Have you any dreams you'd like to sell?

January 24th, 2022

The flash-fire hypnopompia of the morning brings me out of the dark night's depths and towards the surface of my own thoughts. The dream's a vivid realist exercise in which the fridge's truthfulness to form, the way the silverware's tucked into little trays beside it just as it'll be upon waking, convinces me that all within is real. Master walks into the kitchen without tripping so much as a mote of conflict; of course he's alive, and might as well walk into the kitchen. It's not even relief, but rather something like a wave of correctness washes over me as he stands before the open fridge, his weight shifted on one straight and beautiful leg while the other bends into the beginning of a question: why are there two stacks of eggs? And are the oldest on top, as they ought to be (or, silently --still accurate as any scene that never existed in a life I nevertheless did lead-- did I need to bring the fucking whip)?

But then it's over, or more specifically, I guess, replaced. I'm standing in the dingy parking lot of Satan's apartment building, a squat stucco affair so seventies Los Angeles the sadly fronded inner court and plausibly deniable dark brown shag carpeting are palpable from outside. The Devil himself is standing on the second-storey balcony, saying something I neither hear nor try to as he leans against the metal railing's fresh coat of beige paint. He's short, and fat, a humpty-dumpty figure balding underneath a greasy combover. His striped pyjama shorts and worn-out wifebeater are stained with old sweat and newer calousness, and he punctuates his address from above with occasional sucks on his moist and fraying stub of a cigar. Whatever he's saying, it's got neither point nor personality.

* * *

"Do you actually feel anything when you dream that he's alive?"
"Yeah, absolutely, there's an overwhelming sense of relief, and calm, when I say 'But we thought you were dead!' and he tells me it was just some elaborate trick. And I tell him about how awful it was, and all the things we did to try and get through it, and he laughs, or puts his arm around me, and it's all better...."
"I'd bet it's pretty tempting to talk yourself into going back to sleep when you wake up then, if there's a chance of that."
"It really is."

* * *

The mornings are crushing, the box in my chest clamped shut against its pressure, shifting dangerously this way and that on its hinges some days, stolid and unmoving others. The light, not so much pouring in as flowing forth to illuminate the whole valley before me feels wrong. The light's impossible, light from a sun without reason to shine, mechanical, soulless. But the morning grows easier despite its assault, for being somehow close to him. For reminding me of the cheer in his voice and the spring in his step at the start of each day, whether early or late; that short trek to the corner where I'd catch his face and its wide and open smile, the sound of his fingers roaring over the keyboard, the knowledge that something new was being brought to print and soon I'd get to read it, a piece of his mind.

The way his toes curled and the clean, mild taste of his cock, the old cut in his ear and his gold-flecked iris, the wild leglift-curl he'd spin in the living room and the laugh --truly, most deeply, that laugh, loud and happy enough to fill the valley itself, come tumbling back to me in the morning, even as I crumble under the unbearable ache of their distance.

* * *

I get a sports massage and break down halfway through when the soulful Venezolana working on my shoulders says "your body is very strong, but your heart -- it's so tired". She doesn't know me and I don't really show her who I am, so after hearing the history without meaning or context, what's there left for her to impart but quasi-religious comfort to try to help me through the breathing: "You have to talk to your soul, 'I am love, I am health, I am courage, thank you god', there is a reason you are here, and you don't have to know it, but ask to see."

As much as I feel her reaching to me I feel doubly alienated, separate, severed and cut off from everyone else forever. Back home I press my knees against the cold tile floor and change the canto: I am yours, completely. I will always be yours, no matter what. I am open to the pain. I am open to what I don't understand. I don't know if it's a prayer; what bothers me more is the notion it could be something like a command, but I say it anyway: Show me.

One Response to “Have you any dreams you'd like to sell?”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    Reading this makes quite palpable the grief, the feeling of alienation and the apparent permanence of it all. Hopefully the writing provided some relief, even if tiny. There is though no forever and no eternal permanence for anything, only each day starting anew and chipping away at any and all seeming forevers.

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