- October 26th, 2011
Powerful dream, this one was.
In my dream of you we were at the beach again. A different house, yet again one that doesn't exist. Except this time you were there, interacting, around, along with the requisite crowd of people. I don't remember much of what happened in the beginning, though I did when I first woke up. Before you called me, asking to change our date to a meeting with F. Which I'd known you would, since the night before.
There were people, and noise, and it was unsettling. F was there. And my coworker Adele, who was, unaccountably, your lover. Or in love with you, at least. I don't remember what happened or why it was unsettling, but it was. And then, finally, at some point, you asked me on a walk. Got me away from there. And I was grateful. I remember that I was grateful.
You said you had something to show me. Someplace to take me. So we walked. Along the beach, then away from it. We held hands. I remember being able to smell you. Loving the smell of you.
You took me to a very old brick building. It looked like something out of the bowels of Boston ... mottled, pitted brick, floor mostly filled in by ages of accretion ... clearly a structure that had once been freestanding and above ground, but that was now almost subterranean, because the entrances were almost filled with packed damp silty black dirt. It looked like an ancient aristocratic stable, or a train depot ... all the entrances were arched brick, and once we ducked inside, there were huge vaulted ceilings and row after row of arched brick rooms with no doors lining the single massive passage down the middle. Everything smelled of mold. And it was a squatter's camp. People had set up shop in the brick concavities in the walls, like Chinese market vendors, except they weren't selling. They were protecting. We passed blank glare after blank glare, people stooped under the weight of the rags they were wearing, people who had scavenged broken tables and rotten chairs and had made a little home in the bricks or people who could do little more than huddle on the earth and glare. We even passed a few stalls where people were conducting a sort of frenzied distrustful trade: this spoon for that bit of purple rag, this tin can for that doll-sized rocking chair. It looked like the set of a post-apocalyptic musical, frankly. Rags too ragged to be real. People too frenzied, too broken, too poor, too desperate to be believable. It looked so like a set that I wasn't afraid, and realized I wasn't, and wondered why. Because I knew that I should have been. We did not belong in this place, and I did not understand why you'd taken me here, or what you were looking for. And you were looking for something ... we were there for a reason. You kept a tight hold on my hand. You seemed aware that there may be danger for me, but unconcerned about your own safety. And again, I wondered why.
Because as we drew people's eyes ... and we did -- we did not belong in this place, and they did not like our presence -- it was you they were looking at. You they were threatened by. I wanted to get us out of there.
We walked down the long wide corridor on the damp packed earth, and rounded the other end, turning into an identical corridor on the other side of the building. The whole place was just one long U. You were enjoying yourself ... you were smiling, dear. For real.
And then a man came up from behind you, enraged, furious, screaming. Black snarled hair matted around him like a mane, no sanity or humanity in his eyes. You didn't even have time to turn: as I looked over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of him, he was already on you. He stabbed you in the back of the neck with a knife. It made a clean vertical
slice, right through the bone. Split your second and third vertebrae right in two. And you knew this, somehow ... knew you might survive. Because as you crumpled and I turned to catch you, you said to me, "Not the neck! Keep my neck straight!" So I did. I somehow kept an arm under your shoulders and one under your head, supporting your C-spine and skull in a perfect, straight plane. You bled all over me. But you were still alive. And in the dream, I was strong enough to hold you like that and still stand -- hold your torso straight while I held you up, off the ground.
And as I held you I looked at this madman, who was still gesticulating wildly over us with his knife, and I stared him down. He quieted. And he looked back at me. And I held his gaze, and I said this:
"May the roof of your head rot and cave in like an apple, may your brain turn to mealworms, may they come seething out of the ruined cauldron of your skull and pour down around your eyes and into your ears and feed in a frenzy on your desperate face, may your eyes bleed to see it, may your flesh fall from the bone and the bone become a catacomb and may you live through it all, may you go on and on in unending awareness and unendurable pain as your body betrays you and rots into the putrescent earth. I will curse you, I will ruin you, you and yours and all your line will walk this world in grief and pain and rage with the smell of your own putrefaction around you, no food will feed you, no drink will soothe you, you will lose your heads and all your limbs and all the memory of everything you ever loved, you will be less than mute matter, you will never be appeased. Now heal this man."
And he did.
And we walked out of there. Together. Holding hands.
And then we got back to the beach house. I don't remember much of the walk back, but I do know that F had been worried, once we got there. Annoyed that we'd been gone so long. She sort of whisked you away, and I wandered back into the party, not knowing what to do with myself. And I walked into the kitchen and came upon Adele. She was kneeling on the floor, crying, blond hair hanging all in her face, trying to pick up some pictures and a letter on the ground. I saw that they had all fallen out of one of those magnetic photo frames made to go on your fridge -- the front had separated from the magnets, and everything had fallen to the floor. But she was crying too hard to pick it all up. So I helped her. They were pictures of you and her, and a letter she'd written you. I saw part of it. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't help it. And when I woke up Friday morning I remembered exactly what it said, but right now all I remember is that it was filled with longing for you, a kind of desperate, wild, innocent love. A naive love. I knew, reading it, that she had felt more for you than you had returned. But I also knew that you hadn't told her that. You had been lovers. But, somehow -- maybe because of my presence at the party? I was never sure, even in the dream -- she had just that night figured out that things weren't what she'd thought. You'd abandoned her. First for me, then for F. And she was devastated. She was crying so hard she couldn't speak. And when she did speak, it wasn't to thank me. She barely knew I was there. She was rambling about you, and about how she didn't understand. And suddenly I just had to get out of there. Because I hadn't even known, until I got to the party, that you *had* another lover. Much less one whose heart you'd broken.
I don't remember the rest of the dream. It ended shortly after that. I do know that I never saw you again. I think I wandered out of the house, by myself, and walked on the beach. Or maybe not. It's unclear.
But I remember, word for word, cursing that man. And I remember the pictures scattered on the floor, and the kneeling girl with her hair in her face, crying.