I had a dream last night that I went to a get-together in a hall of some kind, maybe a high school reunion. My school friend Lynds was there, but she had changed her name to Lynn. I was disappointed, telling her that Lynds was such a cool name and she said “Yes, but people mistakenly call me Lynn constantly so I gave up.” She went on to tell me she was also tired of people making “Lawns” jokes at her expense. In my dream Lawns was a chain of garden and home improvement centers. I was embarrassed to realize it wasn’t the first time I had forgotten her new name. I wasn’t there very long but as I was leaving Lynds gave me a tray of cream filled brownies, she had stacks to give away, “Would you like vanilla cream filled, strawberry, mocha, etc?” Lots of flavors. I had vanilla, they were so good I ate the entire tray while I stood there getting ready to leave.

I decided not to stay the night in town and wondered if the motel would give me a refund since I was checking out after less than an hour. The receptionist said No Way and snatched the car rental keys from my hand then walked back to her computer to check me out of the place. When I started the drive home the road became so steep I was afraid the car would fall backward and I turned around to go back down, but I had to climb down while holding on to the bumper of the car as it swung freely below me. When I got to the bottom a guy in a sports car was driving down on the dirt part of the hill and I said “Why didn’t I think of that?” and he laughed and said “It’s easy!”

There were a confusing multitude of freeways and freeway entrances all around, I pulled into a vast shiny gas station with many attendants wearing white uniforms and caps, so I could ask for directions. One of the young guys working there said that he would explain the entire new freeway system to me, but there were way too many customers right then. While he cleaned a windshield he gave me directions to the freeways that would take me to Interstate 5 and I told him that from there I would know where I was. He was friendly enough but just really busy.

As I negotiated the confusing web of freeways and overpasses I noticed that these were built in an intentionally unfinished and artful way with large triangular holes in the supporting structures that revealed the metal, wood, and concrete mechanical workings inside. Wheels, pulleys and big tilting steel arms. The holes were decorated with floral and other repeating designs etched into the cement around the edges. While I drove, Harry Chapin (in my dream he was still alive) was singing on the radio about these new freeways, sarcastically, in a song, “…and aren’t they pretty and impressively built?” And the song went on to explain how they’re starting to build houses that way now too, and how you could see stories of happiness and sadness through the holes. Now I was watching a movie of the song while I drove, and there was a family in a hole-y house and I could see the dad and the children in one hole and the mom through a hole in another room in a different part of the house. It was sad because the mom would fade out and a new mom would fade in, and there was a succession of moms but none were aware of the others and the dream faded on that melancholy note. But I woke up in my bed so I made it home at least.