It all started with the open house, I think.  Our township is sponsoring a big open house for all the houses for sale in just over a week.  We’re going to be spending some quantity time getting the old house ready to show off.  Just before I woke up this morning I had a dream about some archeology happening at the old house.

My discovery was in the wallpaper.  There was some loose wallpaper real close to the front door, and as I moved the top layer I saw more beneath it.  Some of the layers had sections cut out, as if there had been an electrical outlet there at some point.  The topmost layer is the woven wallpaper that is in our living room and down the hallway.  This paper had not ever been in the place where I found it in the dream, but that’s what dreams are for.  That layer moved aside as if it had never been glued down.  And we never noticed it in the dozen years we lived there??

Beneath that was a layer of flocked paper, something with thickness to it, in a cream background and dark gold flock.  I don’t remember the pattern.  Below that was a garish country pattern in vivid electric blue.  It shouted “Seventies” to me.  Then a sort of abstract quilt pattern, the squares being blue fading to orange.  One other layer I can’t remember, but it was a thin paper.  And finally tiles glued to the wall.  These were probably original to the building of the house (in the dream).  Yellow translucent plastic, about 2 inches square, with a sort of gold flake suspended in them.

I wanted to show this to Bettie (in the dream), but she had something to show me.  In the garage area (we don’t have a garage) she had been doing some excavating using a garden hose, spraying water to dig up the soil.  This was in a hole with a cover, about a foot square.  She had me get the thing out of the water, which was comfortably warm.  About 8 inches down in the muddy water was a flat rock.  Pulling it out, I saw that it was a piece of limestone/marble/granite, something they used to put in building lobbies or restroom walls.  About an inch and a half thick and the rough size of a saucer, broken from a larger piece.  A light cream color, with small characters cut into it.

The cream color made the characters incised in it very easy to read.  They were Hebrew, and had eroded straight down into the stone.  I could tell they went half-way in because the characters at the edges went half-way down.  I couldn’t recognize any characters, but wanted to see what it said.  I asked Bettie if she had taken pictures of it (was I scared that the stone was going to decompose immediately?).  She wouldn’t say, but her smile said that she had.  In the dream, I knew it was part of the Torah, but not which part or where the rock fragment had come from.  I wanted to play archeologist and determine what section it was, what this fragment said.

And that was it.  No resolution to the dream, no drama, no other people.  In reality, the guy who owned our old house before us was a non-practicing Jew.  He had a mezuzah on the doorframe of the house, but didn’t attend services.  And the dream wasn’t terribly reality-based.  The section of the wall where I found the layers of wallpaper never had any of those wallpaper types, as far as I know.  We don’t have a garage, and Bettie wouldn’t be excavating with a hose (I did once, when I was about 12, in front of the garage in our last house in New York.  No Hebrew-incised rocks there.).  The rock wouldn’t have come out of the muddy water looking clean and being dry.  The water itself wouldn’t have been warm.

But it was interesting, and very vivid, and I wanted to document it.

You’re welcome.