I have seen a part of paradise.
I dreamed that I lived in a huge, rambling, rickety Victorian mansion by the side of a small lake near Seattle... at least, I think it was Seattle, though it had much of Bellingham in it too. The woman who owned the mansion was a large, fortyish eccentric who had inherited the place and converted it into apartments, which she rented out for a staggeringly low $15 a month. The walls were painted in dark colors; the floors were wood, and your footsteps echoed on them as if you were on stage. My rooms had a wide, sweeping skylight and huge windows with a view of the lake and city beyond; the windowsills were wide and suitable for sitting in and writing, or staring out at the view and smoking a cigarette. And even in this old Victorian mansion, big enough to be a museum, but rickety and old, there was high-bandwidth Net access in every suite. Even though the water out of half the faucets was undrinkable and most of the toilets were broken (an inconvenience which I seemed to accept with affectionate ease), there was Net access.
Tucked over in a corner, and a few steps down from my living room, was a painter's studio, with a few unfinished works. It was part of my suite of rooms but was not mine; somehow I knew that, and I wondered how I would feel when the painter invaded my space to paint.
There were balconies on which the other tenants congregated, with great floppy comfortable couches were set; they would sit out there and smoke and talk and drink in the evenings, which were warm and sweet and felt exotic (for I could remember many such evenings in the past; I had a whole dream-memory of this alternate life). All the tenants seemed to be brilliant and fascinating in one way or another; the landlady seemed to collect those she deemed worthy and gave them a place here. It was a remarkable community. I knew it was a privelege to live here. And it was so, so comfortable and cool to sit on one of those big old leather couches on the fourth-floor balcony, late on a summer night, and talk to a few of my fellow tenants, or have a huge party throughout the house, all our friends and even a few new people. It was like Freak Manor with more style. Living in this place was the epitome of hip.
The place was like a labyrinth. It made absolutely no sense from an architectual standpoint; you would find bathrooms and showers and passages and rooms in the oddest places. It reminded me of a stage for a play, rather than a house. It added to the intensely Bohemian feel of the place, and I loved it dearly.
It wasn't just the place or the people in it that made me wistful when I awoke. There were stories afoot; this house was surrounded by some sort of intrigue or controversy, and it was fascinating. There was something going on here that I wanted to be a part of. There's more, of course; conversations in this dream and dream-memories and past dreams, but it's too disjointed to express here. Like when I went for a walk, and there was an Amtrak train that had been converted into a roller coaster, and it would splash through Whatcom Creek near where it meets the ocean, under a bridge; or when I was talking to a girl who looked my age, one of the other tenants, in her suite of rooms, and she said that she was too old for me.
This is the second time I have dreamed of this fine House, which has yet to be given a name in my dreams. That makes it the first recurring dream I have ever had. It's a new experience for me, but good Lord Morpheus, I'm grateful. Let me dream this place again.