• Lisa Alex Gray

I Have a Dream, and it's Not Dog Twister


Drawing by Lisa Alex Gray

It's a dream of owning a hammock - which I've had since I was a teenager.


You may find this odd, since most teenagers have dreams of going to college, having a career, or possibly getting married.


I suppose I had those dreams too, I really don’t remember, since they weren’t as important as the hammock.


So why do I still have this dream 40 years later?


It’s not like it’s an incredibly challenging dream to accomplish.


I didn’t imagine, first, weaving the hammock on a large loom, from thread I dyed, by hand, from beet juice.


This dream should have been accomplished many hammocks ago.


Well, I don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet.


Why, at fifty-four years of age, do I have a stuffed animal named Scruffy?


These are just a few of the many unanswered questions that plague me, as I’m certain plague my family members, these many years.


So, the other day I’m in my local grocery store doing my weekly shopping when I see something that stops me in my tracks.


No, not a Ho Ho display.


It was a display of a hammock anchored by two potted palm trees, a few crates of bananas, and a crate of pineapples.


Winn Dixie had created a tropical oasis for their loyal shoppers, right there next to the Doritos.


I sighed when I saw the hammock, as I always did, and would have kept walking if my eyes had not grazed the sign perched on top of the banana pile — Hammock $59.99.

What was that?


Hammocks are usually at least $200.00, I know, I’ve been pricing them for thirty years.

The $59.99 sign must be a trick.


It probably was one of those, buy one hammock get one for $59.99 deals. And what was I going to do with two hammocks?

My dream only included one.


I read the sign again making sure I understood what it was saying.


Maybe they were selling the crate of bananas for $59.99, in which case that would not be a good deal. I can never make them last past three days and the only thing I know to do with rotten bananas is to make banana bread.


Let’s just say I haven’t perfected that recipe yet. Even my dog won’t eat it and he’ll eat cat poo.


Once I verified the sign was correct I decided the time had come to turn this dream into a reality.


I wrangled myself one of the highly motivated stock boys to help carry the rectangular box, containing the hammock, to the checkout, and then to my car.


Yes, of course, I gave him a tip.


I told him to go to college or get used wearing that shade of turquoise.


As soon as I got home from the store, I opened the box and pulled out my hammock, after which I debated putting the hammock back in the box and going to take a nap.


I have to be honest with you the hammock looked different than it did in the store.


Maybe it was the lack of pineapples and bananas?


Still I was on a mission, so I emptied the box full of metal poles of varying sizes, a baggie of bolts and nuts, and a pile of fabric, onto the floor — not very sway inducing so far.


I refused to give up though, because as I said, the time had come.


So I worked diligently through the rest of the afternoon with the help of my trusty dog Finn, who continued to lay on, stand between, under and over, whatever crucial component I needed at a given moment, during the hammock assembly process.


I felt like we were playing a strange game of Twister (there’s the Twister reference).


But, I did it — no, not win the game of Twister — that dog has some incredible reach, which was deemed an unfair advantage in the end, being he has four legs.


What I did was get the hammock put together and upright.


There were a few bolts and nuts leftover (which Finn and I concurred were extras) but it was together and stayed together when I sat in it.


Finn declined trying it out …he said maybe later.


That dog has no faith.


So, now that I put that dream to rest, all I have left to do is lay back in my hammock and sway to the breeze (who am I kidding I’m in Florida there’s no breeze).


I mean, sway to the mental breeze, as I plot out how to accomplish the next item on my list of long-term dreams.


Get David Cassidy’s autograph.


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©2020 by Lisa Alex Gray