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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/140733-Old-Wood
by RatDog
Rated: 18+ · Book · Fantasy · #274453
A Journal of my adventures in the world I inhabit while I'm asleep.
#140733 added January 1, 2002 at 4:36am
Restrictions: None
Old Wood

I’m down south staying with my sister and brother-in-law. They have recently moved into a house next to a river. It’s the morning after the big Super Bowl party. Most of the people here are hung over, but I’m not feeling too bad. I took it easy on the beers last night.

We’re all naked, having a contest to cross the river. The river is slow moving, and the warm water is murky and green with algae. There are a dozen or so old, half-submerged, mossy, long wooden beams the size of telephone poles floating in the river. The object of the game is to get across the river by jumping from log to log. If you jump on a beam that already has someone standing on it, they will try to roll the log and make you lose your balance and fall into the water.

Most of the people are clumsy: some are drinking again already. So far no one has made it across without falling in, but everyone is laughing and having a great time. I’m determined to make it across, though. I’m successful, and I manage to knock a couple other people in the water on my way.

When I get to the other side, there is a huge dirt bank, it rises about a hundred feet up and juts out above a bend in the river. The bank is slick, the dirt is wet clay, but steps have been worn into the clay from people climbing it. There are small hardwood scrub trees growing in the bank all the way up, you can grab onto the trunks for handholds. Most people climb up about twenty feet or so, then jump into the river.

I start up the bank, but instead of jumping off at the usual place I just keep on climbing. My brother-in-law yells up at me not to go any further, if I jump from above thirty feet or so, the water in the river won’t be deep enough to break my fall. I keep on going. I have no intention of jumping; I just want to see what it looks like from the top.

I get near the top. The ground is too slippery to stand, and my handholds are getting precarious. The view is amazing though, I can see for miles down the river. I turn around, try to figure out how I can get down. It looks impossible, I’m afraid I might fall. The small tree I am holding onto is starting to pull loose from the soil; I’m getting pretty worried…

Suddenly I realize that this is all only a dream, I can wake up any time I want to. I open my eyes, see the red LED numbers on my clock radio, it’s a little past 3:30 in the morning. I feel like I cheated, waking up before I figured out how to get out of my dream predicament. I close my eyes, willing myself to go back to sleep and finish the dream…

I find myself back in dreamland, but I’m no longer on the riverbank. Now I’m back in my sister’s house, in the kitchen. I had recently given her a gift, a large primitive antique cabinet with many drawers and storage shelves for kitchen items. It belonged to my father’s parents; they brought it over from the “Old Country”. I spent many hours stripping off layers of dark varnish and peeling paint, refinishing it with a blonde maple stain and covering it with clear lacquer. I left some of the original dark stain in the corners and edges as part of the antique look.

My sister has decided she doesn’t like the way it looks, she wants to strip off the finish, sand it all down, change the hinges and handles and paint it white to make it look more “modern”. I’m really disappointed. I try to tell her that it won’t look right if she does that. The cabinet is old, warped in some places, and crudely made. Its charm is the fact that it is a primitive piece of antique furniture. To try to modernize it would ruin it, and only accentuate those characteristics as flaws. I’m surprised she cannot see this, since she is an artist, but she is determined to modernize the cabinet no matter what I say.

© Copyright 2002 RatDog (UN: cyam_01 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/140733-Old-Wood