The itch evolves into a scream.
The following silence strikes
to the rhythm of your fast beating heart.
The echoes reverberate through your dream,
hopes laying in neat little rows,
exhausted dreams dismembered.
I wake and choke on the residue
of the half emptied, half remembered
remains fading into the dawn.
There’s such a thing as being too realistic.
Being too realistic is another way of saying don’t try for the sublime, leave your dreams at the door, and settle for mediocrity.
What’s the worst that will happen if you reach too far? It’s not so dramatic as falling off a cliff, but maybe it’s still as painful as falling on your face. Isn’t that okay?
I’m not so happy sitting down. I’d rather reach. I’m happier when I’m reaching. Even if in some ways it ends up a failure, I still do amazing things on the way. The act of trying itself is a success, never mind all of the other good things that will come of it. We learn, and we can try again.
I’m not saying I want to fall on my face. I’m not going to try for failure. I’m going to reach and do everything to come out of it still standing. I am, however, okay falling on my face. I’m promising myself that I will just get up and brush myself off.
In one of my dreams last night, I was helping move chairs with someone I used to spend a lot of time with. I was going quick and carefully tossing the chairs near her. At one point she freaked out about how I was moving the chairs. I tell her to relax, it’s not like I’ve hit her yet, and I laugh. She stays stern, gives me an angry look and goes silent.
She’d been like this with me since I’d met up with her again. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. So I asked her what the problem was. I said we used to be friendly with each other. She scoffed and told me we weren’t friends. She told me she was constantly doing stuff for me and giving, and I wasn’t.
I immediately turned defensive, confused, and sad. I asked her why she never said anything at the time. I didn’t realize that was how she felt or that things might have been that way. She told me she shouldn’t have to tell me things like that. I should have just known to give back equally.
I told her I obviously thought I did at the time. Friends are supposed to feel like they can talk to each other if things aren’t right. She told me again we weren’t friends.
If only all dreams could be so depressingly meaningful.
Next time you’re wondering whether or not to say something because you don’t want to make a big deal about it, consider that you might be making a big deal about it anyways. I think not saying something can fester and ruin relationships more than saying something. Your feelings can fester and surely will effect how you interact with that person. Before you know it, maybe you resent them so much that their obliviousness is no excuse.
The dream is right about one thing, if you can’t talk to me about how you feel, then we aren’t actually friends. I really would like to think the people I keep close will let me know what they’re thinking and feeling, even if it’s not something that’s pleasant to hear. I would like to think they’d let me know before the friendship was over.
Life: the waking dream that hazes between points of rest. Each moment is taking place in an external world that my inner world just made up based on that same external world made up by everyones’ own inner world. I dream so vivid that times asleep become more real than the day to day.
I keep searching for truth and on the way I often fancy the notion I’ve found some. We make our own truth and it only becomes more and more apparent as we trust what our senses tell us. Our senses hear what others chose to feed us. Even as we accept it as reality, we know that deep down we’re victims of everyone’s filter, especially our own. We experience a reflection of a reflection spiraling off into eternity, so we may as well be blind.
I’m bound to this world the same as everyone else. Sometimes I get notions of how really lost and alone we all are as a whole who shares the same wants. Humanity, the race of contradictions, struggles to see behind the masks of one another. When I look at you, I try to see past our posturing and learned responses.
Connection crosses us so easily and is severed with the slightest touch. As we’re all seeking it as savagely as we pull away from one another, it’s a wonder we survive.
This morning, on my way to do ‘the mail run’ before work, I almost hit a bird in the road. The thing that was odd about this was not that it was an animal in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that it was me in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The weird thing was the location: East Hartford Ave. Uxbridge, MA
Matched with the type of bird: peacock.
I knew it was the beginning to another odd day. I knew this not because I am a reader of omens and portents. I knew this because life has become an interesting and unexpected thing.
By now I should expect the unexpected. I have a job where just when you think there is some sort of routine, something new and different that you’ve never seen comes across your plate and stares at you with beady little eyes. Add this to the rest of my life. I have weird, vivid, often horrifying dreams. Coincidences and dejavu are constant. Is it more strange to feel like whats happening has happened before, or that both Ezra and I met after not seeing each other since February (and years before that meeting) both wearing Metallica shirts and admitting we weren’t ‘really big Metallica fans or anything’.
I wonder about writing fiction sometimes and the length people go to make it seem realistic. With the odd occurrences that happen on a day to day it occurs to me that we wouldn’t know what realism was anyways. Reality often feels surreal, and truth really is stranger than fiction.
Last night I dreamt about telling someone at work that I just had a dream about them, since in the dream I dreamt having that dream.
I also dreamt I was a super-long pole arm bearer for some feudal post-apocalyptic oriental army. I was captured by the enemy feudal lord when he tricked me into thinking I was close to defeating him. It was simply a ruse to get me away from the rest of the army and capture me. When I tried to escape, no matter how far and fast I went, there was a large-as-a-house warrior waiting to bring me back to my prison. There was nothing to do at this prison but sleep and play strange card games I was bad at.
I can only spend so much time on the epic stores my subconscious undertakes. Life is constantly weaving a strange tale of its own. Instead, I spend my time dodging peacocks.
I started telling Rory Blyth, the smartest man in the world, about this dream in an email. I decided just to go ahead and write out the whole thing (as much as I could remember) and post it.
I’m tired. I’ve been going through a period of intense dreaming. It goes in cycles. Like always, I’ll eventually go back to more manageable dreaming. Until then…
– – – – –
I get a video emailed to me. It’s my boyfriend (in the dream) and he’s breaking up with me. In the video he has a laundry list of reasons, one of which is that he feels like we’re not really together anyways. I’m pretty angry as most of the things he lists he’s just as, if not more guilty than me. I try not to worry about it. I’m at a social gathering, trying to have fun but failing. I’m periodically checking my laptop for emails, from the higher-ups or a follow up to the video, though I tell myself I’m not.
I get a new assignment at the top secret government agency I work for. I’m used to moving often, but this time headquarters says I’ll likely be stationed here for the long haul. It’s with one of their active locations. At first I’m very flattered, as it’s a big promotion. Then I hear where it is and I want to scream. It’s where my ex, Raymond, works.
The base is a nondescript up-scale country home outside of the city. There’s a bench swing on the porch next to a large maple tree that over-hangs the house. A small garden lines the perimeter of the house. It looks innocent and homey. My ex is outside in dark shades, his hands stuck in his jean pockets. He’s tall and skinny as a beanpole with strait, long blond hair tied back in a ponytail. He looks like his skin hasn’t seen the sun in ages, and the shades in the early morning light testify to it. He grins at me as if all in the world is right and gives me a hug. It’s a nervous gesture. He obviously just found out I was coming.
He leads me into the house. A large-eyed woman sits at a baby-grand piano in the front hall looking at sheet music. She looks up and smiles slightly, tight lipped and goes back to scanning music. Her short hair is auburn and so is her lipstick. Her nose is small and slightly turned up and her skin almost albino. Her name is Lily. Jack is the boss and he shakes my hand as I reach the end of the foyer. He’s a tightly packaged and his sentences are the same. He’s a dark fellow in contrast to the other two. All business, hetakes over the tour. I learn that us four are the field team and the rest are in house operatives. We have a mission come nightfall. I’m told to be discreet unlike most “contract-cases”, as he calls people like me who move around a lot. He says I can’t just leave if things get screwed up. I need to play my cover well and carry out each job neat and quick. I need to learn to work with a team. He says he knows I’ve worked mainly solo, but HQ thinks I can make the adjustment. I agree with him, but internally I groan.
After the mission and cover debriefing, there’s a lot of time to kill. I wish I had stuff to move in to keep me busy, but all I have a two bags: clothes, hygienic implements, a few personal items, and my laptop. My new room is like a closet. All it has is a bed and a window. I can’t stay in there long. I start to get claustrophobic. So I have to venture out.
I meet some of the in house operatives- techs mostly. One of them in particular is eager to introduce himself to me. He’s short and squat, but that’s where the stereotypical computer geek ends. He’s got a black cap on backwards and a well kept goatee, clear, friendly face. He’s obviously the social type. His name is Ryan, and he’s heard a bunch about my through my ex. I can’t keep the groan internal. He gives me a summary of everyone that works in what everyone refers to as ‘the house’ (it’s easier to cover that way). I politely nod, but it’s too much information to store on top of all the important mission stuff. I’m almost not listening by the time he gets to describing Lily. Ryan tells me not to be jealous of her and I blink at him. He wisely moves on as quickly (as quickly as my ex had apparently).
Everyone starts letting loose by midday. Since work happens at night, daytime before a mission allows a bit of recreation time.
I venture outside and sit in the field in the back of the house, by a car. Sure enough, my ex follows me out. I expect things to be awkward, but we talk easy and start catching up. He’s talking fast and animatedly about anything and everything. Before I know it he’s got his arm around me and a combination of habits and hormones start to take hold. We get into the back of the parked car, but I realize it’s a bad idea as soon as I’m in there. I get up to leave but he tells me to wait and just sit with him. So, we do. I drift off to sleep leaning on him.
We are woken up by Lily and Jack coming out to the car to start the mission. Jack thinks we beat everyone, getting ready and to the car quickly. He congratulates us. I smirk at Ray who shrugs and puts his shades on.
We track the tagged in the car with what looks like an innocent GPS, but is much more. I’ve tracked down and subdued many of them in my career, but in my own way and with far less people. Jack follows the signal until it stops at an apartment building. He tells us all to get out in the parking lot. It’s then that the trouble starts.
I’m walking with Ray, Jack and Lily bringing up the rear, and next thing I know, fire is coming at us from the front. Ray drops to the ground too close to the flames and I drag him away. We get to the car, but we can’t go back to the house. If we’re followed, we can’t compromise anything. We go down a bunch of side streets and drive around the back of an elementary school. We go in an empty auditorium to regroup. The adrenaline starts to wear off and my face stings really bad. I reach up to touch it and a piece of my face cracks and is rubbed off onto my finger in a bloody mess. I feel my face ooze where I touch it. I go to the bathroom and do what I can with a medkit, but the whole lower right side of my face is cooked meat and there is a big gash on my forehead. I know it will be an easy fix at HQ, but for now it hurts like hell and I’m having a hard time doing it myself. I decide to go to the elementary school’s nurses office for some pain killers.
I open up the office and a man is in a stretcher minus two legs. Two nurses are hovered above him. They ask me what I want. I see the severity of this poor guy’s situation, but I am a bit taken aback that they don’t seem as concerned about my face as I. One of them gets really snotty, the other takes me into another room and pretends to care. She is trying to be sympathetic but asks what I expect her to do. She says she’s not allowed to give me any pain killers because I’m on duty. She says she can’t graft my face because they don’t have the time. Go figure.
Ray finds me and helps dress it a little better. He tries to be gentle but makes it hurt quite a bit. I try not to show it and joke by saying, “That’s what I get for not wearing any sunblock, huh?”
The operation is compromised, so we’re done for the night. The tagged one is probably half way to Mexico by now. I have to tend to my cover.
My cover is that I’m part of all women extreme bowling team. The city just happens to be the capital of this sport and its home team the best. As an expert player, I just got bought by the team. In this version of bowling, a person actually stands in front of the pins and uses their body to block the ball. There are rules for how one can and can’t do this. One woman I faced was really mean and cheating. She was a petite blonde, fair chick that had a bowling ball sized chest. She blocking bowling balls coming at her by doing splits and staying that way for too long. This is called holding in the game and is illegal. Before me my team mate, Steph, faced her. Steph is an immigrant from Paraguay and in the top of her game. She got all of her balls by the other team’s blocker, but there were still three pins standing. Considering how good the other team’s blocker was at cheating, this was impressive. The blocker continued to play dirty when I got up. I botched the first two balls, and she finally got a penalty called on her. I got pissed and threw a ball at her head and she caught it and threw it at me- I caught it. This too is illegal and we both had penalties called on us. The rest of the game was uneventful. Afterwards Ray and Ryan came over. Apparently they’d watched the whole game from the stands and think the sport is great. The other team’s blocker came over to congratulate us. I was surprised. I started talking to her and found her name was Chiran out she was an immigrant from Korea and winning meant a lot to her. I stood my ground and told her it was no excuse for being a bitch. She told me I was right and asked me if I wanted to hang out. So we made up and hugged. Ray made some suggestions on what we should be doing while hugging for his entertainment- especially with each other’s ‘bowling balls’. Ryan thought it was hilarious. I rolled my eyes.
Back at the house, Ray told me he was really thankful for what I did for him out in the field and he was sorry for the video. He said he’s been going through a rough spot and was very drunk. I tell him not to worry about it and that we were friends. He looks disappointed, and then kisses me before I can react. I look over and see Lily hovering nearby. I’m pissed and go off on him about how it’s not right.
“But she’s my sister…”
“I thought she was your new girlfriend.”
Ray looked a bit sheepish, “Ryan kind of planted that idea to see if you would get jealous. It was his idea, but I wanted to see if you still had feelings for me.”
I shook my head, “You dumbass. You would have known the answer to that sooner if you didn’t make me think you had a girlfriend.”