On the road to Target I got lost

There was a back road to Target. A heavily wooded one in the mountains, high trees, curving roads. I was walking there, taking the uncommon route and got lost on a milk farm. I wandered through the barn, the light warm and crisp adding contrast to the shadows, the farm tools. Everything was blue and brown, green and white. I was terribly nervous wandering someone’s property. I kept hearing children laughing, but couldn’t see them or anyone. The horses and cows kept staring at me, I was trying to find the road again, but it had disappeared into dirt and cornfield.

Through the barn door, I saw a rustle in the field, heard the laughing still and out ran three children. I walked passed a horse that looked like an English sheepdog with dreadlocks. The children saw me and came running towards me. They were dressed as Roman women in one-shoulder wrap dresses of a sage green. They were 8-13. “Do you want to play with us,” they asked and I told them I could not, I was looking for the road.

“Oh,” one said, “you passed it.” And the she gave me directions I couldn’t really follow, something out of Alice and Wonderland certainly from another land I knew nothing about. Look for the rusty bottom, white house something or other on the street “Red Rusty Rauld Road” something something.

I thanked them and went on my way, backtracking until I found the rusty-bottom, white house or what I thought was the closest thing to a rusty-bottom, white house and I turned down a narrow street, ill-kept, sidewalks overgrown with bushes and long fingered vines. I looked up at the street sign, a white faded sign with rusty letters and it said “Red Rusty Rauld Road” or something like that (I must pay better attention to words in my dreams).

There were cars coming in either direction, the street no larger than a bike lane. I ducked under bushes when the cars came, one veering around the right side of me off the road. I didn’t know where I was going, if I was on the right road, this was not what the road looked like when I set upon it, and I had a bad feeling about the path I was taking. Target was not that important. It was not worth my safety and my life. And so I turned around.

As I was walking back I became stuck in long vines and rose bushes. I had to tug myself out, they would not let me go, the thorns sunk into my skin and I pulled and pulled to get out. When I was finally free, the long vines and thorns were hanging from my arms, my chest, my lips and I delicately and painfully pulled the teeth from me – dozens of strands. I could feel myself cut, but couldn’t taste the blood.

I arrived at an intersection of a strange little town – only a few houses on the corners, very isolated. I crossed the middle of the street to a red and white shack and went inside. I found my father there – a big man living in a tiny house. I had to bend over when I stood. One cot, a toilet, an eating room, a yellow fridge and a strange door off the bedroom that lead outside. When I opened the door there was nothing but chicken wire and a yellow-jacket nest in the corner of an empty dirt room. I shut the door quickly, worried the yellow-jackets would be disturbed. The red wooden door was ill-fit to its frame. I could see the light from above coming through. And I looked in my dad’s fridge: a burger I had brought to him, a package of Ahi burgers (not sure what those are) from the meat counter, cheese and not much else. I felt calm. I could see the poverty of this place, how it could be so much better, but I felt calm and we shared Ritz crackers together.

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