Director Törneroos warned me that Olga haunts these grounds. I enter a spa-sized sweatbox. A blonde camped on the top bench smiles down, teeth white as a birch trunk. I shut the cedar door behind me. The chrome temp gauge says it’s only 69 degrees but the joint’s heating up quick. Hot wood sure gives off a sexy aroma. I ladle water from a bucket over the stones and they hiss back. Steam cloaks me. I sprawl out on the middle bench and spread legs wrapped in a towel.
Despite seeing that woman up there, I know I’m all alone. Nobody for miles on this granite coast. I’ve got the only key to this annex, being the last resident for 2016 at a Customs House built in 1828. It was me who clicked on timers for heat and light. That blonde must be a demon. Sweet Jesus. I’m naked except for this towel. Bet she was a fox in her time because she’s not bad looking after death. I swivel my head. “Olga?” I ask. “Ja,” she answers. “Vad heter du?”
Damn. Wish I knew Swedish. Just my luck I’d get a Nordic spirit who doesn’t speak English. I watch as she slips off her towel and stretches her long legs. She waves for me to join her. The temperature gauge says 85.
I disrobe and join her. She scooches close until our thighs touch. She flips her hair over her shoulders. Her gray lips turn rouge. The tips of our tongues meet mid-air and twirl in circles. Her tongue’s icy cold. Then I remember that gauge was registering Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I try standing but wobble back down. The heat turns me groggy, like I overdid it on the stout. She hugs me hard. “Jag älskar dig,” she coos, stroking my thigh. The light clicks off. Olga giggles.
Billy says: Your nakedness points to shame or disgrace from broken trust, though you are partially covered in a towel (do not leap into the unknown; a dive into the occult will end in disaster). The heat, the steam, the demon…might you be in hell? If so, Billy recommends that you avoid temptation to avoid future torture. The demon’s blonde hair and white teeth suggest that generosity may be your downfall, and that you are too quarrelsome. Your dead demon-lover comes alive in your arms, which makes sense, since death symbolizes news of a birth. Your tongue dance suggests that you be more aggressive; your ability to communicate your desires will be more successful than usual. The thermometer (which you read incorrectly) implies that you will soon associate with an individual whose skills could benefit you greatly, and they will be eager to assist you — usually Billy would advise you to use their assistance to improve your life, but since you keep misreading the temperature, perhaps go slowly; if you misread the signs, you could wind up with unhelpful “help.”
Remember the beginning of The Scarlet Letter — the red “A” is discovered in the attic of a Customs House, where you are staying in your dream. Sometimes your own feelings are the secret you keep from yourself, wedged high in the nooks and crannies of your mind. But, as you know from your dream, you’re the only one who’s really there, and it’s your own instincts that you have to rely on. Don’t let fear and shame keep you from seeing things as they really are.