He was running ahead of me….that skinny kid with the grey eyes and the dirty dishwater blond hair. We were chasing each other up a creek than ran along the back side of the broad lush yards of wealthy people splashing downwards on a sloping incline under uncut trees that hung low and whose branches whipped our faces with leafy hands as we ran, panting and laughing, past those recently abandoned places. Each time my feet hit the earth the water splashed and muddied my pant legs with blobs of wet dirt. Glimpses of brilliant red, blue and purple flowers and fruits nestled in green whipped through the low branches just at the edge of my vision…he was far head when I tall heard him yell again,
“There is a BIG POND down here!!!”,
I ran faster….I saw him then laughing and treading water in an algea covered concrete basin that looked like a small man-made dam that ran into the the cities gutters as the low base end of it wound through the trees lining the concrete way through the city…just below where he was there was a fence with a hole in it….
…I had to go through it. Suddenly his voice was muffled and I knew I was in some kind of ‘gateway’. There in the trees was a door made in the concrete side wall of the dam which sill was raised at least three feet off the ground…as I looked what had been the storm drain of a city was now a vast delta at the bottom up canyon walls at least a 1000 feet high and it was cool and shady….this place was sooooo familiar…I knew I had been here many many times.
“Hey Kid! Come further down there is a hole in the fence!”
Soon I heard scrambling and sliding and felt movement in the brush wood and there he was looking up at my face grinning cheekily with algea-slimed hair sticking up wildly in all directions and a ‘Huck-Finn’ grin smeared crookedly across his face…
“You stink like that pond kid.”
He kept grinning. He saw the door and was through it like lightning. ‘Grabbed the sills with bare hands too big for that skinny small frame and feet too big too with long toes hooking over the lentil lip like a little monkie’s….I sighed and squeezed myself through…….
…..and came out the SAME side I squeezed through! Scratched and bruised by the small size of the ‘door’….I was standing in amazment! the city was gone. the kid was gone…A group of strangely dressed people were discussing ethics like I imagined one might in ‘Dis’…..Others were wandering the banks and all looked like young greeks or hippies and the blond grey eyed child was missing…the water flowed quickly down the center of the high-walled arroyo and in the clean rushing water I began to walk towards the smell of the sea at the end of it when…..
….the door bell rang several times and I woke up….