I still remember a dream I had when I was five, except for a long time I didn’t know it was a dream; I believed that it really happened.
My mom and I were out back in the yard playing on a summer day. She said it was time to take a nap and we went into her room to lay down. I remember the white walls of her bedroom that needed a fresh coat of paint and the white thin blanket on the bed. I remember her falling asleep and me sneaking from the bed to continue playing outside. When I slid the screen door open and stepped onto the small wooden porch I looked to my left and down the four steps leading to the well worn path to our driveway. There at the bottom of the steps was a folding chair with a little boy sitting on it. The chair was one we used at holidays and when anyone came for dinner so we could all fit around our table. It was black metal with a gray hardly-padded cardboard seat cover with a splash of red paint on it right near the edge by his knee. He wore sneakers without socks, cutoff denim shorts and a shirt although I don’t remember what it looked like. His arms were straight by his side grasping either side of the chair and on his head was a brown paper bag, like the kind we got our groceries in. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t move. I was afraid though. Panic welled up in me and to this day I can still remember the fear as I screamed trying to turn and run into the house while struggling with the screen door. I wasn’t afraid because of surprise. I was afraid because I knew he was the Devil. I believed for whatever reason that the this kid on a chair in my yard was Satan. I felt the fear and the evilness and ran. My mom grabbed a crying me and pulled me into bed and held me until I fell asleep. When I woke up the chair was still there but the boy was gone. For years I didn’t recognize it as a dream but as reality and refused to sit in that chair. Thirty Six years later I still feel that dream and if given the opportunity will sit in a different chair. (Yes, my parents still own it.)