i dreamed i was part of a reality tv show where contestants all went to live in another era. we were stripped of our modern possessions and given acceptable clothing for the time and places together in a central living facility. from there we would be taken out into this old world and exposed to various features of the time, judged somehow on our reaction and ability to fit it, then eliminated one by one.
i realised i needed to take initiative, gain an early advantage, so on our very first trip out into society i decided to prostitute myself in whatever way necessary to the family we’d be visiting for the equivalent of high tea, not simply enjoying the hospitality and decent food (of which we’d had little) as my fellows were but taking early advantage while they let their guards down because they all felt they already deserved a break. a break?! break at home! this is a game, i thought.
so we arrived and fit in most awkwardly, thankfully, as my own failures were absorbed by those equally inept who surrounded me. when i saw an opportunity, i pursued the gentleman of the manor house to the back area and waited while he tended to some business.
his wife was unexpected. she was of a subculture i couldn’t readily identify, some smaller algerian sect or arab asian of a sort i didn’t recognise. she was tough. she ran a bakery for the whole area out of the back of the house. and she ruled with an iron fist. she kept her baby in the kitchen alongside her and townsppl would come to the back door to buy or trade or have her bake their breads. she had a tongue on her and even tho her husband appeared in the societal structure to be the one who ran the home, it was obvious she was completely in charge.
the man agreed i could help out at their home but that i would work for his wife. i was agreeable. only when it came time to meet her, she was now an older, doughy, pale scottish woman dressed in an ancient tartan pattern, a thin plaid on a field of deep blue.
before i could come with her (and it was going to be fun, they had good wine and wonderful food and i was going to be nicely taken care of, not worked hard for the day or so i would stay with them) i had to get my clothing straightened out. i was freezing there even in my long skirt. i had on short socks and looking for a second pair i saw they’d missed some of my modern clothing, but i didn’t want to cheat and use it. i was allowed one extra pair of socks and took a long time trying to choose the right pair.
then i had to find a bathroom. theirs was an old chair with the seat removed and a bucket under the frame, tucked away in a little side room with a door to the outside opening onto a side yard. i had to take the bucket out to empty it and i walked along the trees and flowers, past the wellheads, looking for a proper place to “water” the garden.
as i walked, i looked up and was awestruck by the scenery around me! to the northeast rose an incredible, detailed mountain peak, rugged and green climbing to a scarred pale brown soil at the top, trees bent and broken there. we were already high in the mountains and i had a difficult time getting my mind around the geography, the physicality of being so far up and having more land rising all around me. it was wonderful up there and old, no sign of antennas, roads, phone lines. i am shocked by the clarity of this vision of the mountain because it was as real as anything i’ve visited in reality…