by a contributor
“No one cares about your dreams.” – A teacher, whose name has slipped me
- I live in a warm climate, in a gorgeous bungalow with a cobblestone driveway. Two women live there with me. They are nice, it seems, but the nature of our relationship isn’t clear. They spend most of their time giggling. In the living room, where the giggling occurs, there is a comfortable couch that we sink into. The sun is shining. Everything feels good, but the giggling makes me nervous, and when I am alone, I go out to the pool house for a shower. I watch the water splash onto my feet. A car pulls up. I can’t see the visitors but they are also giggling, and I feel nervous again. After they enter the house, I turn off the shower and sneak to the back yard where I stand on the bank of a wide river. I can see the town across the way. All of the buildings are on fire. The flames are large and wild. I do not feel confused. I understand that everything will always be like this.
- My father invites me to fly a hot air balloon, which makes my mother upset. Before I know it, I am speeding down Rt. 77 in a car behind a fire truck, which sets itself on fire, then puts itself out from the inside. My father is and isn’t in the car with me. He is driving and so am I. He reminds me not to drive too fast. We meet his friends on the side of the road by a porch in front of an old colonial house. There’s a man and a woman. We show each other slips of paper that officially state our worth. Everyone is friendly but professional. I don’t bother to look at my father’s paper but am oddly interested in the others’. The woman wants to take a photo of us before we leave in the balloon. My father and I smile and shake hands. After the photo is taken, I place a small red plastic chair on the side of a nearby shed. I face it toward the dark woods and say, “That’s a wrap.”
- I’m standing in a conference room at the office. I present several ideas. Some people like them. Others don’t. It’s just like real work, except everyone is wearing a ribbed tank top.
- The detective is about four feet tall, ninety years old, bald, and extremely feeble. He looks like he’s made of porcelain. His name is Rufus Silas Wally. Somehow I find out, through reliable sources, that he is going to make a dangerous arrest by himself, without backup. I decide to follow along, just in case. In a dark warehouse, I find the detective pointing a tiny revolver at the man in question. He has him cornered, it seems, until somehow the man knocks the gun out of the detective’s hand and begins to choke him. Tiny beads of sweat are flying this way and that. Suddenly, I am watching myself from a distance, except I am Jon Hamm, and I’m coming down on this man hard, in slow motion, with a sword. My hair swings down over my eyes as I scream, “PILEDRIVER!”
- Repeatedly, I am a doctor aboard a 19th century carrack who has been lost at sea for months. I wake up in the captain’s chambers, a small wooden room that contains a cot and an old organ. I spend my time playing the organ, steering the vessel from nowhere to nowhere, and marveling at the words “organ” and “vessel,” as they also apply to my profession. My beard grows long and I begin talking to myself. Eventually, I spy what looks like land in the distance but turns out to be an enormous woman, the size of a small island, floating on her belly. The ocean water laps in and out of her mouth, crashing against her teeth. Her eyes are beautiful and I am mesmerized. In a desperate attempt to get inside, I steer the ship directly into her mouth, but it lodges deep in her throat. I can never remember what happens next, if anything happens at all.