Elbe unfinished

Dreams are barely linear. How can I describe how we talked of Elbe, its desolate carved mountainous contours with only a train station running through. Even then I was walking in a plot of weedy land, seeing it for its potential, thinking of composting inside the abandoned race car seat hulk.  Big skunk cabbage leaves everywhere. I wandered in this solitude; sheered off by entering the house to hear her crying for me. She crawled and hung by her fingers from the red tool-chest with stickers.  Then she was the size of a fist and cradled in a small hammock. The baby in fever beside me; in the dream I turned off the hot spray of air and a cold shower dripped onto her wet face. I lay there in a naked embrace with the trio of our generation, for her father had joined us.   The lights came on as the bikers returned. Carl, Lars, and a third black-clothed carabiner-wearing crew member were in the room. Lars was finally ready to talk.

He took me somewhere and said.

“Someone suggested I write this down, so I did.”

He had a black and white composition notebook from which he read, “When I got there he was covered in blood and was flushing the face down the toilet.”

I stopped him there. “Was there a body?”

Lars sort of froze, expecting the words to speak for themselves, without question.

I wonder now, did I get off the train in Elbe once, and walk the brown soil, brown facade of a town, emptied of its old mining families; like a dusty set of “Bride comes to Yellow Sky.”  All I can picture is a combination of images accrued from reading about burnt firestorm scenery North of Berkley, and from the hills of Seattle seen from a plane.  And why would Lars hide something so awful?  I did not sit and listen to what he had written unfortunately, and since I was dreaming, I will never know the content of that book, nor what face was flushed away.


mirrors & gingerbread

I’m a mansion. It’s owned by the family of a high school friend. I find my way into the bathroom. It’s similar to a grimy bathroom in a Vietnamese Bia Hoi. It’s oddly out-of-place in this fancy home, but it feels familiar — I have been here before. I find my reflection in the mirror. I stare into it and make faces, but the face gazing back at me doesn’t follow the facial expressions I know I’m making.

– – –

A man yells, “The gates are open, come on in.” He’s referring to the Enchanted Forest amusement park that I used to go to as a kid. It’s overgrown with weeds. There are people walking around inside and exploring the ruins. All the fairy-tale houses and characters are there, like the witches house in Hansel & Gretel and the Gingerbread Man, and they are all in disrepair. I used to sneak into the park as a teenager through a hole in the fence, it feels odd to be allowed in. ♨