Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fire Engines in the Night

Last night I had a dream that I still had the very first car I ever owned, a light green 1968 Ford Galaxie 500. And it was sitting out on the lawn beside the house I grew up in, over in Wisconsin.

And it was three or four in the morning, and for some reason my brother and I wandered outside in the darkness, and we were sitting there in my car on the lawn in the darkness, listening to the car radio and talking. And the streetlights were on, and some lights down by Happy's Standard station, but apart from that it was pitch dark out.

And then I became aware of some distant sound, almost drowned out by the car radio, and I said, "Listen! Isn't that the fire siren?" And sure enough, we saw some fire engines coming down Seward Street, and then the fire engines were turning into the alley that ran along back behind our house. And then one of the fire engines turned off the alley onto the grass, and it came up the lawn until it stopped right alongside my car. And I was thinking to myself, isn't it a coincidence that I happen to be right out here in my car in the middle of the night just when a fire engine pulls up onto our lawn?

Only there was no fire anywhere in sight, and in fact the firemen seemed in no hurry. The other fire engines had stopped down in the alley, and they weren't going anywhere. My brother got out of the car to talk to the firemen. And then I put the car in neutral, and it started rolling slowly uphill across the yard, uphill toward Main Street. And then my car rolled down a flight of concrete steps, right out into Main Street. And there my car stopped, sideways in the middle of the street, blocking both lanes; though at that hour of the night there was no traffic.

And I started my car, and got it properly parked on the street. And then I got out, and looked across the street where the fire engine was still parked on the lawn beside our house, and my brother was talking with the firemen. And I thought to myself, he's better at that than I would be. And once again I wondered why the firemen were out in the middle of the night if there was no hurry, and no fire.

And then I woke up.



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