Let me tell you about my day in a Dane way. . .
the mind i forget to pay attention to has a lot to say.
Here I am, a cadaver again. My skin the color of raw mackerel, and just as oily. So slick in fact that it’s hard to hold my daughter’s hand, a hand she only wants to hold when she realizes she’s wounded me unintentionally. Her cooked shrimp skin is pink and buoyant, aspects I didn’t even have in youth.
I am late again. Picking her up from picking apples with the band, or was it school? There is no clear memory in this place of present. She is critical of me, funny how you can get used to being treated like shit.
“I promise, I won’t be tardy again,” my exhaustion isn’t because of the promise, it’s just from living this death. “You know, you move a little slower when people don’t treat you kindly.”
My daughter stops dead in her tracks. Eyes hollow from the punch, like the black pitted surface of the moon after an asteroid attack.
“That’s not a lesson in life, it’s just a passing observation of my reality,” I say as I trudge away.
The bathroom is the size of a lounge with one toilet in the middle where a chaise lounge should be. The unattractive passive ones treat the toilet like royalty when they clean the piss of the pretty, popular girls from the cirrhosis porcelain. Opaque piss stinks worse when you’re not aware of your own unworthiness.
How did no one notice that I’m more than a troublemaker, I’m a revolutionary. The piranha of pariahs, the fishiest of fin-based flyers.
Where is the painting of my best friend whose ghost still pours drinks and snorts coke? It’s nowhere to be seen, and so I pass through this smoky sea of intentional dismissiveness wondering why people try so hard to ignore me.
Rex sits in the rare state of alone brought on by the coincidence of one friend taking a piss, a second grabbing a cocktail, and a third answering a call. For one who holds court continuously, he looks vulnerable without the gelatinous protective encasement of others.
“Where is the painting of Julie?”
Rex rolls his eyes as only an exasperated gay man can and huffs, “It’s right in front of your eyes.” He waves me away with elongated Delacroix fingers of condescension.
How much effort can one man expend making other people feel bad?
My hips hinge forward and elbows land in the wide foretelling emptiness of table in front of him. In a whisper of doll lungs, I let him in on a powerful secret “I can feel it in front of me and to my side. Like how I can feel the presence of love, just adjacent to me, but I can never see it, never receive it.”
I unhinge, standing stories taller than him, “To know it’s there is not enough. Maybe one day. . . ” I walk away, not caring about his validating “Okay lady” that slithered between his boulder teeth, and not vowing to never return, just never returning.
My writing club friend, Danerecently posted both a film and essay for the Symposium on “Dreams.” The essay is fucking hilarious and all about how instead of telling people your dreams, you should just share your dream as if it was a story that happened to you in reality. You can find it here. The film is also kick ass. And so, when I woke up with this vivid and meaningful (to me) dream the other morning, I decided to take heed of Dane’s essay advice and just share my dream as a story of reality.