I’m in a strange town and my family is with me which is both a positive & negative. On the one hand, it’s familiar; on the other, it’s awkward because they never see me for who I am & perpetually imagine the worst of me.
They have rented a room for us to stay in this city/village for a few evenings. At first I’m pleased because I have my own room but then I come to find out I must share with 4-5 others and it feels cramped & uncomfortable. Then I learn there will be 6-8 others sleeping in the livingroom, and they want my child to sleep there too. Now I feel impassioned to alter the arrangements because this is not appropriate or acceptable.
When I go into the livingroom area to talk to someone about my suggested change, I find there are even more people in the apartment than before and they are all playing some sort of dancing game. Sort of like dancing Charades. My child is there, very young, like 6-7, and she’s enjoying the game. Everyone is laughing & seemingly good spirited but I can tell they are pretending. It’s a lie. They are trying to make themselves appear very fun & entertaining so that my child will not want to do what I ask her to do. They want her to sleep out there with them and not in her own room with me.
As I am trying to figure out what to do, we get a phone call and someone says there are police outside our apartment. Someone in the room denies it could be true but I look out the window and see indeed there are three parked immediately at our entrance and 2-3 more in the parking lot. So I begin looking for my shoes so that when they come up I am not in bare feet.
A huge commotion ensues as people scramble to escape the apartment or to get their coats or to hide. I continue looking for my shoes in a pile of dozens of mismatched items and while I can find one the match eludes me. But I find a roller skate that is my size so I put it on. Then I’m waking around with one shoes and one skate and am out of balance and awkward. As police enter the room and start arresting people (for a reason which is unknown – maybe because we’ve gathered in a group of more than 5?) I head out a side exit and begin ascending stairs upon stairs upon stairs. What I thought was a typical staircase turns out to be a nonsensical maze of steps going upwards and downwards at times. Both narrow and wide. High steps and low steps. Trying to move forward through this meandering maze in a roller skate & running shoe is dizzying and I lose my way frequently. Finally, I reach another apartment where I had visited someone earlier and I find my second shoe. I tell them that police have come and I’m going down to the station and I don’t want to be jailed in roller skates and we laugh.
Then I go down the long staircases to eventually get outside. I walk outside unimpeded and observe all my family members & their friends & associates lined up in a prisoner chain – all in handcuffs chained together in a single file being escorted into the police vans. I’m standing there and I introduce myself to the cop kinda like turning myself in and he shakes his head and says this doesn’t concern me.
So I back away onto the lawn and watch the prisoner parade feeling a strong mix of emotions – both negative and positive. Finally the charade is over. But how sad it had to end this way. Then I set out to find my child who is nearby and being cared for by a friendly neighbour. I retrieve her and that is the end of that dream.