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The Dreamer

The Dreamer

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Published by goatkeeper
You, dreaming your life away. Did you ever think how you might look to the rest of the world?
You, dreaming your life away. Did you ever think how you might look to the rest of the world?

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Published by: goatkeeper on Nov 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Page 1 of 6
The Dreamer
by Pablo
 Dewey Paris, Paul's oldest son said to me, Eddie Sinsac,
 “Explain to me, Uncle, how my father became such a dreamer. He sits nowstaring at the ceiling. The computer has not been touched in so long that thescreen has gone blank. This morning I got up with him at five o'clock thinkingI would chat with him. He put on his lap his
 Holy Bible
, and for a whole hour he stared at the ceiling, and then when finally he chanced to look down, hespied me sitting there, and he said, 'Darned, I never get a chance to read
The Bible
any more'. Explain to me my father Uncle, his long absences, duringwhich nobody knew if he was dead or alive. Explain to me the nights whenthere was no food for anyone to eat. My father is a mystery to me. Tell mesomething about him.”I had known the Paris family for so many years that the boys called me
Page 2 of 6“Uncle”. But what could I say to him? Could I tell him that his father, thedreamer, was the most powerful mountaineer and woodsman I had ever known? What would it mean to him that I had seen his father fearlessly and patiently carry for day after day without complaint enormous suffering?Suppose I described how his father's simple presence had embarrasseddesperate people to calm themselves? Suppose I described to him the manyadventures with foolhardy people, who had made disastrous mistakes, whomhis father had saved from danger with his methodical risk taking? None of thiswould mean anything to Dewey Paris. Dewey worked hard and he wasambitious for himself. Dewey worked for money.We were sitting on the porch steps, quietly enjoying a beautiful summer morning. Over the years my visits here had become less and less often. Pauland I did not go into the mountains any more. We had gotten work. As Paulsaid, the mountains were too hard and complicated: they did not feed you. ThenI remembered a time when Paul and I had leveled with each other. It hadseemed advantageous. We were bivouacked on a cliff side in sleet and ice andit had seemed likely that before dawn something desperate would happen. Iremembered very well what Paul Paris had told me. And this is what I repeatedto Dewey. 
“One night many years ago your father and I were hanging onto a cliff or dear life.
We had been caught in one of those sudden fall storms thatsurprise every one. I was very nervous, but to your father the storm meant little,for he was remembering and dreaming. Even then many years ago he was adreamer. So there we were, if you can imagine, hanging from this cliff in zerovisibility, the wind howling around us. Your father was telling me about whenhe was ten years old and beginning to get around a little in his life. As he waswandering into more distant territories, he explored as far as Atlantic Avenue.The pastures of the famous Billings Stables were spread out alongside thatroad. Often in these pastures were turned out famous racehorses. Your father told me his heart would pound when they'd gallop. It was the first time he ever remembered his heart pounding quite that way. One of these horses won the
Page 3 of 6Kentucky Derby by a nose, then lost on a technicality. Later he learned whichof the horses it was. The idea that you could lose though winning struck himlike a bad disease, a disease that got into his bone. Even when he didn't want it,it came over him, and he could never shake it. Then your father said to me, 'Itmade me a dreamer.' I don't expect that would explain much to you, Dewey.There was more we talked about that night.“Paul said that some days he would avoid the stable because he didn't wantto feel bad about that horse. What kid wants to feel bad on a sunny day with theturquoise sky towering almost to heaven? So your father would stop his travelsat the pond on River Road, which was this side of the four corners before thestable.“Your father admitted that if there had only been that pond in his life, hemight have done better, and he might not have been a dreamer after all, for heloved that pond whether in winter or summer. It was sacred ground in hisyouthful universe.“Your father and I went there together quite often. Needless to say, I didn'tsee in it the same things he saw, but it was the best skating pond in Pewter. Thesurface iced solidly sooner there than anywhere else. After two days in theteens before the first big snow there would be a smooth sheet of glistening iceto skate on.“When we went there, we would have to be careful because Ray Moultonwould get together some men from the neighborhood and they'd cut the ice off that pond and stack it in a barn near the shore. So the ice would be thin in patches where they had cut it. Your father always tried hard to keep track of thehappenings in the neighborhood. He always was a great student of happenings:wrecks, stray dogs, fires, cat fights, crack ups. I guess I'm not telling youanything you don't already know. But he admitted to me that night on the ledgethat he never actually saw the ice sawed off the pond and collected. It musthave been a grim, awful and dangerous task, he thought, the pushing and pulling, as the slabs were transported onto the shore and stacked in the tall barn, a cold and dreary job happening in the slanting twilight of a mystery. Thatwas a troubling thought to him: how had he missed the possibilities of thathappening? What else had he missed? But he did see the ice when it had beenstacked to bed in the barn between blankets of sawdust. On the ledge that night

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Is the real inside where your dreaming is or outside with family and friends?
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This is another selection from my collection of semi-autobiographical stories A FAINT ANGUISH OF THE HEART. As always, thank you for reading.

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