I dreamt I was a skinny old man in a threadbare Santa suit who'd been visiting with the children from a one room school house.
It was springtime - so god knows why the suit - but as I walked back into the woods I could hear the teacher talking about me through the open door.
She was loudly extolling my new found "enthusiasm" for such matters - especially in lieu of my drunkard's not so distant past - but her words seemed more strained than sincere.
"I can hear you," I called, turning back from the tree line and seeing an owl just above me, half concealed behind a pine bough. I realized it was a fake, a decoy, and I looked back at the doorway where the teacher now appeared.
You might think I 'd be angry, but playful is more like it, and I smiled, gently letting the air out of words that might otherwise have hung between us.
I really didn't mind.
It had all been true.