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.
I’m in a second story apartment with my friend Helen. She has a beautiful terrace that overlooks a lively and colorful street — the scene makes me think I’m in a city in South America. As we’re talking on the terrace I notice that the shop names below are changing. At first I am baffled, but then this tips me off to the fact that I may be dreaming. Immediately an excited fear pierces my mind. I start looking around in attempt to read the shifting signs above the storefronts. I can’t — they are moving and changing too fast, and the roman letters are taking on different shapes and colors. We move inside and I grab Helen by the waist and she whispers something into my ear and kisses my cheek. I ask her if we are dreaming. She nods with a grin. I’m overwhelmed with a intoxicating sense of freedom. I don’t know what to do: Should I rearrange the dream? Summon the ghosts of old friends? Take flight? Make love with an apparition? All the possibilities scramble my brain and render me powerless. I’m stuck — I know I’m dreaming, but I don’t know how to manage the experience — and now I’m unconvinced that the far off world my body is sleeping in holds any authenticity. I’m also frighted and a deep loneliness ruptures within my body . . . “It’s all only me.”
– – –
I’m driving north on Route 29, heading to 70 west, going to West Virginia. I’m on a motorbike, and I’m not paying attention to the road, occasionally falling into a trance. I snap to and realize that I fell asleep while driving and missed 70. “Where am I? These are hilly dirt roads. How did I get here? This isn’t 29. How did I manage this while sleeping?” I’m still drowsy, and I can barely keep my eyes open. And slowly I realize that every time sleep overtakes me, and my eyes close, they open somewhere else. I’m flopping between two distinct worlds; however the secondary one is very faint. I’m constantly jolting myself back to the one in which I’m driving the motorbike over the dirt roads — it seems more authentic to me, and the one in which it is more pressing that I find my way, the road seems treacherous. I manage to stay awake driving just enough to see that the road ends at the base of a hill at a watery pit. I come to a sliding stop on my bike just before the water’s edge. I see that the dirty shallow water is full of crocodiles. I start getting nervous, and turn the bike around to leave. The dirt on the ground is as fine as powder, and the struggle up the hill is slow and hard. As I’m leaving I see another beast: this one is bodiless and is only the head of a crocodile but its lidless eyes are catlike, huge, perfectly round, and emerald green. I have no idea how, but despite have no body, it is still capable of moving around terribly fast. It’s chomping its gapping jaw and staring at me, into me — and the layered sounds its jaw makes as it chomps are ghastly and loud. I manage to get on top of the hill, but sleep comes for me again. I’m driving — my eyes close and open . . . I am looking out into my room, lying on my bed . . . they close . . . I’m driving on the dirt road, I don’t know where I’m going . . . they open . . . I am lying on my bed. This happens a few more times and then this world, in which I am writing out this occurrence, holds me. And I am left wondering where I’m headed on that dirt road. ♨
I am sliding down a muddy hill on a mattress inside a wooden house that is lit by thousands of candles. Everytime I reach the bottom of the slide the floor swallows me and the ride begins again. I am never tired, I will ride this muddy slide forever, and I am at peace.
– – –
It’s night, I am with Katie on a shifty, oddly constructed carousel. It rotates and spirals up and down a very modern, unconventional house. It is as tall as a tree and has many portals of entrance and exit that resemble round steel ship doors. Steam shoots out of some of them with an eerie screech. The woman in front of us is annoyed that I keep holding on to her bullet-shaped car. She stands up and starts dismantaling it with her bare hands. We are hundreds of feet off the ground; a few times she comes close to falling or being knocked off. Eventually she reconstructs it and sits back down. I hop off our seat to go in search of a special pocket knife. I only have a few minutes to find it, during the commercial break — I’ve paid good money to watch this show on this carousel and I don’t want to miss a minute of it. I roam an endless, beachless boardwalk, lit by floating yellow lights, looking for the shop where I saw the knife — there are shops in every direction I turn. I never find it, and call Katie — she tells me the show is starting. I race back and get there just a few minutes after the show has started. But everyone is missing. They must have entered the house. I start shouting into one of the portals and my echo streams out of all the ports in different tones. The home shrinks and becomes a musical instrument. I know all the people are still inside, but the sound it makes is so beautiful and I am hypnotized by it. I continue my shouting into the shrunken house and the sound emanating from it starts shifting the trees on the forest’s edge not to far away. A path forms as a dark hole in the woods. My cell phone rings, it’s my buddy Ken, he wants me to meet him at a bar in the forest. I go in search of him through the dark woods and find my way into a hostel with wooden beds. The halls are narrow and to get to the front desk I have to crawl over countless sleeping people. I am with a woman. I don’t know her well, but we have been flirting for a long time now. I don’t know if we will be sharing a bed or not. She hands the desk clerk $18 and vanishes down the hall. The face of the woman at the front desk is obscured by her long curly blond hair, but I can see she has many scraps and scabs and is wearing deep red lipstick. I know her. She knows me, but pretends she doesn’t. When the beds start mysteriously shifting beneath us she nervously tells me we have met before . . . a long time ago . . . in a land with a sun. ♨