Last night I had a long dream. The alarm went off early and we were going to get up and see a movie, but decided not to because we hadn't gotten a lot of sleep for a few days. Instead we slept in. I had a lot of hours of sleep that wasn't quite REM sleep, but was at that dreaming stage. My dream was long and complicated and very strange.
My husband and I were at our house, sleeping in the basement. There was a storm upstairs. We didn't wake up for it. When we got up in the morning, our house was destroyed. The walls were gone. Literally gone. All that remained were some broken studs, some collapsed windows, and the roof. The roof was intact, but laying half hazard in pieces on the ground. The ground was grass, now that I think about it that was strange too. Though we were in the basement, the floor wasn't built on top of the basement, but it was still all grass, the basement was just a hole in the ground with a slat board top on it.
The house, it turns out, was just siding nailed to studs with some windows cut into it, and a roof stacked on top. Somehow it had stood like that for hundreds of years, even thought the siding was aluminum and defiantly not a hundred years old. Somehow no one had noticed this, including us when we purchased the house.
The neighbors were out, but they were my family and some friends I knew and they were all trying to help out, picking up pieces of the walls and roof and trying to find anything of use. I asked where the cats were, and some of them were sitting and sunning on the scraps of wood, but a few were in the yards around us. Ara was sleeping in the neighbor's yard in a planter as contented as a cat could be. They said they would watch over the cats for us until the insurance company could fix our house back up.
I called the insurance company and they said they would be right over. I remember thinking and wondering if they would not notice the fact our house originally didn't have walls and would pay to have actual walls installed or if we'd just have siding installed again.
I went downstairs. The downstairs opened up into a secret lab. I'd dreamed about this secret lab before. This time I was in a different section, where the lab work was done in smaller rooms filled with white boards and green liquids bubbling in beakers, and classrooms were filled with students hopeful to get picked to join the secret society of scientists I didn't know what they were making.
I was put onto a computer and I was logged into it. It was full of icons and hyperlinks and was hard to look at. The text was bright colors and the background was yellow. I clicked an icon at the bottom of the screen and the all the text and background changed colors but it was even harder to read. I clicked on another link and the colors changed again. The icons were distracting, I couldn't work. I kept clicking on them to try to make them minimize and they kept coming back and every time I clicked, the colors on the screen changed.
There were thousands of icons in marching rows across the bottom of the screen and as I clicked they started marching up the sides and top like ants. The screen kept changing, even turning animal prints at one point. The minimize buttons like Windows 98 icons marching endlessly like a centipede game drove me crazy but I couldn't stop because I couldn't find the log out button because I couldn't find it in all the colors of hypertext.
Somehow I realized I was no longer in the lab, my entire computer station had been on an elevator and was inside my house, in the corner where my office is inside my real home. I looked up and saw the house was rebuilt. The walls were zebra printed just as the screen was as I'd just clicked on a zebra printed icon. Every time I clicked on an icon, another layer of paint was put on the walls.
My husband was standing next to me, he was talking to me but I had been so absorbed with trying to find the log out button I hadn't heard him. He spoke to me again. He was asking me to click on another icon. He told me that each time I clicked, the walls were built up. The insurance company had only paid for the siding and studs for the walls, but they had built the floor and roof correctly. The only thing we needed were walls.
Somehow the crazy desktop icon program made workers come out like busy bees and redo our walls as the icons said. If I clicked on one that said zebra print stucco walls, they put up those kind of walls. Then if I said floral wallpaper, those went on top. Layer after layer the walls were laid on, until they became the correct thickness of real walls. All I had to do was click on enough icons to proper thickness and insulation, then pick wall colors we liked, then log out and the computer would go back to the secret lab.
So that's what we did. With a purpose, the icon marching became less frantic and more of a fun game. I imagined what it would be like for people to some day peel back the layers of the walls of the house and wonder about all they found.
The house finished, the cats came back, and in the manner of dreams, everything shifted again. We needed things to fill our home.
We were shopping. We had a baby boy with us. It was our child, but somehow I knew it was from the secret lab, so it was our child but also not our child. We carried our baby around in a bassinet inside a shopping cart. I thought it was strange, but my dream said it was the way babies were carried. No one carried a child around outside a shopping cart. We were looking for clothes at a Sears and neither of us wanted to be there.
The little boy started crying and my husband had to go ask for someone to get a sweater down from one of those racks up high and I took the boy from the bassinet in the cart and held him. I had to hold him close and he stopped crying and everyone was looking at me strange because I was holding onto my child instead of making him suffer inside the cart. I felt very uncomfortable, but even though I knew this baby wasn't ours, I wasn't going to make him cry alone. I knew he was just scared.
My husband came back and the salesperson asked me to put the boy back in the cart, he said it was unsanitary to have a baby outside the cart. My husband asked me why he was outside the cart and I told him the boy had started crying and showed him the tears. He glared at the salesperson and took the boy in his arms and soothed him and held him close and told me that the little guy was ours and we were going to love him no matter what anyone said and little boys were not germs. Somehow I knew that's what the experiment was, it was something about little boys being germs, and my husband had proved that they weren't germs because humans don't take care of germs and don't hold germs when they cry.
I woke up soon after that. There was something else about the baby, but I don't remember. Something about a winter jacket and I was holding the baby in the jacket aisle. I know something else happened with the cats, too, but I can't remember the details. It was a very long dream. I seem to be having a lot of dreams of computers and secret labs lately. Anyway. Very bizarre!