A Bird in Hand is Worth a Ghost in the Bedroom

It was 4:00 in the morning and I’d just returned to bed from… well doing what you do when you move from your fifties into your sixties.  I really, really do hate getting older.  But anyway, as I pulled the covers up and snuggled into my pillow, Bill suddenly sat upright with a loud gasp.

“Are you okay?” I whispered.

“I think so,” he muttered, patting himself up and down.  “I just had the weirdest dream.”

“Okay,” I said, sitting up.  “What was it about?”

“Well, I was standing outside in the driveway, except our house was two stories, not one.  In fact, all the houses were two stories.”

“Okay, that’s a little bit weird,” I responded.  “Was that it?”

“No.  Mel was across the street, sitting on a lawn chair in his driveway and when he saw me he waved.  So I waved back and asked him what was going on.  He said not much and that everyone was bored so they all got parakeets.”

“Parakeets?  Like birds?”

“Yup.  And when I walked over to see him, there was one sitting on his shoulder.  Then I looked in his living room window and Jeanne had one on her finger.  And then I looked next door and Fletch was standing outside his garage and he had a parakeet on his head.  And when I looked back across the street, I could see Rita in her bedroom window and she had a parakeet on her arm!”

“Okay, that’s a little weirder.  Is that all?”

“No.  Then Mel told me he was selling his house and he wanted me to check around inside to make sure everything looked okay.  So I started to go in and he told me to be careful because he thought one of the bedrooms upstairs might be haunted.”

“Okay, now it’s getting really weird.  You didn’t go upstairs did you?  You know what happens in movies when they go upstairs.”

“I know.  My dream brain even said that to me, but I went upstairs anyway.  And everything was fine and I was in the last bedroom and I said ‘this is stupid, there’s no ghosts in here,’ and all of a sudden…”

“Don’t tell me,” I murmured.  “You saw a ghost.  Was it anyone you knew?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t think so.  But it grabbed me from behind, like putting your arms around someone and it started to squeeze and squeeze and I could hardly breath and then I groaned really loud and woke myself up.  Weird, huh?”

“Yup, pretty weird,” I said as I burrowed back under the covers.

“What do you think it means?”

“Which part?  The two story houses, the parakeets or the ghost?  It’s a pretty complex dream.”

“I know.  I guess I’m just a complex kind of guy.  So what do you think.”

“I think you wanted me to write two stories about your dream, you sometimes feel like life is giving you the bird, but deep down you really just need a big hug.  How’s that sound?” I asked, smiling to myself in the dark.

“Hmmm, maybe” he muttered, as he leaned over, kissed my cheek and laid back down.  “Or maybe I shouldn’t eat White Castles close to bedtime anymore.”



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