Someone’s Coming Up the Hill

Tim,  1/23/83, 2066 SW 10th Ave., Portland, OR

Today’s dream: 
Frances and I are upstairs making ice-cream for a party: barbecue on the balcony. I invent an “easy way” to carry my cello bow upstairs: rig a long string through a series of large screw eyes. Tie the bow to the string and pull it up like a train through the metal eyes, even around the corner of stairway (like the 2066 stairway of Grammas old house).

Another dream, the other day.
6 a.m. We are living alone in Grammas old house in the summer. A steep weedy hill slopes down behind it. Rumors of thieves, prowlers, and bums abound. Frances is looking out the back door. “Hey, someone’s coming up the hill.” I join her and look. A ragged man, Italian of complexion, thinning hair, stubbly face, tattered shoes, is climbing toward us. A bum, a no-good-trouble-maker, maybe violent. We have little money and we’re so busy. Yuk! I yell, “Go away, don’t come here, get out!” He keeps coming, leering, with a snarling face. I feel invaded of our privacy and protective of Frances. When he gets to the nearby steep part I kick his forehead. He falls back a bit, recovers, yells something in a foreign language, as though we are bourgeoisie and he is the commoners, the masses coming to get a handout or settle an old score.
We live in a house on the hill; he probably sleeps in doorways in the city, drinks too much, doesn’t bathe. I lift a big chunk of cement over my head, aim for his head, and stop. What am I doing? Am a violent beast? He is harmless. I drop the cement at my feet. Frances is more humane, more compassionate. She is right there beside me unafraid and not wishing this fellow harm. I wake up. Frances (waking) tells me (when I tell her all this) about her grandmother on the old Anderson Ranch out of Hollister treating the hobos who climbed up from the train tracks with kindness. She’d put them to work, feed them, and send them away feeling better than when they came.

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