i am not
i just now woke from a nightmare whereby my keys were lost or stolen. my friend sarah who i havent seen in a decade was the only bright aspect to the dream. she was helping me. taking me to some lesser known city resource where hopelessness ends.
we were waiting in line when i woke up. the stress melted out of my mind and body like a pad of butter in a pan. the birds the sun and the cats preceded me to consciousness. a couple hours before work. how terrible a feeling, to lose anything important to you.
I was alone in a dark house in the woods late at night, when all the doors and windows started rattling. I thought maybe it was the winds. I turned on a spotlight, some relic of old Hollywood, and opened the front door to see. The air was calm and still. I saw a small figure in the woods, dressed in red. She was picking her way through the brush, approaching the house. I was frightened of her, for she had power. She called out to me: who are you? Katya, I said, calling out into the night. I am Katya. When I said my name aloud, all my fear dispersed. I was given many times my strength… what a nightmare!
i had gone to the back of the room and left them telling their stories one by one with seldom an interruption. the voices gave warmth to a cool autumn morning while the delta breeze slid soundlessly across the train tracks and the torn upholstery of abandoned cars to the branches of the trees tapping on the glass all around us to get in.
i poured myself a mug of hot coffee and stirred in a bit of sugar, standing there with my back to them, listening half-heartedly and somewhere between consciousness and last night’s dream.
after a few hearty slugs of the black stuff my eyes woke up first and stared into a congregation of uneven framed black and white portraits from times before now. century old tired and long faces looked back at me and over my shoulder as if they were part of our gathering in this old meeting
hall, a former nondescript bar once with billiards for the truck drivers and laborers in the yards.
i felt a chill carry over the nape of my neck as i realized i had become some medium some conduit between my audience hung by nails alongside coffee mugs on the wall, and the living boisterous
true fellowship behind us. i stood perfectly still then
turned to see the speaker at the head of the table, an older gentleman with a way about him and expressions i would not forget to remember him by. as i turned slowly back my eyes getting larger to see, alighted on an old rusted peg, the visage of the living man! he was silent yearning to be free, framed right there before me… and in small white numerals in the corner of the photograph… i read in disbelief the year! it was 1923.
I was toward the top of a large apartment building coming out of a window grabbing hold of material cascading down to the ground, I was watching myself like a movie climbing down, it was dusk, and I was many stories up when some husky woman threw her head of hair out a jaundiced square of light, she was above me and I could not see her face, and began to cut away at the material with a large kitchen knife, vigorously, then the whole scene shook and skipped like a film, and the next slide and the next, changing ever so slightly and keeping me alive, for it was no longer rolling. The tone was sepia and the mood was horror. I was watching myself like a movie, hoping I would survive. The woman in the window turned into a jackal and beat it out of there; the moonlight fell over the sepia, spilling blue and black into the monotony. The masonry was far from uniform. I was awakened by the scene. So close to Halloween.
in the nightmare
– still fresh –
she pulls my friends away