I regularly dream about old, abandoned buildings. There’s probably some standard dream-dictionary meaning for dreams about old, abandoned buildings, but I’m 100% sure that my dreams about them stem from my awake-life fascination with them. I love finding them, exploring them, examining them and dreaming of owning and restoring them. There’s no secret about that. So I think any symbolism about the dreamt old, abandoned building is probably lost in the fact that I daydream of them.

But I dreamt last night about the old Calvert downtown of Auburn, which is also in no need of deciphering because there’s a particular building there I’ve had my eye on for about 10 years. But in this dream, the Calvert downtown (which is often a subject of old-building exploration dreams) was quite a bit bigger. The block with the courthouse on it was sans-courthouse, and instead just had a full block of old-fashioned downtown-style buildings.

I was with several people, but the only ones I remember specifically were Sara and this girl whose name I’ve never known who used to live in Spaghetti Works that I used to see playing pool a lot. But those were the only two in the group of about 10 that I was with. We were just wandering through this part of Auburn, apparently without purpose. The only thing I really remember about what we were doing was that it was a hot day, we were looking for some relief from the heat, and the streets were made of dirt.

We went inside a building on the end of the block that had huge glass windows in front and a winding staircase going upstairs. The second floor was dark, so Sara tried to flip on the lights. The wiring was old enough, and the building was neglected enough, that the light fixtures just emitted sparks. This was immediately troubling because it was a hot, dry day and much of the interior of this old building was wood.

Immediately a fire started. Not only inside, but a breeze carried it outdoors, too. The group of us knew that if we didn’t handle this fire immediately, the whole area of downtown would be lost due to the fact that these were all old and interconnected buildings.

Normally in a situation like this, I might expect the dream to take a futile and helpless turn. But it didn’t. It was a struggle, but we put out all the fires.

I hope that, if anything, this dream was a suggestion that my desire to help restore the decaying parts of Auburn might be successful. And that Sara and the pool-playing former Spaghetti Works resident are good at helping put out fires.

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