My parents and sister and I were trying to find a little white teddy bear that I'd left in the house we lived in before we moved to Oregon eleven years ago. In the dream, this house was in Anatevka, the shtetl from Fiddler on the Roof, but it was also in Massachusetts.
The house was in perfect shape, just as it had been when we left it -- even our cat was there. However, it was infested with snakes and rats. My father had bought a huge mechanical lizard which, he explained, would scare the snakes away. I pointed out that without the snakes, the mouse population would boom, but he said he'd take care of that later.
I ran up the stairs and went inside the bathroom, which was enormous and contained three televisions. I turned one on and there was a woman on the screen talking about how she was a lesbian, but she could never tell her parents. Then a whole bunch of Muppets came in and started singing, and she said, "I don't care, I'll tell my parents! I'm not afraid!" I ejected the tape and noticed that it had a label on the side that read "Boogie Nights". (I've never seen this movie, for the record.)
I pulled another video out of the rack of movies that just happened to be in the bathroom. On the video, this kid named Nick and his friends were making fun of basketball. Then, Nick walked inside his house and opened the door to his bathroom, where his brother was sitting on the toilet. "Hey!" his brother yelled. Nick closed the door and said, "Now I'll teach you some tricks to make sure nobody walks in you while you're in the bathroom." I don't remember what he said, but it involved the word "dopis", which is Czech for "letter", and I've always thought it sounded dirty.
I turned off the T.V., left the bathroom, and walked into the room that used to be mine, where there was a bed with a headboard shaped like a heart, with lace around the edges. The bedspread was white with little red hearts. I lay down on the bed and began reading a fairy tale about a girl who was a ballerina.
Just then, there was a knock at the door, and I ran downstairs. A tall man was standing on the porch, who was selling tetanus shots. My sister and I had both rolled up our sleeves when my father walked by and told us not to get it. "You never know what might be in there!" he said, and threw the tall man out.
I walked inside and a mouse ran over my foot. I gave it to the cat, who took it into the backyard and batted it around. "That's cruel," I said. "It's the way of nature," my dad replied.
By this time, it was about eleven o'clock at night, but my mother and I decided to go to the mall. When we got there, a security guard stopped us and told us that we needed to come to his office and be questioned, because we had done something wrong in in 1990. He called both me and my mother "Jackie". I tried to explain that my name was Meredith, but my mother said that I was named for my grandfather. This seemed to satisfy me, although one of my grandfathers is named Phil and the other Paul.
I asked the security guard if I could go and get my shoes and socks first. He said no, but offered me a piggy back ride so I wouldn't get my feet dirty. I jumped onto his back, and we flew to Nordstrom, where there were many people lying on top of beds.
Another security guard motioned for my mother and me to lie down. We did, and he began pacing back and forth and talking to us, every so often jabbing his walking stick into the air, or poking one of us in the faces. Then my mother started to sing.
I was afraid that this would anger the security guard, so I kept hitting her and telling her to stop, but she just sang louder. The security guards all started laughing, and soon everybody in the store was singing "Springtime for Hitler".