Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Dreams, One Night

My eyes fill sockets that weren't there a moment before; expanding into flesh, bone, skin and now I'm just one body in a crowd of bodies, all walking up a long, steep grade towards a tall banana-yellow building in the distance. Everyone in the crowd looks familiar to me but I recognize no one as we steadily walk upwards. I'm somewhat relieved to find that I'm wearing clothes, although I can't really distinguish what they are , nor can I tell what the people around me are wearing- robes? Ponchos?

Fashion isn't important here but something else is and I'm trying to figure it out by listening to the rustle of the crowd as a murmured, whispery rhythm passes to and fro amongst the walking throng.

She's here. Who? I don't know. She's here. Who? I don't know. She's here. Who? I don't know.

I find that we are much closer to the building now and it appears to be a rather ordinary-looking apartment building, six stories high with two adjoining balconies on each floor. The people are walking in through a double door at ground level and they seem to be spiraling into one apartment, following the balcony to the next one on the same floor and,  after a few moments, emerging on the balcony of the floor above. There must be thousands of people in there, how do they all fit?

She's here. Who? I don't know. She's here. Who? I don't know. She's here. Who? I don't know.

As we get even nearer, the droning chant changes, getting faster and louder, more excited-sounding.

She's here! She's here! She's here!

 I look at the impossible people walking into this impossible building and for the first time I see that the rear of the building extends into a towering stone cliff that stretches high into the sky. No one in the crowd is looking back but I do, stopping and turning to face the faceless climbers. They part as they pass, no one has features with which to register emotion, all forms and faces are rounded, smooth, indistinguishable from one another. Even lacking mouths, they cry out.

She's here! She's here! She's here!

I don't need to ask or wonder anything at this point. I know who she is and why we are here and I don't want to join the crowd in their pilgrimage to meet her. That can wait until I'm ready and right now I'm not, so I walk against the mob and no one tries to stop me.

I awake with a great thirst and an even greater sense of relief, not of escape but of comfort. I've left a glass of water on my desk , so I get out of bed and swallow it in one long draught. Slaked, I go back to bed and drift off almost immediately.


The bartender is a sharp-featured brunette with long, wavy hair. I'm struck by the color of  her eyes as she pours me a cup of coffee. One is deep blue and the other is  a rich, emerald green.

I know her. She knows me. We are in what looks like an upscale hotel bar, a wall of expensive booze spreads out  behind her and  somehow she knows me well enough to serve me black coffee without having to ask. She pushes the heavy white mug to me and greets me by name.

She doesn't tell me this, but somehow I know that for now, her name is Michelle. This is strange to me, names are not often used in this place.

There's a young blond woman stocking a beer cooler at the other end of the otherwise empty bar. She turns toward us.

"Hey Michelle", she calls out, "show him your songs."

Michelle blushes and I ask her if she's a musician. She tells me no, not really, but she has a lot of songs that she wishes she could play. Right now they are just poems, she admits, but would I take a look anyway?


Of course I will.

Her handwriting is neat but tiny and I have to remove my glasses and bend down to the notebook she has placed in front of me...the words enter my eyes and go to strange places inside me, they are wonderful although I cannot seem to read them. I look up to say something to Michelle and I'm surprised to find that she has bent to read as well , her face a hairsbreadth from mine. Our lips touch briefly as we  look up, and startled, we both back up a half-step, waiting for a reaction from the other.

I smile. She smiles back and I can't take my eyes off of hers as she bends closer, watching me with those beautiful two-colored orbs as she turns another page. I want to ask her if she can sing but I am sure that she can, so I ask for another coffee instead and she laughs just a little.

It's already full, she says. And it is.

I want to stay here forever but that doesn't happen.


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4 comments:

Susan said...

This reads like a prose poem. Really. It is so good.

Allan said...

Thank you Susan!

NYD said...

I like your dreams more than mine...

more cowbell said...

y los sueños, sueños son.