(Please read the previous Diaries prior to reading this excerpt, especially #3 for context)
Dave’s Strange Dream, Trinidad, Colorado 1878
I had the strangest dream last night. I had come into town for some grub and a little fun. I had been hanging out in the hills covering the railway men with fire power, but I needed a break. I ate at a saloon that had some pretty hefty steaks. Disappointed in not seeing a card game going on I spent some time with a girl, and came out of her room some time later. There still wasn’t a decent card game to be had and I was feeling a bit bored and tired from the trail. So I headed to the opium tents the Chinese had set up nearby.
What I had always loved about the Chinese was the way the made me feel welcome; and without whispering a word they escorted me into a smokey, dimly lit tent. The man beckoned me through drapery surrounding a nice bed with silk pillows, and presented the smoking pipe as he set it up for me. I took my boots and hat off and hung my rig nearby, and reclined in comfort. When the first smokey puff hit my lungs I smiled, as I could feel its affects almost immediately and knew I would rest well.
What I could not imagine was the dream I would have. Sure, I had wanted to find a card game, but this was a bit ridiculous… I dreamt I was in a cabin in the woods and several men, dressed very oddly (weird colors, blue jeans with new buttons I had never seen, strange colors on their shirts and other worldly hats and glasses), were playing poker. They were drinking out of strange colored tin cans and it smelled like beer. The light above them was a gas mechanism I had seen plenty of times at saloons and hotels. The stove in the room also looked familiar. But the rest? Very strange. There was a large glass window that the table was set up against and there were giant white and tan moths banging themselves against it to get at the light.
The game itself looked friendly, but as I approached the host he smiled my way lovingly, then wrapped his long arms around my waist. Stunned, I looked down at myself and realized I wasn’t me.. I was a teenage girl, dressed with a lacy top, jeans and little pink weird spongy like shoes on my feet. I immediately backed away from ‘Daddy’s’ hand and all the men, right into ‘Mom’ who turned around and tried to hug me. She was also wearing pants, and she said something to me. I tried to respond and got out the words “I just wanted to play.” All the men laughed. That was when Mom said something I didn’t catch and led me to another room with a very soft couch, and given a book to read. I woke up the next day without a hangover, feeling rested and good.. but the dream still haunted me. Side note: I did have a whiskey and played cards the following day, cleaned house. Doc would of been proud.
June 1983, High Sierra Mountains, California
We were spending another summer in the Sierra’s again, and it was a wonderful time in my youth. I loved it up here. and other then that strange experience climbing the rocks and find that horseman shooting at me, life was pretty straight forward and normal. My Mom had chalked it up to my creative imagination and lumped it in with the finding of faeries in the dell. But knew something had happened, and it had changed me; at this point though I was unsure in what way.
We would regularly get together for pot lucks with the other cabin families and I helped Mom make pies and salads to go with everything else. This time we were hosting it at our cabin and things went smoothly. We had a delicious meal and even enjoyed the company as we caught up with each others lives during the rest of the year.
After dinner a few of the men stayed and played some poker. I watched them for awhile from the stairs, before coming down and over to the table. My Mom was finishing up putting things away behind us. My Dad wrapped his arms around my waist and asked me what I needed. For some reason just then I didn’t want him touching me and pulled away, straight into Mom. And then, even though I didn’t want to play cards, I suddenly heard myself asking “can I play?” knowing deep down that if I did play I would beat them all. They laughed at my request of course, and my Mom took me into the other room, mentioning to me to let the men have their fun, and handed me my book..
The oddest thing though, was when I fell asleep while reading and dreamt I had an old Chinese man helping me off a bed with red silk pillows..
By Sophia Bungay, inspired by D.R. Copyright @Wickedlydrivenmedia August 2017