You'd think that after several days of adventuring in the Upper Peninsula I'd be dreaming about lakes and waterfalls and pasties and sing-songy blondes with vowel-laden Finnish surnames.
Instead, I just dreamed about Rutherford, New Jersey.
Which is odd, because I've never been to Rutherford, New Jersey, ever. I'm not quite sure I've ever even actively thought about Rutherford, New Jersey, before.
This isn't the first time I've dreamed about a place I've never actually visited. I recall one memorable and quite complex dream about going on an extended walking tour of Greenwich Village...many months later I saw a PBS program about historical sites in New York City, and I was so startled by the similarities between its exploration of the Village and the landmarks in my dream that it made my hair stand on end...at least until my rational self suggested that my dream was less a product of ESP and more a product of my brain's whimsical withdrawal from my memory bank of some travel writer's description of Greenwich Village.
But sadly, my dreamtime excursion to Rutherford only got me as far as a municipal parking lot. In my dream I was in college (which college is something of a mystery -- someone suggested Princeton Divinity School, which would certainly be trading up from my actual college experience at a Large Agriculturally Oriented Midwestern Diploma Mill), trying to get home to Outer Podunk; after attempting in vain to find a train to take me home directly, I somehow wound up in the city of Rutherford, in a parking lot. A friend -- someone I didn't recognize upon awaking -- was with me, inviting me to borrow her car and drive home; but I demurred because driving other people's vehicles for any distance makes me nervous. (This is actually the only bit of the dream with any resemblance to real life; Fellow Traveler and I had this discussion just last week, when she offered to let me drive her Jeep. Having recently dinged my own car, and knowing how much she loves her Jeep, I got the heebie-jeebies -- with my luck I'd have probably run into a moose or something. But back to our story.) Suddenly my parents -- both deceased in reality -- showed up in the parking lot, in their old Delta 88. "Great!" I said. "I can just go home with you." To my dismay, they didn't seem particularly excited by this prospect. And that's when I woke up.
So my initial impression of Rutherford is not a particularly positive one. But that might have just been viral delirium. To any residents of Rutherford who may be reading this, I'm sure you have a really lovely community. A nice, big parking lot, anyway.