Falling Across The Attic


I dreamed that I was walking through a densely built-up city when I saw a ghost flying around in front of a hotel.  I somehow knew this was a regular occurance, so I reported the incident and its frequency at a nearby police station.  The police took me seriously, and a detective left to investigate.

I next found myself at home.  I needed to get some baby stuff from the attic, so I grabbed a flashlight and headed up.  As I ascended the dark stairs then climbed into the crawl space, I concentrated on not letting my imagination run away; I had just seen a ghost, so I could easily let myself imagine seeing one in my attic.

I crouched in the crawl space under its low, slanted roof, its walls lined with a short stack of boxes.  My back was to the North-east corner as I rummaged through a box.  Suddenly I fell backwards and horizontally across the attic, but instead of hitting the corner, I kept falling as the walls elongated and I continued to fall past stacks of boxes.

I was filled with terror, but after about one full second I realized that I was dreaming.  I stopped falling and found myself again next to the open box with the attic restored to its normal state.  I then woke up.

One possible seed for this nightmare is the 2+ years I spent cleaning out the attic crawlspace in our old farmhouse.  It was originally filled with sawdust and cellulose (and random junk), and before the house came into my wife's possession, Aunt Joye would throw in a full box of rat poison every other month.

After my wife and I got married, I spent a day each week carrying insulation out of the crawlspace one shop-vac load at a time until I'd filled the garbage can.  (When they had room, I'd also fill the neighbor's cans on garabage night.)  Once I'd gotten a sizable chunk of that done, Charitie and Alessandro started coming up whenever they could to help cut and lay ISO boards to re-insullate the crawlspace while I finished removing the sawdust and celluose.  We also layed flakeboards, giving the crawlspace its first proper floor.

All the time I spent cleaning the attic, I was dressed like this:

I spent hours in a hot, cramped, dusty space, with only a dim headlamp for light, and the goggles quickly fogging up and crushing down on the bridge of my nose, all while trying to breath through a dust mask.  (Early on I realized that wearing the hood under the dust mask was better at keeping the dust off my face.)  I also got tired of my kneepads always slipping down, so I started strapping them on too tight, which I think messed up the circulation in my legs.

Did I mention that the fiberglass batts where falling out of the ceiling?  That made it really hard to screw down the outer edges of the floor boards, especially in the corners where I found myself struggling to work with a pile of firberglass on my head.  It's a wonder I didn't turn claustrophobic.  (Maybe it cured any claustrophobia I may have had, because I don't think I've had any claustrophic dreams since.)

That was a nightmare of a project, but now we have a nice, clean storage space in our attic.