And it looks something like this...
No, it's not the palm trees and azzure water. Don't you love the word azzzzzzure. I like how my teeth vibrate when I say azzzzzzure. Anyway my dream does not include the trees and water. My dream is all about the thing hanging in between the trees - z hammock.
Actually it's more of a vision than a dream. A vision of me sprawled out on a hammock, watching the clouds float by, while I sway in the breeze.
I've had this dream/vision since I was a teenager. Which is kind of odd since most teenagers have dreams of college, careers or possibly marriage. I suppose I had those dreams too. I don't remember. Obviously, they weren't as important as the hammock.
So why do I still have this dream after 30 years? It's not like it's incredibly challenging. I didn't imagine, first, weaving the hammock from thread I dyed by hand, on a large loom. This goal should have been accomplished many hammocks ago.
Well I don't know why. Why, at forty four years of age, do I have a stuffed animal named Scruffy? These are just a few of the many unanswered question that plague me, as I'm certain plague many of my family members.
Travel forward 30 years to present day Florida (setting) my local grocery store. I was doing my weekly shopping when I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. No not another Ho Ho display. It was a display set up by the produce department, of a hammock anchored by two potted palm trees, a few crates of bananas, and a crate of pineapples. Winn Dixie had created a tropical oasis for their loyal shoppers, right there next to the Doritos.
I sighed when I saw the hammock, as I always did, and would have kept walking if my eyes had not grazed the sign perched on top of the banana pile - Hammock $59.99. What was that? Hammocks are usually at least $200.00, I know, I've been pricing them for thirty years. The $59.99 sign must be a trick. It probably was one of those, buy one hammock get one for $59.99 deals, and what was I going to do with two hammocks? My dream only included one.
I read the sign again making sure I understood what it was saying. Maybe they were selling the crate of bananas for $59.99 in which case that would not be a good deal. I can never make them last past three days and the only thing I know to do with rotten bananas is make banana bread. Let's just say I haven't perfected that recipe yet. Even the dog won't eat it and he'll eat cat poo.
Once I verified the sign was correct I decided the time had come to turn this dream into a reality. I wrangled myself one of the highly motivated stock boys to help me carry the rectangular box, containing the hammock, to the check out, and then to my car. Yes, of course, I gave him a tip. I told him to go to college or get used wearing that shade of turquoise.
As soon as I got home from the store, I opened the box and pulled out my hammock, after which I debated putting the hammock back in the box and going to take a nap.
I have to be honest with you the hammock looked different than it did in the store. Maybe it was the lack of pineapples and bananas, but...
...I emptied a box full of metal poles of varying sizes, a baggie of bolts and nuts, and a pile of fabric - not very sway inducing.
I refused to give up though. Because as I said - the time had come.
So I worked diligently through the rest of the afternoon with the help of my trusty dog Finn, who continued to lay on, stand between, under or over, whatever crucial component I needed at a given moment during the hammock assembly process.
...but, I did it, I ended up with a hammock (...and, a few unneeded, bolts/nuts - extras, I guess)!
Now that I have put that dream to rest, all I have left to do is lay back in my hammock and sway to the breeze, as I plot out how to accomplish the next item on my list of long term dreams....
Getting David Cassidy's autograph.
Lisa Alex Gray