Dream Journal: The Airvent [c.1990]

I was around 6-8 years old when I had this reoccurring dream.

The dream takes place in the house where I lived and grew up. 

Our house, built in the 60’s, had a single long hallway that connected all the bedrooms to it. In my dream, I am in the hallway, playing some kind of soccer game with my two younger brothers (something we did often in the hallway). We were having fun, and laughing. 

At some point in the dream, I went down on the ground from falling, or maybe diving for the ball. As a result, my face was close to the metal grate of the air vent intake. I stared at it, startled, because I could hear all kinds of activity coming from within it, yet what sounded like way way WAY deep down. I pressed my ear to the vent to listen closer – and I heard what sounded like an entire village or other world – a town of little people in it. It wasn’t exactly this, but by means of metaphor it sounded (and felt) as if it the were elves from the North Pole in Santas worskshop or something; but here, somehow within the the walls of our house! The feelings were shock, wonder, amazement, intrigue, adventure, and joy. I remember it striking me as almost magical, discovering the fact that behind this little airvent within our house lay another world.

My younger brother didn’t want to listen. My youngest brother tried, but he couldn’t hear it. I felt sadness for them, and pain from both of their reactions. I felt alone, and that I couldn’t express how I felt because it wouldnt be shared or understood. I felt like I had to hide my wonder. I felt like I had to keep it a secret, and not talk about it because of this.

I walked past the vent several times in my dream, always looking down at it in wonder. I knew what lay within it each time I walked by.

When the game was over and my brothers left the hall, I listened again.

And then I woke up.

The dream had such an impact on me as a child; it felt like discovering the wardrobe door to Narnia or something. I can remember a few occasions if creeping out into the hallway at night, after everyone was asleep, and pressing my ear to the airvent, trying to hear them again.

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