The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on March 26, 2012



Some time ago, at a particularly stressful time in my life, rather than seek out a shrink I wrote several short pieces that are fantasies.  I visualized myself as living in a different place or at a different time doing something far removed from the reality of my life.  I would agree it was a form of escapism but it was also cathartic. From time to time I will share one of those fantasies with you. Come along and dream with me.



I am a student again: no longer young and impressionable but mature and thoughtful. I have gone toOxfordto study; to surround myself with serious scholars. . Huge stone buildings draped in ivy and chapels are everywhere and the sun flickers off stained glass windows. Country lanes are lined with gingerbread cottages framed by hedges of yew and holly. Some have herb gardens and when the breezes blow, the smell of rosemary and thyme floats through my window. Flocks of starlings flitter through mulberry trees on the edge town.

I live in a small slate roofed cottage outside of town with an herb garden off a small patio. The stone fence around the property is covered with morning glories that wake up when I do. Pink and red geraniums in window boxes glisten with early morning dew. A yellow pansy patch lies in a corner of the rear garden, frequented by hummingbirds whose nests hang in the birch tree outside the kitchen window.  Sometimes in the early morning deer pass through my yard. Drenched in gingham and calico, the kitchen is warmed by the sun in the morning and by a pine scented fire in the evening. Farmers stroll by in the early morning driving their Guernseys to pasture and greet me as I am on my way to classes or the library.

I spend most of each day with people who talk about Socrates and Marx and Jabotinsky and Mozart and Einstein and Rossini and the French Revolution and the Enlightenment and I know enough about all of them to converse intelligently. I take strange esoteric courses like Druid Architecture and Medieval Chinese Folklore. My professors are brilliant. I find them both intellectually and sexually stimulating. As I sit in front of them I am tense and my eyes never leave them. I am tuned in to both their words and the sensuality emanating from them. I love the rough tweed jackets, the occasional  plaid  tam, the intensity with which they pursue their subjects. My brain whirls and I am full of questions.

I have little to do with other students. They float around me in ivy league cashmere sweaters that identify them as a member of one or anther society. What is happening has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with the environment and the faculty.

I do have some  company in the form of a very active Cocker Spaniel whose name is Zelda.  She sleeps with me and has an amusing habit of running around just before bedtime and gathering up all her toys, putting them – one by one – on the bed. Occasionally I have visitors and we travel  throughout the English countryside. We stay in bed and breakfast places and move leisurely, absorbing history and soaking up tranquility. It is pleasant to have friends share my experience but I am happy to be alone again when they’ve left.

I study and write and spend hours at the library. I take long bike rides into the country stopping for tea at village inns. The proprietors are proud folk willing to chat at length about their lives and communities. One has taught me how to make a fine trifle and another gave me her secret recipe for gooseberry jam.

I feel mature and challenged at Oxford. I work hard, struggling with the course material. My dissertation, ”The Psychological Implications of the Philosophy of Franz Kafka,” is accepted for publication. Several elite private schools offer me staff positions. I am humbly and smugly gratified.

What is your fantasy?


Julie Rose



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