The secret room

21 Dec

I dreamed last night that I found a secret room in my father’s house, the house I grew up in and in which my father still lives.

Windowless, stark, and enormous, the room lay behind an upstairs door I’d never noticed before.  The walls were gray, ancient plaster, seemingly dating from the time the house was built and obviously not kept up, not painted, not papered, not crack-filled since.

The room was impossibly large: bigger than the entire rest of the house.  And I had a disembodied moment in the dream where I was at once inside the room marvelling at the fact it had been there all my life, unnoticed, and outside the house, trying to visualize what this monstrous secret extension to the house I grew up in could possibly look like from the street.

It was this absurdity: the giant physical secret kept inside such a tiny accumulation of wood and paint and asphalt shingles, that eventually alerted me, in my sleep, that I had to be dreaming.

I awoke saddened and perplexed.  I’m not surprised my family kept such a big secret, I thought.  But I’m disappointed to find it by seeming accident and to realize there is nothing dramatic, nothing scandalous, nothing shocking about it.  It’s just old and dusty.  Its significance, if anyone ever understood it, has been lost.

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2 Responses to “The secret room”

  1. box761 December 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I love this piece.
    Last night I dreamed I had coffee with a boyfriend who has been dead for 15 years. We both knew he’d been “away” but it just made the visit bittersweet. When I woke up I forgot about the dream until something I saw in passing tweaked my memory. I’m sad all over again, but it was nice to have a coffee with him. Stevens storms in NS bringing these strangenesses to our dreams on the back of the north wind?

    • Leo McKay Jr. December 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      I don’t doubt my dream was weather related. The wind was battering the house all night and, though I don’t mention it in the post, there was a windy sort of echoing in the secret room in the dream.

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