In my dream our bodies bled together like watercolours, merging hues, new distinct patterns, skin on skin or skin under skin. A light that is indistinguishable. Each exhalation new release. Each inhalation new friend. All one movement. Time is still. There is a soft glow radiating outwards as I pull you into me. This time we come together. As one expression of the same thought. A perfect whole. Then we’re scattered again. As far as the eye can see. Maybe you never came to me at all. Maybe I only went through the act of searching you out to give my heart something to ache about. I am at home in my sadness like a cozy sweater. It scratches me in all the right places. Like I know you could too if I would stop inventing reasons to bury the hatchet. Pet cementary of insatiable desires. I am a magnet at the centre of the earth. I am a sleepwalker trapped in memories of myself. I am a note taker diligent in my observations of the half remembered. I am you, the pieces of me I’ve forgotten how to love. I am home the place I’ve been running away from. I am lover passionate mistress over my desires. I am dreamer the holy one that is reborn each morning.
Dream cat told me what I suspected to be true so matter of factly and innocuously I had to question where it came from. You told me that it sounds like he is repeating your advice, and I have to stop and look at you different. Is that true? Do I let you speak to me that way? Yes I encourage it. Because I believe first and foremost that love is something I have to work for. I am not perfect but I can try to be for love. I am a good worker. Meticulous. Through. Enthusiastic. He will see. He will be impressed. Why aren’t you impressed? Because I don’t trust people who think I am enough. Don’t they see how broken I am? What is wrong with them that their expectations are so low? Is he trying to fool me? Must be so because I’m busy running away from him, out the backdoor into the arms of the one who will hurt me and leave me. This would never work anyways I assure myself. And surely it doesn’t because I won’t let it. When I am heart broken and love sick again I come to you over pints, and you reassure me by telling me all the things I could do better next time. I’m just too intense. I can’t present myself that way or I will be hurt. I shouldn’t text back first. I should just try harder to seem like I’m not trying so hard. I shouldn’t ask for so much right away. I should convince them to commit to me first. I shouldn’t talk about my feelings. Don’t share so much online. I tip my hand too early. I go all in without looking. I should wait to have sex. I shouldn’t have sex at all. Don’t say I love you until they say it back. I need to build mystery. I should talk less. I’m not really that interesting people just like me for my body. The sad part is that these are the things I want to hear because it’s what I’ve come to believe is true.
. . .
After my dream cat told me these things he morphed into Nathalie off of Be Here Nowish and seduced me until I realized she just wanted me to stay home more so she could have me all to herself. Driving home the point or making light of it I’m not sure.
Dreams of zombies who can’t let go of the past, searching for something familiar, and the sweet release of death.
I hate zombies but I hate loosing you more.
At least if you want my brains you want me around.
Convineance store at the end of the world only selling banana ice cream pops.
Smile & nod.
Don’t let on that your afraid, “I’ll be right back” you promise.
I don’t know what’s worse watching the people you love turning into what you hate, or waiting to turn yourself.
Either way there is a lot of waiting even at the end of the world.
Sweaty nightmare combining my worst fears: zombies & abandonment.
I can’t out run either.
I dreamt I was a queen poisoned by loves hand, but it was only a role in a grand production, of which I had no say, and yet the blood and bile tasted real.
Before I left the death marked banquet where my subjects and friends entreat me stay I held each of them tenderly to my breast, a solemn goodbye. I would not wither and writhe before their eyes as a spectacle and a farce in hallowed death, instead I retreat to the belly of the castle in the wings, only inviting my newly crowned king to stay with me, whom had just the scene before murdered my true king and master whom I loved dear, and by whose hand I knew the elixir brewed. Yet still tender affection I held for both the actor who played him and for his part, but not enough to spare him witness to what he had wrought. Like a wounded animal I retreated as I felt my stomach lining begin to dissolve.
Just before the fated goblet scene, backstage between my lovers death and mine, we had talked of the sado-masochistic ecstasies of religion, the self abasement of the Catholics, the zealous fire of the baptists. My vengeful soon to be king, or at least the actor playing him, looked at me with such blood thirsty lust as we spoke. I could neither advert my gaze or rebuke him for I understood how our fates were linked and it was in my part to submit both as actor and grieving queen. I was enamored with him and our linked demise, how could I not feel affection and love for someone so central in my life? As the hunter and the hunted; I could feel him licking his chops against my skin as our eyes locked. A moment of give and take. His third to be wife-upon-my-death approached me all hair of mermaid and remarked upon how fierce I seemed in my velvet head, she entreated me to visit them, and teased me with her tales of hostages for sport. We laughed and made merry, this was only a scene change to the main event, backstage at the water cooler, nothing to be thought of. Yet I could feel my time running out as surely as so could she.
When he had murdered my true king it had been after careful cunning and consideration with his true wife, a beautiful and severe sight all dressed in rich red, but her performance was too affected. She kept touching her face and biting her lower lip in such a grandiose show of concern no one could much believe her she cared one way or the other who lived or died. Yet it was this caring that drove her to madness and a quiet death off stage announced by some unnamed messenger boy. A necessary device to urge the murderous king to ally with the young prince, wronged and exiled from his betrothed bride whom the subjects adored. With his fair golden locks shining the way forward no one would see the black heart and cold piercing eyes actually spurring the charge. I watched this scene unfold from the back of the audience with one of the stage hands obsessing about how to best market this tragedy to the paying masses, I helped her take photos of the charming prince, invite them with news of his recent engagement I offered, everyone loves a romance.
Thus began the final act in darkness. I concealed in the wings where I could see nothing. Calling to my love and true king with all my heart, warning him of the fated surprise hid behind the rocks, but it was dark and the storm raged loud, he could not hear me because the play was written thus, but I cried with all my heart anyways. When the deed was done I wept and held the bloodied blade to my chest refusing to return it to the company to be washed and used in the next scene. I wanted to preserve it as the hallowed sacred object that it was, savoring the last drops of my beloved heart. They granted my pathetic wish “we always have another” the stage hand assured me. My fellow players looked on contemptuously and amused as tears stung my eyes and a painful lump welled in my throat.
Fate hung about me closely everywhere I turned. There was very little I could do on or off stage that was not per-ordained. I accepted this with quiet grace and mostly kept to myself, never liking it but not resisting. I played truly from the heart. The love I felt was true, the good byes I said were lasting, my feelings for my vengeful king were both conflicted and tender, my affection for the players and stage hands sincere, I drank knowingly of the poisoned goblet playing my part willingly in my death.
I dreamt that I carried your body to the day bed all dressed in white. You who had always been so much more grounded, muscular, steadfast. In my arms so fragile and warm. You gave me the key to the door so tiny I could barely pinch it between two fingers. As you seemed to disappear under the piles of blankets I was scared. Scared that I would loose you and all you meant to me. Scared that no one would notice. That it would happen with my help or not. In the dark of a burnt out streetlight I cried for you. As the tears came flowing more quickly fear transformed into dread. A ceremony of unknowable darkness was about to begin, I was being beckoned for it. The air was thick with anticipation as she led me away into the darkness. Calling my name, but never directly looking at me. In a cabin in the woods far, far away from possible help she met me to play a game. Fate hung in the air, tight around my throat, as my eyes struggled to see in the darkness. If I could only win for you, but I knew this was a game of no winning. She left me alone in the dark to choose my fate. Even in this cold expectant darkness sticking to my teeth I fought my consciousness. Crying “no, no, no, no, no, no, no” while I rocked myself into existence under too many covers sweating from exertion. Mind finally awake, but sure I had set into motion the awful game and we all would surely die.
I had a dream that I was living in a very old house all mahogany and brass. A house full of gentlemen with business just out of sight. Where every ornament in the house carried weight of hundreds of years of legacy. Each handshake would last a lifetime. I played music even though I knew not how to play it. On a large, beautiful twelve-string instrument that looked like a cross between a sitar and a viola in deep mahogany with gold accents. I plucked out notes, made the shape of a D, I scratched my fingernails up and down the strings like Okkyung Lee. As I pulled out these low strange sounds from it I began to speak “Fair is foul and foul is fair” whispering it into the f-hole so it resonated deep inside of the instrument. As the dissonant sound grew to a crescendo, I flipped the instrument over and began to bang out a rough and steady dirge and sang high and effervescent a hymnal from memory “A Light On High” that was chipper and girlish, almost, save for the heavy dirge rhythm underneath. Then I returned to plucking the belly of the instrument as my husband returned home from important work. I played him the roughly hewen melody I had carved out. At first it pleased him. The sexual energy I had harnessed was great as I channeled this huge magnetic creative force towards him, but as I started to play and scratch and moan he became uninterested. What would the guests think? He was tired from long days work. Be careful that I not wreck this important instrument in the sea of important ornaments. It was not to be played like that. I carried on anyways as he disappeared into the party talking in serious low voices to his father about impending business deals that must not disturb the rest of the house, but would surely impact future generations for years to come. Men would do better to wear their grievances on their sleeves I thought as I played mournfully away. Simultaneously filled with power and grace and transforming my longing into a beacon to call to me the power of Yoko Ono, Okkyung Lee, of Julie Taymor, of Tanya Tagaq of women that were not afraid to create, and create ugly, create sad. This was for them.
Last night I dreamt of a man fallen to his knees on the rocky beach, shirt untucked, stuffing fistfuls of sand into his mouth. So much sand it streamed between his fingers and over his fists, pouring out of his gaping mouth, but he just kept shovelling faster in a mad frenzy to try to eat all of the sand on the beach.
He eventually ate so much sand he died of dehydration, but instead of collapsing he just kept scooping up more sand. A zombie lumbering up and down the beach consuming all of the yellow sand he could get his cold hands on frightening the tourists. Unaware of his surroundings he wandered too close to the sea, a huge wave grabbed hold of his body and sucked him out into the grey stormy ocean. he became tangled like a seagull in all the garbage and bits of plastic, and wrapped in a huge Persian rug heavy with salt water made heavier still by the sand that filled his body.
When the ocean spat him back out we hoisted him into a shopping cart, wet rug and all, and wheeled him off to the lab to be examined. We identified him as a 24 year old documentary film maker, poet, and activist from Turkey. My colleague turned to me and said “there was nothing in his application video to suggest he would do this”.
I became aware that he had volunteered for an secret experiment we were conducting. He had wanted to die, so he willingly accepted the risk of participating. He had been thinking of commiting suicide for a long time, but he didn’t want his friends and family to feel responsible, so he had waited until he could die for science. There was no one to blame, he had died a hero. Only I felt responsible for his death.
How many others had there been?