Friday, I was in the best mood. I'd had the most amazing dream.
It was some kind of lavish party at the home of one of the PBDs. People were scattered around in their little cliques. I found myself wandering from group to group. Never really fitting in. Always trying to join conversations too late. I'd just arrived at the party, and I was already looking for an escape.Today, I was in the worst mood. I'd had such an awful dream.
There were some guys out in the field. I didn't recognize them. They were towing people around behind a motorcycle. Not for anyone else's enjoyment, but for their own sick fun. The people who'd already been towed were in a bloody group off to the side, shaking and sobbing.
The motorcycle guys asked me if I wanted to be towed. They laughed amongst themselves. I shook my head and I flipped them off and I moved away.
Then I saw her.
She was talking to some people I didn't know. She'd just arrived herself. I overheard her say that she was going to go see what the motorcycle guys were up to, and I saw her turn in their direction. In my direction.
She saw me, and she smiled.
I grabbed her arm, and I told her what the motorcycle guys were doing. I asked her to stay away from them, to stay with me.
She smiled again, and she took my hand, and we went back into the house and got some beer.
We sat together on the floor in the corner of the basement. For hours and hours we touched and we whispered and we leaned against each other as we watched all of the PBDs making drunken fools out of themselves. We were the way we used to be, only better. We were the way we might have been, if only.
As the night wore on the injured people had been making their ways from the field to the house. She thanked me for saving her from a terrible night, and I thanked her for saving me from a meaningless life.
I never really knew what had happened, or even how I found out about it. The dream started too late for those details to be revealed.I have a lot of interest in dreams. At least in my own. They tell me, in metaphor, things that I'd never tell myself in words. They shine a light into the dark recesses of my mind. And what's illuminated may not always be pleasant, and it may not always be expected, but it's always the truth.
There were hundreds of people there. Mostly strangers to me. People from her new life, I figured. Except for some of her friends from Rich O's, I didn't know anyone.
But they all knew me. Or they knew about me. When I opened the door, they went completely silent.
I'd arrived late, like I always do in my dreams. But the crowd moved aside for me. They turned their back on me. Not from disrespect, but to give me the privacy that they knew I needed. Like prisoners turning their backs while their cellmates take a shit. Or so I've heard.
I couldn't believe it. I stood in the doorway, and I estimated the distance. About twenty yards. Maybe thirty paces. Thirty paces, and it would all be over.
So I dropped to my hands and knees, and I crawled. I needed it to hurt, and I needed to make it last as long as possible. Delay the inevitable as long as I could.
Plus, down on the floor like that, I couldn't see. Just the carpet in front of me, and the backs of the people around me. And, when I was stupid and forgetful, when I raised my eyes, a wooden box on a platform draped in red.
When I reached the coffin, I tried to make myself wake up. I tried very hard to make myself wake up. But it didn't work. So I lied down on the floor, and I wept and I waited for the dream to end on its own.
My sister came up behind me, and stroked my hair, and said soothing words. And, when I was ready, she helped me get to my feet. I stood up, and I looked into the coffin.
She was as beautiful as ever. So peaceful. I envied her.