I'm walking with Evany across a (recurrent) ridge (that exists in multiple places in my dream landscape, sometimes on or near a street that has homes on it or is "unfinished" (abandoned home building projects, etc) and is flanked by scrabble ground, always on a hill above where I have lived, in various places) far above a place where I am living (which turns out to be 6023, though there is no awareness of this in the dream at the time). It seems as if we are coming from a far off place (San Francisco?) and as we have traveled we have gotten to know each other and are quite comfortable in each other's presence. On top of the ridge, as we pass through a weedy area, we notice that we have picked up some kind of "substance" on our shoes. (Or just on one of her shoes? Or on one of mine? Or, maybe, on the tip of one of our fingers? Or, maybe, one of us touched our finger to a shoe and transferred it?) Evany tentatively suggests that it is _____ (some specific kind of molten metal that is semi-liquid at room temperature, similar to mercury, and/or a volatile metal that is caustic and/or highly reactive when exposed to air, similar to sodium or lithium; but also sticky). In any case, we recognize the potential nastiness of its nature and we try to steer clear of it. There is also the idea, unexpressed, that the weeds themselves (among which the "metal" was contacted) are toxic, a la wormwood (Chernoble). Cut to:
6023: We're in the dining room and some of the contaminant has gotten onto the rug between the dining and living rooms and is burning a small hole in it. We've walked away from it and I only notice it upon our having come back to the spot (or I call us back to the spot later after we have left its vicinity but my subconscious memory of it subsequently calls my attention to its existence. Mom is somewhere around and I'm harboring in the back of my mind the idea that I should rectify the situation before she sees it and gets angry, or at least before any further damage is done). I pour some liquid (water? a soft drink?) onto it and it smolders a bit and seems to be extinguished. As we walk toward the front door (and/or this happens earlier as we're walking down the hallway back toward the hole, or both, in a kind of dual thread dream mechanism), I begin to tell Evany about a book that she should read (which will explain to her the nature of the hole in a way far better than I ever could). [As a kind of dream-aside, I search for the book among those on my book shelves in the bedroom, which is where we are coming from when we return to the hole.] At the front door, we admit Mason, whom we have apparently summoned. Mom is off to my right and Evany to my left. In order to allow the door to open, Evany has to step back so that, when it is opened, she is partially hidden behind it. Mason's immediate action upon entering, prior even to any kind of greeting, is to walk around the door to get into the closet where he hopes to find and retrieve something; but his quick action causes him to confront Evany, in front of whom he stops short. I introduce them. We go back into the dining room to examine the hole. It has grown larger and you can see fire down in it and beyond the fire you can see all the way into the basement. In addition, we discover another hole beginning to form in the kitchen just inside the doorway. Meanwhile, during this whole time (as if it's a separate thread, and yet seamlessly integrated into the main storyline), I'm telling Evany about the book that I earlier grabbed off the shelf. I tell her that it's a gothic mystery, but then, recognizing the mistake by remembering the style of literature that the word "gothic" describes, I quickly correct myself and describe it as, not gothic, but "Goth". She reads the title aloud, which causes me to look at the book, and I realize as I see the brightly colored, upbeat cover, that I grabbed the wrong book. It's a book by "Sainte Therese Helene" with an orange and yellow cover and a picture of a pleasant landscape painting of Southern France rendered in golden pastoral tones. I take the book from her, telling her itís the wrong one and I return immediately (no passage of time) with the correct book, which I cannot, despite looking directly at the cover, remember the title and author of. [Later, awake, it's obvious to me that it was Cipher by Kathe Koja.] I explain to her that the mystery of the burning holes is fully explained in this book, and I warn her not to jump ahead and read the last page before she gets to it. She says that she never does that. We become aware of a commotion in the street out front and we all go to see what's happening. The neighbors on the corner across the intersection are having a yard sale. All of their possessions are out in front of their house and lots of people are checking them out. The family has decided to move (presumably because of the developing holes, which have escaped our basement and are undermining the street). We go back to the hole in the kitchen. I see that it has expanded and, as I look down into it, it transitions into a hole, not in the kitchen, but at the rear of the back yard. I pour into it some of the liquid I had poured down the other hole. Then, looking down again, I see a small dog down there and I realize I've poured the liquid directly onto it. It's a black and white dog similar to "Spuds Mackenzie". Somehow, the liquid, which was supposed to be a kind of antidote to the caustic agent that is causing the holes, is instead aiding it in its function. The area under the back yard has become a basement of a different large building. Some kind of "displacement" is occurring where the area beneath the neighborhood is becoming the "underground" of a different place (and time?) Back inside the house, I emphasize to Evany that she has to read the book. Although she intuits the ending before she even begins to read (which follows up on a theme/feeling we both had when we were up on the ridge, an intense feeling of friendship that wants to develop into something far more than that, although we know that it cannot because of her current domestic situation), I want her to read the entire book immediately, so that she can get to the ending, which I know will inform her that "love is a hole burning out of control."