The other night I had a dream about a funeral. And it got me thinking.
There are a few places I know that I now know I have never been. What got me to realise this was the funeral. It was so disturbing it woke me up. As I sat I started to question just where the town was.
I remember this place and have dreamt of it often. I know the lay of the land and the streets. I know where I used to work and I remember it in all types of weather. But I almost always see it abandoned and in ruins. There are three towns actually.
There is a place where two rivers meet. A large river runs north and south in a very wide flat valley. The west bank is beyond sight and the east bank where I am is high ground like a broad ridge running back from the water. The ridge drops off steeply for a hundred feet to the valley floor and away to the river that is a half mile away from the base of the hill. A second valley comes in from the east with two streams in it. The north stream runs through an overgrown wetlands criss crossed by rusty fences and under a small iron bridge, then away across weedy fields to the trees along the river. A quarter mile further along a larger stream or small river runs close along the steep southern wall of the valley and there the road rises on a dike and crosses a large iron bridge set on stone bases.
The road meets the hill half way up at the end of the bridge and runs up along the curve of the hill to the south. From the north the road is made of crushed stone and follows the line of the valley along the top of the hill, it sets back some distance from the edge and the trees along the road shield the river from view. As the road reaches the valley from the east, the way curves down and you enter a small town made mostly of gray block or stone buildings that line the road. This road meets another road that comes from the east in a T intersection. Somehow I know that the second road is the main street. Many of the buildings seem to be in ruins with missing roofs and broken windows. Abandoned.
If you turn right at the intersection you go a few buildings further and the road turns
sharply down hill again in front of a block building with three windows, and you see a long low road stretching across the valley from there. In many dreams the river is in flood and the valley is filled with water showing just the trees and tall grasses with the road just above the flow. At other times I come from the south and the valley is completely flooded with swirling water.
Where the bridge at the south meets the hill side there is another small town. This one
seems much older. Two roads come together just off the bridge. the one from the north
enters the intersection as it passes a large two story stone building with dark windows.
The stones are mossy like the stone of the hills. The north road almost seems to split here and two roads go off at angles. One fairly straight and it angles upward following the slope of the hill up toward the ridge above, the other goes away to the south as well but it angles to the right around a building at the edge of the intersection and then goes down along the hill toward the river valley floor. From the right, or east another road comes in along the side of the hill above the small river. The houses in this town I seem to know better and have been in some of them. I know where the stores are and what they sell.
What lays along the roads south I do not know.
If I take the road to the east along the small river the road rises after a while and crosses the top of the hill then turns away from the valley and drops down into a small town also in ruins. Here the few buildings are again without roofs and made from gray blocks. I know that one was a garage, or shop, of some kind and that I worked there for a time.
I know that far to the south a large city lies along the east side of the river. For many
years I thought that these were memories of some place I had visited as a boy or in my
travels as a young man, but I came to realize that I had no idea where it might have been.
The funeral seemed to be in the town to the north and only three of us were there. I won't go into that now.
There is another town I remember as well. A city along a river somewhere. I could remember it so well that I have been tempted to ask my wife and friends where it was. There is a bridge over the river and I remember driving across it. I remember being annoyed at the traffic and at a huge traffic circle at the north end of town by the college. I remember the huge catholic church on the south side of the circle and the block long stone building on the east side.
I remember looking for a parking spot at the college.
But I have never been to anywhere like these places.
Am I the only nut who has memories of places they have never been?