we were neighbors

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The spacial arrangement is a little hard to follow. I lived on a very large ranch with my parents, in a very large house whose decor tended toward rustic somewhat. You had to go down a couple flights of stairs to get to Putin's house, which was quite modern, and to get to my house from his house you had to go down a rather elegant circular staircase. Our houses opened into each other and from both you needed to go downstairs to get to the other... a cosmic duplex, I guess. I don't know exactly if the ranch stretched out from his end of the house. I couldn't catch that. It might've been a city or a suburb for all I know, but our houses were firmly connected, of a piece, downstairs.

I had commissioned a painting to give my mother for Christmas... pretty much the frame from which everything else proceeds... it was sort of surrealistic, with realistic elements glued onto it and all of them separated by a bright bead of shiny mercury-colored something, giving the affect of futuristic leaded glass to the painting. I was deciding which realistic element should go where, but I had to get to town to purchase something for it, and I had to park way the heck across the field when I came back, not to tip my mother off that I was in league with the artist downstairs to produce a Christmas present for her.

I remember worrying that I'd dropped chocolate crumbs on the upholstery and they'd melted and smudged into the fabric. Tiny, almost invisible, but I worried it was apt to give the game away anyway. My mother is a hawkeyed spoilsport who only feigns deafness. Still, I hugged the rock wall while moving to Putin's house from my car, going in our back door and taking the stairs down. The piece was an image of a woman's crotch, which I don't much want to mention because it had absolutely no sexual connotation in the work, but have to because it was a naked female part I was pretty sure my mother was going to hate in her new painting, and I was trying to figure out how to talk him into moving the piece elsewhere on the painting so it wouldn't so apparently be what it was.

He was down there doing other paintings in the same vein while waiting for me. He seemed amenable to rearranging things on the piece for Mom, but we were trying to figure out how that would work, and I was looking out over the field to see my mother inspecting the car and my father approaching it to distract her. At some point or other, maybe in the course of this dream, or in parts of it I can't recall so well, there was a lot of equipment all around, farm equipment, and I felt as though my father had come from doing something in that farm equipment to distract her away from the chocolate smudges that would give away the secret of her Christmas present.

I was back downstairs from Putin's place, left him in his studio again, to try to find out from Dad if Mom had put it all together. He didn't think so, but shooshed me back downstairs before she came in and held up the works. We had almost decided to leave the naked woman part off it altogether and figure out the good replacement for it when some sultry brunette babe came in to tell Putin they would be late for something. It was rather jarring and messed up our creative process and I was, like, who is this? Before I could even give voice to the question there was a little blondish droopy and clingy thing he was introducing to me as his wife. She was acting jealous and suspicious, and I was just standing there gaping as she clung to him on the way out the door... on their way to some function or other.

I called after them my threat, "You better not hurt him."