I’m in a house in Portland visiting a friend, Anna, who is the singer for one of my favorite bands. The band used to be from Los Angeles until they moved to Seattle a few years ago, but for some reason, in this dream she’s here in Portland. She and her Russian-American significant other, Carl, are living with her mom in the family’s home. She and Carl have a young daughter together, and Carl has a daughter a few years older from a previous relationship.
So I’m hanging out over there, and it’s in the early evening, and we’re all sitting around listening to Anna’s record collection. Carl has the two kids on the sofa reading from a book with him while she and I are hanging out. Although we haven’t hung out before, the atmosphere is warm and friendly between all of us. Anna puts on a new record on which she sang, and she wants me to hear it. While it plays, I flip quickly through the rest of her collection, which includes records by bands like The Outfield and a Men At Work box set. I comment on these, and then Carl announces that it’s time to eat dinner.
The dream’s time changes, and it’s now around half past seven in the morning. It seems that I’ve spent the night there in a guest room. Anna is sitting in a chair at the small wooden dining room table by the window, and I walk over to join her. I’m wearing the T-shirt and shorts in which I slept. She’s in the middle of writing something—presumably a new song—but just before I sit down she looks up at me, smiles and says that there’s tea in the kitchen if I want some. I do, so I turn around and head back into the kitchen. Her mom is up and about, shuffling around the house in her bathrobe while she talks quietly into the phone, with the radio on in the background. I can only hear her end of the conversation, obviously, but it soon becomes apparent that NPR has just featured a news story and invited the listeners to call in if they have questions or comments, so she has taken the opportunity to do so. She walks through the kitchen and gives me a little head nod by way of a greeting before disappearing back into her bedroom. I get my cup of tea ready and decide to put on some clothes, so I walk to the guest room and find someone sleeping there. I walk out and almost bump into Anna’s mom outside the door. “Someone’s sleeping in there,” I tell her.
She chuckles a bit and says, “Well, yes, there would be. You slept in the other room.”
I turn back and go to the room across the hall, and find a small plastic grocery bag filled with clothes that are clearly meant for me to use. I don’t know where my clothes from the night before are, so I rummage around I the bag to see what they’ve left for me. I pull out a pair of horrendously faded acid-washed jeans and a frilly pink angora sweater with some sort of lettering across the front. Why would anyone think I would wear this stuff, I think to myself, and where are my normal clothes? I laugh as I put the ridiculous sweater back in the bag, but I decide to put on the jeans. I slip them on and walk back out to the dining room to join Anna at the table.
I pick up a large note pad and start to write on it with a pencil. Although it appears antiquated, it functions a bit like an iPad, and it allows me to receive text messages of sorts. I see that I have a message waiting from my friend Mike, who wants me to meet him for breakfast at a grocery store that gives away snack food for free, if you happen to be in the store at a certain time. I write back that I’m hanging out at Anna’s house—does he know who she is?—and we’re planning to eat breakfast here as soon as Carl and the kids get up. He starts to describe the things the grocery store gives away, which amount to candy, crackers, and crappy coffee, but I agree to meet him in a couple of hours, after I’m done visiting my new friends.
Just then, a group of teenagers appears outside the window and stares in at us awkwardly for a long time before one of them, a girl of about fourteen with braces on her teeth, finally speaks.
“We’re usually out here every day, so this is pretty much where you can find us. Yup. . .pretty much.”
The other girl, who is probably all of twelve, chimes in. “Yeah, we’re looking for some money.”
Anna becomes quite annoyed and says, “Look, you guys, why don’t you come back at a more amenable time?” She picks up her pen and goes back to writing.
The first girl says, “Well, no, we’re here now, and this is a good time for us.”
I look at her and say, “Really? Seven-thirty on a Sunday morning? Respect her, and come back some other time.”
The girl gets angry and looks as though she’s about to say something nasty, but then she thinks better of it, and that’s the point at which I wake up.