written December 1995
It's dark, I'm sliding, sliding down what? It's cold, wet and I smell cinnamon. I land in a kitchen. Hot, pot bellied stove, steam rising and I can see red hot molten glowing rocks inside the gaping mouth of the stove. The floor is pink and white, shiny, lacquered tiles. I'm stunned, the fall hurts, my hands are at my sides on the floor and I look around. Red-brown walls, the color of cinnamon. I reach up and scratch the walls. There it is... ahhh... cinnamon. The kitchen looks like a storybook, Mother Goose fairytale kitchen. Huge, oversized blue and white oven mitts hang on the wall, amid silver ladles, wooden spoons and wait, a huge kitchen knife. I look around and there's a grandma. Not my Grandma but she's my grandma. Her white hair is pulled back into the perfect bun. She looks like Mrs. Clause. My grandma is Mrs. Clause. She takes my hand after sitting down her tray of hot, drippy, icing-covered gingerbread men. Then she leads me outside. There's my car. A white Ford Probe GT, but its sitting in the middle of a frozen lake. It's snowing and everywhere outside is beautful, but I'm not cold. I'm not cold. I'm starting to though and I step onto the ice. I see people underneath, but it's not as if they're trapped or trying to get out. They aren't pressed up against the ice, mouthing for help like I thought they'd be. It's like I'm walking in the heavens when I look down on them, and I'm so high. I'm looking down on a town. Everyone is so cute, walking their dogs, checking their mail, but they're the same little gingerbread men grandma was baking. All of a sudden, someone is holding me and she, she smells so good. I know that smell and I know the cushion of her arms, the curve of her body. I hear the heartbeat and look into the eyes that are the same as mine. She smiles at me, then my mom starts playing with my hair, telling me how much she's missed me. Then we go look at the Christmas tree and I smell cinnamon again. Out beyond the living room I see the same kitchen I saw before but instead of a grandma I see my own family and it really is my family. I look over at the fireplace and the coals are grinning as that same gaping mouth. I wake.