White Room


I had a dream last night.



I was packing. Packing up my house. I knew I was moving; I’d known for quite some time. But I’d left it to the last possible minute. Actually, after the last possible minute.


I found a blender that I’d borrowed from the neighbor. I walked over to her house to return it. All their possessions were lined up by the front door. I was shocked at how far ahead of me they were.


“We’ve all known about the relocation for a month. What do you mean you’re not ready?”


All our houses had been bought. Whether we liked it or not. They would be torn down. Something industrial and military would replace them.


The neighbor was done talking to me. She turned back to the wall, resumed painting it white. She wanted the house to look nice for the new owners. I tried to tell her it wouldn’t matter. Nevertheless, I was envious, and wanted to do the same, even though I knew I wouldn’t even have time to dust. I grabbed a couple of her unused U-Haul boxes on my way out. I would probably need them, I was out of containers to pack my things. I was worried that in my haste, stuff would get left behind. Probably important stuff.


I stood in the middle of my living room. I looked at the crap, crap everywhere. Bank statements. The suit my husband wore to a friend’s funeral. Half a deck of playing cards. Fishing lures. The voodoo doll my boss brought back from New Orleans. My Grade 2 report card (Opened to the page with the accusation: “Ginny fails to apply herself in Phys. Ed.”). Tabs from pop cans we’d been saving for the wheelchair kids. The plant that died 6 months ago. Every second that elapsed left a little less floor space, a few more possessions.


Soon there was nothing but a circle, small enough for me to sit, knees hugged to my chest. And I sat in my circle, rocking, and giggling, then laughing, then roaring. Roaring at the utter ridiculousness of all this…stuff. That I’d ever thought any of these things was important enough to remember. To be anxious about. And when the knock on the door came, I still couldn’t stop laughing.



(Image from here.)


17 responses to “White Room

  1. Nice dream post Ginny. Very rich with details that beg for someone to “interpret” them. Maybe your husband could help with the blueberry flavor molecule theory.

    I like this blog of yours. But I think this dream is a tiny bit scary.

  2. That just might be the best dream ever.

    No, wait. It’s the best retelling of a dream ever.

  3. Sounds like repressed sexual tension to me.

    Seriously, who applied themselves in phys ed? I thought they offered phys ed. in school to teach you what happens to people who DO apply themselves in phys ed. They become phys. ed teachers.

  4. Ok, a little Felliniesque but I get it. The “stuff” thing is a hard one because I think we are hard wired to collect and hoard as a survival trait. My 8 year old is moderately obsessed with stuff, along the lines of “I’d be so happy if I had X,Y,Z.” We have told him that stuff is ,i.nice,/i. but really just a pleasant distraction, that things can’t make you happy they just change the scenes and the props. Still, we have to make the effort everyday to eschew more stuff and make sure we own the stuff we do have rather than it owning us.

  5. I keep dreaming of knocking. Always with the bloody knocking.

  6. Your dream reminds me of the nuclear war movie they showed on TV in the 80’s. You know, the one about how the big bad Russians were going to bomb the US off the map? Anyway, I remember a scene about a family leaving their home to go somewhere for safety, and the mother was obsessively making the bed before they left. The father was pulling her out of the room screaming that it didn’t matter. But it mattered to her b/c that was the only thing she could control.

    Your neighbor probably made all the beds too, before painting the walls white.

  7. Dude. That was awesome. I like the crazy at the end. But who was at the door?

  8. That was crazy. I kept trying to remember my fortune-telling dream stuff or the psychology analysis stuff, but each new development threw my analysis away.

  9. Quick, go back to sleep…see who’s knocking.

  10. your dream was my reality last weekend. thankfully the dream is over and I’ve finished moving in. Now I’m just waiting for my isp to knock on the door and say “You’re connected.”

  11. ooh, i like this one. My husband would have a hey-day. He´s awesome at interpreting dreams.

  12. Wow. Good story. Love the description of the stuff in the living room and then the island of space. Coincidentally, I re-watched The Shining last night. No real connection except the “going crazy” part.

  13. This left me feeling kinda spooked… pretty sure I would have felt weird all day after a dream like that.

  14. David: Thanks! FYI, “nice” and “scary” are probably the most commonly used adjectives people I meet in real life would use to describe me.

    Betsey: Actually, I had one last night that may have been better (Owen hired hookers to pretend to be our friends), but the telling wouldn’t go as smoothly.

    O.G. Repressed sexual tension. That’s your answer for everything, isn’t it?

    formerlyfun: Also, I’d just read “Night” by Elie Wiesel, and so I’m sure that informed it, too.

    Xbox: But I never, ever answer the knocking. Contrary, even in my sleep.

    Beej: I am FAR too young to remember the movie you’re talking about ::whistles::

    Captain: Don’t know. Maybe the new owner. Maybe the dudes in the white coats. Or maybe I’d ordered a pizza.

    faemom: Thanks. I do so love being a question mark.

    Loni: Thanks!

    hereinfranklin: Never works, though, does it?

    Nursemyra: Oh man, I hope you get connected soon.

    Bluestreak: Bring it on, Luigi. Bring it on.

    Michael: I can’t even watch The Shining in the middle of the day, with all the lights on, and plenty of people around. I’m kind of a girl, that way.

    Katie: I always take my dreams with me into the next day. Disconcerting as hell.

  15. I had a dream about dog shit the other night.

    I need some of what you’re having . . .

  16. tysdaddy: Dog shit, eh? I think you have unresolved anger towards your mail carrier. (I don’t, really.)

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