Texan Stream of Consciousness9:46 PM
I told Hannah five times that the headphones were in the pocket of my laptop cover before I actually woke up enough to use words. Right previous to that I had been dreaming of counseling and doing an excellent, nerve-free job—hopefully a good and not ironic omen. Normally I don’t dream on vacations. Naps, the fake substitutes in the car and nighttime slumber on a strange bed don’t trigger dreamfulness. I need my bunk bed. And my faded, ripped Scottie dog pillowcase that starts out pale blue and ends a sickly greenish-white color. In any case, yesterday, when we had twenty-plus people crowded in lawn chairs and lounge chairs near the hot tub, the subject turned to recurring dreams. (Lucy chased possums back and forth across the fence for added effect.) That night I had a theological dream involving rooms, grace and the total depravity of man.
Please don’t tell me I’m weird. I already know.
You’d think that vacations would be the perfect time to escape from theological conundrums and deep thinking. You’d be wrong. Sitting in a van all day requires something to think about—which for me is always something at least ankle-deep. Add to that the tantalizing fact that my favorite Texan grandmamma collects all the hot Christian books I’ve always wanted to read and never had the time or money (or library resources) to read. Early on in the vacation I was eating up Crazy Love and walking said Lucy while discussing evangelism and Keswickian theory with my mum. And then I switched abruptly to mindless stuff. It wasn’t my fault—the temperature climbed to an insufferable upper-eighties in the house. The air conditioning broke. There wasn’t anything anyone could do—unless they were of the super-soaker party who tore around Grandmamma’s background.
The key is to lie perfectly skill and spread oneself out as far as possible, to increase surface area and to make sure no unnecessary inch of sweaty skin comes in contact with another. I read Reader’s Digest and colored pictures of Grover in the Sesame Street coloring book. Well—what would you do?
And now we’re going back, with pocketfuls of memories, elbows scraped up from wild inner tubing, and some good Texan sunburn. Coming down, you could see the South approaching: green grass yellowed, cold winds heated up, shoes became a necessity, the accents began to drawl, people donned cowboy hats and endearments sweetened: when you bumped into the lady at the local supermarket, she said, “That’s all right, sugar.” You see strange sights in Texas. In the middle of nowhere we passed a little plot that contained, principally, a Walmart and a graveyard. (Plus a few shacks in between, presumably for the caretakers.) The rest was silty dirt. Going up, the Piggly Wigglies will change to Aldi’s, the Sonics to Subways, the Dillard’s to Kohl’s. When we step out for the bathroom breaks the sidewalk won’t possess properties of frying eggs and the air conditioning will be shut off more frequently.
Everything shrinks into a more private, less colorful package as one moves North. But it’s home. That’s good enough for me.
p.s. I have a complaint about inns. I think they should be banned for lack of creative puns. Relax Inn, Sleep Inn, Come On Inn—or was it Welcome Inn? Really. And if they didn’t realize the tacky puns, they shouldn’t be allowed to handle messing around with words in the first place. It’s as simple as that.
I’d better go have another dream, shouldn’t I? All right. I’m going.