Home from work today on general grounds of being tired and icky. I was hoping to get Lots Of Work Done™, but as it turned out I was tired and icky, so I didn’t.
I hate when that happens.
Late Afternoon Dream: a blurry run of images knits together a series of vivid, recurrent dream locations I’ve seen over the years. So we have the parallel country roads dwindling out of the city and the fielded space between them; we have the villa with its adjacent ruined apartments and the strange duplex space that I share, one entrance through the glass-roofed sitting room and the other through the back stairs that lead down to the cellar; we have the lawn overlooking the terraced park down to the riverside; we have the river drive, vaulted and buttressed high above the water, with its wide lanes and stone retaining walls.
Below, in the river itself, a tethered boat strains at its ropes. Above, back at the house, we are waiting for the fireworks. A friend of mine will do the fireworks, but he has other appointments first, so we hang. A girl from college calls me the love of her life, but only to others; when I talk to her myself, she tells me about her new boyfriend. “New” as in like 5 minutes ago. She’s very blithe about this. We sit together on the couch and one thing is starting to lead to another when the fireworks start. My friend is early with the show, and we go out to watch.
I am down the hill on the boat, and now there are other boats in the water. It’s the Hudson, more or less, and it’s night and the currents are fierce, and Aaron is monkeying around with the ropes, and sure enough our boat shudders free of the dock. We don’t really know how to work it, we’re moving fast, and most people have already jumped into the river where they vanish. When we brush against a cliff wall to starboard — it isn’t New Jersey the way it would be in real life — I jump and scramble free, working my way up to a treed stretch high above the water.
I dial 911 on my cell, but the operator won’t help me unless I give her an American Express gold card number. I try to explain that I’m clinging to rocks over the river and she says she’ll wait. Getting my wallet out of my pocket isn’t that hard, but getting the credit card out is tricky, and the wallet falls, and that’s that. “I can’t give you the number,” I say, “my wallet fell into the river now.” She hangs up, and the phone slips out from between my shoulder and my ear and clatters on the rocks below before vanishing into the water.
“Oh well, mine does that too,” says the girl behind me. There’s a street behind her, we’re in a stony urban squared-off stairway landing, the kind of thing you find when stone steps run down the knuckles of a park. She is pale and dressed in black, with dark hair and bright blue eyes. We go inside, and I think she takes me to this place but at the same time I think we’re inside her. The ceiling is dark, the floor worn wood. We are at a shiny gray marble table. The vibe is smoky European. I pick up a leaflet on the table, and she says “Oh, that.”
The leaflet has a small picture of her, and explains that she’s an great kisser. So I turn and kiss her. “Why did you do that?” she asks. I show her what it says. “Well,” she says. “Was I?”