Archive for the 'must be dreaming' category

October 6th, 2010

» shiver

I know better than to read scary books. I know better — and yet.

Last night I dreamt an old hotel, an elevator with dull silver doors on either side, one opening to the lobby and the other to the basement, dank and dripping. The elevator was broken but the doors could be pried open, and going between them I got turned around, forgot which was which, and found myself in an endless tunnel of elevators, opening each door onto another identical elevator, stepping through, opening another door — thinking if I only opened enough doors I would certainly come out somewhere.

Later, a car ride through dark, rain-slick streets; we are stopped for speeding. The stranger next to me hops out of the car before the police officer can approach; I am dismayed, calling for him not to. The officer steps into view, pistol drawn, and tells me to remove all of the guy’s weapons. I reach into his pockets, his jacket, his boots: a revolver, a long hunting knife, a grenade the size of a plum, a canister of white powder. We are all in custody when the woman with us starts screaming, sobbing, that there is a ghost inside her, that it’s hurting her. I peel back the bandaid on her index finger; beneath it is a deep puncture wound from which a long, shining needle emerges.

Yesterday, on a whim, I bought Let the Right One In (or Let Me In), by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I’ve seen the movies mentioned a lot recently; I had no idea what they were, hadn’t seen any ads for them, but read part of a synopsis from Cleolinda the other day — just enough to spoil myself a bit. Anyway, so far it’s riveting and obviously creeping me out. Twilight fans (and non-fans for that matter), this is a whoooole different take. Check it out.

May 6th, 2010


We sit at a small table near the elevated stage; the place is dark, sort of grungy, packed with people talking over the band. Behind the bar a waitress in pigtails pulls a beer then slides it, slopping foam, toward a smiling, red-faced man.

The band breaks, the drummer stretching, rolling his shoulders, the guitarist ducking beneath the frayed strap of his guitar, the bassist taking a long drink from a pitcher of water. I look up at the stage and find myself caught in the gaze of the singer. He’s a man who looks older than his years, with an unwashed mop of dark hair and a scruffy beard, and the most desperate, exhausted eyes. His mouth is tight, a little grim. His right arm has been cut off just above the elbow, the withered end of it visible beneath the short sleeve of his worn red plaid shirt. He has a broad chest and would be a robust, imposing man, if it weren’t for his sad eyes.

In his left hand he holds the microphone; it’s a black, solid-looking thing. I step closer for a better look, and the whole band is watching me now, silent. The microphone is etched around with thin lines of a dark, sparkling red, in a pattern I can’t quite pick out.

“It has your number,” the singer says, turning the mic. And there, a couple inches high in beautiful glinting red, is the number 13. I smile, and sweep a look over the band; they are still watching me intently.

“Will you take it?” His eyes are so dark and sad, boring into mine. I know I should be nervous under all this scrutiny; I know something is wrong here.

“Sure,” I say, “I’ll hold it.” Thinking he needs a drink, just a moment, thinking it is only polite. So I take the microphone and it is a solid, smooth weight in my hand. For just a moment I see something ease around his eyes, relief flood his face, and maybe sorrow, something like an apology, but then he has turned and stumbled around a speaker, over a cluster of wires, and he is gone behind the stage’s faded plum curtain.

When the set resumes I am standing there beneath the spotlights. The music washes over me and I sing; it is flawless, effortless, my voice slipping through the notes like it never would have before. My stomach is twisted with dread, and I can’t stop wondering about the haunted man’s missing arm. About the desperation that drove him.

And my memory of the dream frays apart. Later there is an interlude with a cheerful, oblivious blonde backup singer. I am able to pass her the microphone but she has only agreed to hold it for a minute, and sets it down without a second thought. And I remember much later, when I can finally let it slip from my fingers onto the floor, when I can get up and walk away, but I can’t now recall how I managed the trick of it.

December 3rd, 2009

» oh woe

God I miss having a horse. I dream of nothing else now. Last night I was aboard a smallish liver chestnut (a sign, perhaps?), in the middle of a vast field: rows and rows of gleaming green cornstalks, with narrow mowed grass corridors threading through. I leaned forward, eased my hands up his neck, and we flew.

I had one out on trial last week. He was perfect – perfect! Everett, reimagined as a Thoroughbred. And he failed the vet check, miserably. I’m so disheartened by this whole shopping process. It’s silly how bad I feel, particularly after coming through a really rotten summer and fall still cheerful, feeling blessed by life, sickeningly overjoyed to get out of bed most mornings. And now — I don’t know. I’m desperately unhappy with the whole horse situation. I just need patience, I know. A little patience.

At least I’m surrounded by wonderful people: a lovely boyfriend, impossibly generous friends, sweet coworkers. I surely wouldn’t be surviving half so well without them.

August 20th, 2009


I’m in my parents’ entryway. Light is streaming in through the window in their old front door, and the bell rings. The door swings open and standing there, impossibly tall and slim, young, glowing, is my grandmother. It can’t be her, of course; she’s dead; but it is. Unmistakeably.

I stare, openmouthed, silent. She looks at me for a moment then turns. She casts a glance over her shoulder as she steps down to the driveway. Out there everything is the warmest, clearest, softest of summer afternoon light. I call, frantically, for my mom. I look away just for an instant, up the inside stairs to the living room, and when I look back my grandma is gone. When my mom gets down to the entryway I am sobbing. I don’t know it’s a dream and I can’t understand what’s happening, can’t make any sense of it.

I wake confused, breathless.

I miss her.

March 25th, 2009

» lately

I need to get back in the swing of writing.

This last month has been a bit of an odd one. Plenty of good stuff, and plenty of melancholy — particularly the arrest, the shooting. A lot of things I haven’t really felt like writing about.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Iron & Wine this week. Can’t imagine life without “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” and “Resurrection Fern.” And have I mentioned yet how much I like U2′s new album? “Get On Your Boots” is my cross-country song for this summer. I need to get out and rock at least enough jumps to put together an Everett video to that song: one of my two summer goals.

This month spring’s making an effort, putting in shy little appearances. A week of sun and 40′s, 50′s — then stretches of rain, and today snow. Nothing for it, though.

Last night I dreamt about being on Survivor. We weren’t in the wild, though — all us contestants were just leaving a county fair, meandering back to the minivan that would take us to the next part of the competition. I was the second to arrive, after a jolly heavyset middle-aged man, someone who might be a mall Santa come December. He had already climbed into the first row of bench seats. Jeff Probst was in the driver’s seat, turned toward a stack of papers and his laptop piled on the passenger’s side. The van doors were all open, a summer breeze moving through, and I leaned in the side doorway, chatting with Jeff. I woke contented, loving what a nice, friendly guy he is, that dimpled smile. Guess I have a thing for dimples lately.

A few days ago I dream myself crouched at the open door of an airplane, falling forward into the bright blue rush of air below. I sink down, and after several moments remember that I will need, at some point, to pull my parachute. I slide my hands up along the harness straps on my shoulders, musing that I really should have reviewed this before my first solo jump: where the handle is that I’ll need to pull, when to pull it. I am not, I realize, wearing any kind of altimeter — wouldn’t know how to read it even if I were. I’m not concerned about any of this, though. I am unaccountably happy.