I have a hard time believing in the supernatural. I’m a literalist turned existentialist turned fatalist turned optimist. I find it easier to be part of the -mist than a -list. You understand, I’m sure. And if not, I don’t see this post helping that cause very much.
My friends and family talk about seeing ghosts. They are unafraid and that lack of fear seems more than reasonable. Last time I knew someone who was killed by a ghost, he had it coming. Me, I get by on making sure I’m tactile upon waking. If I am, then game on. If not, it’s back to the sandman’s crib for a little bit longer. The sandman and I, we get along except for the times we don’t.
That is a long way of saying, when things seem freaky, I attribute it to a quirk of brain chemistry. If I can believe I’m a good poker player after a couple of beers, I can certainly believe in ESP when one of my synapses misfires. Put it this way: last time I dreamed Doyle Brunson died (and it’s been more than once), Brunson played eighteen holes the next day and didn’t seem winded. I don’t predict the future and if anyone thinks otherwise, they should buy me a couple cocktails before trying to open up the gates to my subconscious. If you don’t think I’m going to charge you a cover, you’re as crazy as me. Once you have accepted I’m not sitting up at night talking to dead people and moving things with my mind, I’ll feel comfortable in telling you about yesterday.
It was a birthday party for one of my son’s friends. To get there, we had to ride the back roads of Pickens County, South Carolina. The trip took us through Dacusville and Pumpkintown, the type of places with names straight out of a Tim Burton movie. When the GPS unit (a nice British lady we’ve named Betty) told me I’d arrived at my destination, I turned up a long unpaved road and climbed the slight rise to the top of the hill. I’d barely crested the low summit when I mumbled, “Woah.”
I dream in syndication. Sure, there is always a big premiere with a red carpet, an all-star cast, and season-long adulations from the critics. But after that, the dreamscape goes into syndication and I get rerun after rerun. The recurring dreams are many. They are boring to everybody but me, but I know the horizon line, colors, and people in each one. I know what we’re going to do until the end. That’s the only part that changes. That’s the reason I stick around. If the television syndicators could work in some alternate endings, their pockets would be a lot more full.
I jumped out of the car with my camera and fired off the shot below.
If you look at it, it’s nothing significant. It’s a fairly large building with horse stables on both sides. Its siding is gray, it’s roof is red, and the short-cropped grass around it is winter-brown. Not pictured on the far right is a small riding circle used for birthday parties and such.
If you’d been with me at the time, you probably would’ve thought I’d gone a little insane. I stood staring at the place. It wasn’t misplaced recognition or a sense of deja vu. I know those feelings all too well. My overactive brain produces such misfires all the time. This was different. I’d seen this place–this farmland I’d never visited–before.
Eden Farms (a curious and clever name to round out this remarkably silly story) sits on the edge of Marietta, SC and is no place for the supernatural. It’s a Christian-based horse farm that does parties, boarding, training, therapy, etc. It’s a pretty place that isn’t in the least scary. The part that bothered me was that I had been there several times before in a dream.
This dream goes nowhere. It’s a gambling junket for a cast of friends stretching from high school to the present. The road trip takes us to a giant horse farm. There we get out of our cars and walk down a long driveway to the stables. We have to wait in the mist for the track to open and the horses to run. In the dream, we do nothing but wait. The horses never run and we never gamble. The only story is what happens among the people. Many of my dreams follow the same formula. The places vary, the inevitable wait for nothing is the constant. In the horse racing junket version of the dream, the set looks exactly like Eden Farms. The building, stables, grass, driveway, and horizon line look nearly identical. The only thing different? In the dream, the riding circle is on the left side of the building instead of the right. Assign whatever significance you want to that.
Like the dream, nothing of significance happened yesterday. It was a pleasant morning. My son rode two horses. The kids ate cake. I stood by with a smile. It was a great day. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d been there before. Sure, maybe all horse farms look alike. Yes, it was probably a very tired brain assigning significance to a non-event. Tell me all of the above. I will listen and agree. In a world where most things lack meaning, this probably did, too. And hey, if I end up going completely crazy or dying from a brain tumor, you will have this post at which to point and say, “Well, we saw it coming.”
I still have a hard time accepting it, though. I still can’t shake the idea that I dreamed about that place several times before I saw it. Again, that’s a long way of saying that I have hard time believing in the supernatural…until I do.