Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Dreamt of New York That Night...

This week, over at Woven Dreams, Geraldine wants us to think… well, about dreams.

I’ve tried to come up with some little (almost) poem but every direction where my mind would wander seemed on a sure path to some sort of sadness, or at least nostalgia, and I really didn’t want that.

But thinking about dreams reminded me of a dream sequence I wrote for my on-off WIP. You probably won’t understand much but here goes…

I dreamt of New York that night. It was whole, it was still safe.

I was striding up 8th Ave. with Manhattan, his soft, cold nuzzle touching my bare calves at every step, thinking there was no reason I was still there, I should be boarding the train, I should be on my way to Aunt Amy, only there was something, something, something I couldn’t pinpoint, an apprehension twisting my stomach, not letting go.

“Please, behave,” I was whispering to him, “just until we get there. It’s not far now, really not far.” Where? Where? Yes, to my nice neighbour, Mrs. Guilbeault, she will take you, she will pamper you, I can talk her into giving you the best biscuits every day.

He was happy to follow me, trusting, trotting, but I had no leash for him and passers-by were starting to give me dirty looks, how dared I bring a dirty mutt unleashed among them, what if it attacked them, it belonged to the pound not on their beautiful streets.

I couldn’t pick him up, he had wet mud on the underbelly, his long white coat caked with grey mud, and I didn’t want to spoil my white skirt on this early day of spring.
For the umpteenth time I was trying my cell phone, looking up at the sky, the sky was so beautiful, it looked so normal, but that was an illusion, the satellites were gone, never had been, the cell was useless and I was supposed to meet Tessa at the coffee shop, only I had intended to ditch her in the first place and now I was walking straight towards that place, I couldn’t remember its name, instead of being on the train and running away. I didn’t want to see Tessa, I didn’t want to do her dirty work for her again, dump a boyfriend for her because she was too cowardly to do it herself, why me, Tessa? it’s always me, do it yourself for once, show your true self to poor Billy so he can know who you are.

People were looking at me, stopping and turning, watching me, staring at my skinny stray, or was my skirt too short, or my legs too white, and the stupid cell was still not working, never working again. People whispering, looking at me and whispering, and that apprehension like a dark cloud inside me, she got out, she escaped, their faces turning ashen, their hair, they clothes turning ashen. Something happened, something happened, they were whispering. Penn Station is gone. Puff, just like that, all gone, no more trains, no more platforms, just big holes in the ground, all a big excavation for the old Penn Station.

Then I began running, I didn’t know where, and Manhattan was running beside me and barking at me, although there was no sound but a muffled drumming, somewhere afar. I kept wondering if this dog was a mute, how come I could hear no barking when he was barking his lungs out, and what was that awful drumming.

And then I glimpsed a spot of colour among the ashen faces and I knew it was Rob and it felt tremendously good to see him. Maybe we could dance again, I was thinking, and there was a joy spreading inside me at the thought, like a sweet song.

She’s not my girlfriend, he was saying and I could hear him although his lips weren’t moving. She’s not my girlfriend.

But I don’t know you.

Are you sure we haven’t danced before?

She’s not my girlfriend.

Smiling. Smiling. Smiling in the dream.


Geraldine said...

What an intriguing story Vesper, I didn't expect the ending...well done.

the walking man said...

Dreams, sleeping ones at any rate, I think at one time mine could have been this vivid just more fractured. It has been decades since I have had sleeping dreams, I do not remember falling out or waking up. Just the change on state and that happens so quickly. I can't complain.

This short piece though has enough of a fracturing (the dog,a constant)the cell phones a theme, Tessa, Rob, the hole that once was Penn Station all of that makes it have a dream like quality to it.

Brian Miller said...

what an interesting dream....makes me wonder at meaning behind it...i think our dreams can def tell us things...this was so vivid as well....intriguing...the dancing and talking but no lips moving...

Fireblossom said...

I'm not buying it. She's his girlfriend and they have danced before. There's a catch here somewhere, I think!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Impressive outtake. It makes me want to read more, although your direction from here is a mystery.

strugglingwriter said...

"You probably won’t understand much but here goes"

I understood plenty, enough to say that this is absolutely great. I love that the dog is names Manhattan. I love your writing and the inner dialogue.


PS Thanks for your comment on my site again.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely has a dreamlike quality. Well done.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Geraldine! Intriguing is very good... :-)

Mark, few dreams are so vivid that we can remember them. There are some that I still recall from my childhood, but nothing very recent anymore.
Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

Thank you, Brian. I wonder if real dreams, not just fictional ones, really have any meaning...

Shay, you're on to something here! :-) How do you know so much?.. :-D Thank you for reading! xoxoxo

Thank you so much, Bernard! Much appreciated!

Paul, wow,thank you so much! I'm very glad you liked it.

Charles, thank you! Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

A frightening, mixed up start for her with a poor, sorry dog that touched my heart, and a happy ending with a dreamy kind guy in the end, and you danced on and on. Romantic and fun. A wonderful story.

SzélsőFa said...

uhm, sorry, totally unrelated, but do you remember the movie called Monolith Monsters?
i watched it w/ m daughter (13) and we both enjoyed it. well, in a sort of funny way, but it also was a great way to practice English. she's soaking it like a sponge.

sorry, i did not have time to read this New York thing, but will return soon.

TALON said...

I feel like I went on the journey, dreaming along with you.

Vesper said...

Joyce, thank you so much. Your visit and your comment are much appreciated. :-)

SzélsőFa, no need to apologize... I know of your loss and I am very sorry. But I'm glad that you enjoyed the Monolith Monsters.

Talon, this is the best praise for a writer... Thank you! :-)

Naquillity said...

oh Vesper, this was absolutely perfect... so fitting for the assignment... i'd love to see this story expanded upon... thanks for dropping by my blog. hope to see you again soon. hope all is well~

Vesper said...

Thank you, Naquillity! It's so very kind of you. Much appreciated! :-)