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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Danny Pope
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

Dream #3

My last dream eats away at me. I can understand the first dream: It has to do with obsession and infatuation. River is the protector, the leader, the brother and friend. The second dream is based in the wish to have prevented his death and the knowledge that it was an impossibility for me to have done so.

In the third dream River, another boy, and I run through the rain. We duck into a copse of cedar trees and spy a house hidden among thick forest and kudzu. I do not know who the other boy is, nor do I know why we are running or how we came together. But together we run toward the little house. As we approach it we see that it is boarded shut, but after a little hunting we are able to find a way into a second floor window.

Now out of the wet and cold, we begin to explore the little house. Light breaks in through the slats on the windows creating shafts and bars of orange. Dust swirls in the air, and the atmosphere is heavy with the smell of cramped age. Boxes lie everywhere. Some are labeled and taped shut, others are half full. The entire scene looks as if the family who had lived here spontaneously combusted while packing for a move.

By now the three of us have separated, moving through rows of stacked furniture and cartons at our own pace and toward our own interests. I discover an old pump organ, singed by a fire decades earlier, behind a Chinese screen. The interior of the house has now expanded to something far larger than the exterior could hold. Deeper we go, walking over floor gratings, stepping over stacks of yellowed newspaper, squeezing between dressers and armoires. I hear River's voice. A laugh. I find him in what was surely the master bedroom. He sits before a large round mirror. Wooden arms stick out from the mirror frame making it look like a Hindu god or something. Each arm is draped with necklaces and scarves. River is decked out in them, admiring himself in the dusty mirror. We talk and make jokes about the tacky jewelry and gaudy kerchiefs. The other boy has gone.

We hear the storm outside cease its business, and we quickly scan the room for something we can take as either a momento or as something to turn for quick cash. For some reason I pick a white upholstered chair with a high back and curved arms and clawed feet. River tries to interest me in a box which is labeled "Hummel figurines." I am amazed and somewhat insulted that River would think that I want Hummel figurines. River shrugs his shoulders, opens a window, and shimmies out. I watch his sneakers catch on the windowsill, work free, and then disappear.

I think that what I find most interesting about these dreams is that I have had each one of them at least three times. There is little or no variation in the recurring dreams - locations, people, attitudes are all the same. It's all a bit self-indulgent, I fear. There might be something more to this if I had ever actually met River never mind been his friend.

What should I make of these dreams, and how should I interpret them? I think I would rather leave them alone. I fear too much analysis will damage them and risk their return. Although dreams, they are like memories of a relationship with him. When the pictures and films are unavailable to me these memories are all I have. When October 31st rolls around with all its trappings of ghosts and goblins, these memories are what I have to protect me against the real horror of that night.

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This work © Jimmy Rose
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