top of the stairs and trying to open the first two doors to my left. They were both locked. When I got to the third, it was unlocked, but just an empty closet. The last door on the left side, before the walkway curved to the right and the collapsed portion of the house, was another closet. This one had a ladder in it leading down. My acquaintance and I climbed down the ladder and suddenly I was in a different house. I knew this one as well. It was a civil war era house belonging to some family friends. The dream totally shifted away at this point and went off on some other wild tangent, which is why I say it was really like two dreams in one.

    I have vague memories of another dream of the house where a basement is introduced. The one in Milledgeville never had a basement, just a crawlspace. I can’t remember why we were even down there in the dream and I can’t remember who I was with. I just remember a basement and waking up thinking, “There’s that house dream again.” This was the least vivid, as you can probably tell.

    Last night I dreamed of the house once again. This one was extremely vivid, and since I’m not writing about it months later, I can remember plenty of details. The house seemed to be in a rural area, or at least it was in a large lot with a very wooded backyard. Once again we were in the basement. Portions of the basement were finished and there was an awesome looking man-cave area with a stone fireplace and an old, moldy leather (or likely pleather) couch.

    The majority of the basement was unfinished or just bare framing. I was in the basement with a group of people I knew, although I couldn’t tell you who they were. They weren’t strangers to me in the dream. We were taking down some of the antique fixtures that were in the house, presumably to restore the place. The ceilings were taller than you’d typically expect in the basement of an old house, and I was standing on a step ladder taking a fan off the ceiling.

    I can’t really describe what the fan looked like, but it reminded me of one of those old General Electric fans that you used to see on peoples’ desks with the metal blades and the housing that you can stick your arm through, providing no protection whatsoever. Only this fan was bigger and hanging from the ceiling.

    As I was taking the blades off, I had an electric screwdriver and since this fan was installed before Phillips-head screws were invented, it had flat-head screws. The screwdriver slipped out of the slot several times for each screw.

    We got the rest of the fixtures removed and then there was a guy there to cut the power in the basement. He started by physically cutting the wires going to the fuse box in the basement with a pair of shears. That seemed odd to me, but it worked.

    The dream drifted for a bit and then I was in the back of the house and my Grandmother was there. Evidently, she had purchased the house and was going to have it restored. The back section of the house was once again falling apart, but this time there was mildew all over everything. We were opening closet doors in the basement and removing old clothes and items from the previous owners, none of it newer than the 1970’s. What stood out most in my mind was that the interior doors were all made of hardwood with paneling and all the doorknobs had lion heads inlaid into them. This was also the first dream where something positive has happened to the house; it getting repaired

    I awoke from the dream really excited. This house and the significance of the recurring dream really intrigues me. I’m not much for interpreting dreams, but here’s some common threads throughout the dreams and some thoughts I have about them:

    This recurring dream sequence is trying to tell me something. What that is, I don’t know. Maybe that I’m meant to buy an old house or to be careful of something if I do. It could be any number of things, but the dream is always upbeat or happy, the house isn’t ever haunted and like I mentioned above, even the possum I uncovered didn’t startle me. The dreams excite me, so generally I think it’s a positive.

    The outside of the house is always pretty much the same. I think this is my cue that the dreams are tied together. Once inside the house, the dreams tend to take place in different areas from previous ones. There’s a uniqueness to each one, but they could all be the same house and I’m only seeing certain sections. Perhaps I’m supposed to look for a house with these features or maybe design them into one? Who knows?

    The common thread that baffles me most is the back of the house always falling down. Why the back? Why would that be the part of the house that’s most destroyed? I’m sure there’s some significance there as well as the mold that’s crept into the last episode.

    I really have no idea what all this means, but I look forward to the next chapter of it. They seem to be coming more frequently now so perhaps this is some sort of clue as I get closer and closer to being able to afford my own home. If you’ve got any thoughts on the interpretation of this dream, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.



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