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.