Brightness

I was in a bar, and the weird thing about the bar was how bright the sun was outside. It was like one of those washout photos where the exposure is so high there’s barely any images left, just outlines and shadows that barely exist. “This is a dream,” I said out loud and the bartender, a really cute young woman who was bored to tears looked up from her phone, as if the idea of conversation was repugnant to her. I finished the Scotch in the glass in front of me and thought, hell if this is a dream, at least I’m drinking the good stuff.

“I was kidnapped, once,” a man sits down beside me at the bar as starts talking, and why would you throw the word “once” in there, as if I might get confused over which time you were kidnapped. He’s shedding light, brilliant pieces of brightness fall off his clothing, like water might drip off someone caught in the rain. I look back towards the window and it’s brighter than it was before.

“There’s a trail in the forest of a national park close to where I live,” the man continues after waiting for me to ask, and I didn’t, “and this guy walks up to me and demands my wallet, and I handed it over. Then he handcuffs me and I knew he was going to kill me, I mean, why else would he take me? But you’d be surprised how much a gun effects your ability to resist. He leads me off the trail about fifteen minutes worth of walking and know it will be a while before anyone misses me, or looks for me.

“I’ll be back in three days, okay?” the man tells me as he handcuffs by hands, with this small tree at my back. With a hatchet and five minutes I could have cut it down, but there I am, sitting in the woods, handcuffed, with this tree there I can’t do a damn thing with.”

The waitress looks over at my empty glass and arches a brow so I nod. The man pays for my drink, gets a beer, and keeps talking.

“The first few hours were pretty bad,” he says, “because I kept thinking that guy would come back and shoot me. Then, after a while, I noticed that I couldn’t hear anything but birds and stuff, and I began to worry about bears, or maybe coyotes. I could stand up, move around the tree, and see that if I could have gotten up the truck about three feet, I might have been able to catch that first sizable with a foot, and pulled the tree over. That gave me something to do, but it wore me out and made me thirsty. I decided to wait a bit, and waiting was something I was going to do a lot of.”

A couple comes into the bar laughing and hanging onto one another, and shedding bits and pieces of light. The pain in the face of the waitress is obvious. She has better things to do than to wait tables in this sort of weather. But she sticks a smile on her face and goes over to the table where the young couple laughs while shaking the light off their clothes.

“Sundown was like watching the Titanic sink from a lifeboat.” The man says while watching the couple order. “I knew if I had a chance to die it would come in the darkness. It was kind of hot that day, and I hoped the coolness of the night would make the mosquitoes go away, but they still drifted in, in pairs and one at a time, just enough to mess with me. It wasn’t bad, not horrible, but still not good at all. The darkness killed my sense of time and not being able to see made me hallucinate things coming at me in the dark. Finally, I fell asleep, for a little while, but that made it worse; I had no idea what time it was at all.”

“Dawn came slow, like watching paint dry, and I listened carefully for the sound of voices. I knew better than to just start screaming my ass off, and thirst was already working on me. I peed on myself because I knew I would have to sooner or later, but it was in the middle of the afternoon before a bowel movement forced itself out. That’s when I started feeling screwed. There was no more water going into my system or food, and after one day, I was already feeling weaker and less sane. I tried to keep still and conserve my strength. There were times I stood up and looked around, but there were trees, and more trees, and I even tried to cut the trees down behind me with the chains of the handcuffs but it was more work than I could manage. Sundown came again with my wrists hurting like hell, my shoulders killing me, and thirst.”

“Glass of water, here,” he said to the waitress who had stopped playing on her phone and was eying the couple. I looked back over at them and they were leaning in, whispering, touching one another on the hands.  The waitress and I grinned.

“Sundown felt like a death sentence,” the man said. “I knew I had a better chance of dying if even a small animal attacked me. I was getting weaker and knew it. Breakfast the day before seemed a long time away, and I wished I had drank more water before the hike than I did. My pack was still were that guy made me drop it, and I hoped someone would find it, but I knew no one would that night. By now, there should be a couple of people missing me, but no one knew where I was. I saw things that night. Bears and cats and a river of dogs flowed out of the total darkness to attack me. Maybe I screamed. Maybe I was just in and out and didn’t know what reality was anymore. I woke up after sunrise and had to fight to stand up. My shoulders were on fire and I felt my hands had swollen. The day was long, terribly long, infinitely long, and I got too weak to stand. I felt bugs crawling on me and couldn’t go anything about it. I hear voices, music, songs, but none of it sounded real. I was dying, and I knew it.”

“You need another?” the waitress asked and I nodded. The man got another beer and paid for it again. I lifted my glass as if in toast and he smiled.

“The third night I saw things,” the man continued, “it was like a Disney movie on acid. I knew this was what dying was like, and the pain didn’t seem as bad. But there were lights, people looking for me, helicopters, and as soon as I yelled it all went away and left me in the darkness. People found me, cut me loose, took me to a hospital, then I would come to and be chained to the tree. It was heartbreaking how real the visions were, and how horrible it was to be back in reality. I knew this was my mind’s way of trying to escape, but it was also a sign I was dying.”

 

I had to go, and almost said so, but it was so incredibly bright outside. The couple was looking out of the window and all I could see was their silhouettes.

“Sunrise came and I could barely see it,” the man said. “I was so incredibly thirsty. I remember looking up at the sky and praying a cloud would drop rain on me, or strike me with lightning, whatever. I just wanted it to end. Then there he was. The guy with the gun. He brought my pack with him, uncuffed me, and propped me up. He gave me a gallon of water and told me my cell phone was in my car. I drank water, puked, drank more water, and ate some energy bars. I couldn’t walk, but I managed to get to my car after about an hour, and called 911. I kept waiting to wake up and discover it was a dream. When the ambulance got there I knew I was going to wake up chained to that damn tree.”

 

I woke up. The man was there, and he uncuffed my hands. “Your cell phone is in your car.” He told me. “Here’s some water. I survived it and now you have, too.”

 

Take Care,

Mike611qUr6copL._SX425_

Not Dreams

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I don’t remember all of my dreams but I do remember a lot of them. Some of them are unformed, not really defined as events or people, but they’re just thoughts or ideas that were pulled out of the oven too soon. I’ve woken up feeling afraid, or sad, or elated, and the remnants of a dream be just out of memory’s reach, like a lover who gets out of the bed, and your hand misses hers by an inch. I dozed off and was jerked awake by something that was nearly a dream, somewhere in my mind, but it’s gone now, and asking me to describe it would be like asking me to tell you who was driving the car that just passed in front of the house, a third of a mile away. I can only tell you I think I heard a car go by, and nothing else.

Budlore was sick last night, into the early part of the morning, and I stayed up with him, cleaning puke up off the floor. I dozed a couple of times, and saw images, at least twice of charcoal drawings, of faces, contorted as if someone sketched out Pompeii’s last moments.  Where did this come from? I didn’t recognize the faces. They were just human forms yet not entirely finished, like the dreams that aren’t quite there yet.

 

Bud is usually energetic and exuberant. To see him down and out is disconcerting. This is the first time he’s been sick since he arrived and it’s disheartening. I can only sit with him and clean up the puke, and wait for this to pass.

 

I drift off to sleep and the dreams are fragmented and disconnected. It’s like trying to read the pages of a book as they are spewed out the end of a wood chipper. The scene and people change quickly, erratically, and there is no transition. The faces in the drawing are back, and I can tell gender, but that’s all. They seem to be colored in black, as if in shadow or night, and they all seem to be in some anguish.

 

I get up because Bud is hacking again, but he seems to be less sick. I sit on a blanket on the floor and hold Bud, and this might be the first time in his life someone had held him when he’s been sick. I lie down with him and he sleeps. I drift again, and the dreams do not come, but stay just out of reach, like someone speaking on the other side of a restaurant.

There’s a story here, where a person sees faces that have been drawn and that person doesn’t know why. Let’s start out with a female lead character, a very young woman, who isn’t an artist at all, and she’s trying to figure out what these visions she has means. They begin one night after she’s been drinking, and she wonders if she has a problem.

The woman’s name is Tory and she works for a lawyer. She has to serve an eviction notice one day and the man about to be dispossessed is an artist living in a terribly shabby and totally dark apartment; he’s blind. Sure enough, when she’s inside she see one of his drawings and it’s one of the faces she’s seen, she thinks, but she cannot be sure. The next day she tries to find him but he’s gone. The dreams become more vivid, the faces more clear, and Tory is convinced the man drew one of them, and perhaps more. She finds him by accident, near the river, about to jump. She looks at his drawings and realizes that they are the faces she’s seen.

She lets him stay at her place and he draws. The energy between them sharpens the dreams, and his drawings. At work, her employer is working on a missing person case, and setting up a substantial reward. The photo of the missing girl looks exactly like one of the faces in the dream, and one of the drawings.

 

They sit and wonder what the connection is between the two of them, and the people in the drawings. Is the girl alive or has she been murdered? Tory looks at the drawing and realizes the girl looks as if she is still alive, and she asks the artist, Archer, if he will try to draw the missing girl again.

 

Tory asks her employer about the girl, and he tells her that he was contacted by the girl’s mother, who believes her ex-husband has taken their daughter, but she doesn’t know where he is. Tory goes in search of the woman, but finds her dead. She returns to her home to find that Archer has drawn the woman’s face.

 

They both are at a loss as to how this is happening or why. They do not understand why he draws what she sees in her dreams. They make love on the floor, passionately, nearly accidentally, for they both fear the passion they’ve kept secret. Unleashed in this is a melding, where she can speak to him of her visions, and he understand now how to draw them. They sit on the floor, an invisible steam rising from their bodies from the heat, and they speak in whispers, seeking the girl, seeking her fate, looking for a connection, and finally there is a building, a home, where she might be held, and the woman had seen this house before. She asks Archer to draw a face, the face of a man, and she closes her eyes and allows her vision to take her, and she sees the girl chained to a bed, and she knows the man is near, he is coming down the steps, and he means to use her for his gain, for ransom, and his evil is plain and finally, Archer tells Tory to look up and he had drawn the face of her employer, and they realize what he is.

 

Take Care,

Mike

The Dream of Burning Houses, and Being Hunted.

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Last night I dreamed I was working on some sort of road crew, and part of the process was a dump truck that was dumping something, it wasn’t gravel and it wasn’t asphalt. But I would grab the side of the bed of the dump truck as it lifted and ride it into the air. It would go up ten or fifteen feet, really not that high, but there were men on the crew that would laugh and others that would call for me to stop that sort of thing because it was dangerous.

During a break one of the men told me I better stop because one of the crew members had taken a video of me doing it and posted it on FB.

 

This is the first dream I’ve had where FB was mentioned by someone in the dream.

 

The dream continued. There was a house I recognized as being familiar. Not in reality, but as in the dreamscape. I either had been there before, at either a party or visiting a friend. There was a pool in the backyard and a friend’s daughter had been there. She was much younger than I and I watched her in the pool. I had my sunglasses on and it didn’t matter than I stared but she got out of the pool and came over and spoke with me, and asked me if I thought she ought to get a tattoo. I remember the conversation vaguely, as if it had happened a long time ago, but I still remember the electric blue bikini she wore.

 

That’s an odd detail for the dream to add and the young woman seemed familiar in real life, but I can’t place her.

 

It was getting late, darkness had begun to fall, and I walked forward of the worksite with a young man who had offered to give me a ride to my truck. He was impressed that I had ridden the truck bed up, and he told me that he had to go right by my truck to get home, so it wasn’t going out of his way to give me a ride.

 

There was a very nice home with a small pond in front of it, and the young man grabbed my arm and pointed. There was fire inside of the house. We could see it through the windows and he said he was calling 911. As he pulled out his phone, and this house was a good three hundred meters away, the fire in the house suddenly turned into a white mist for a second, then there was more fire, and I said to the young man, “Boom!” and something in the house exploded, shattering the windows as pieces of it were blown through them. A split second later we heard the sound and he said something about us driving over to the house and trying to rescue people. I liked him a great deal for this. I thought it was a brave thing to want to do. But just as we were about to get into the car, we saw a trail of smoke, with fire at the head of it, snake towards the house from the road. It was a missile. But instead of streaking towards the house, is wound its way to the house snakelike and slowly, but when it hit there was a flash of light, more fire, and then we heard the explosion. We stood there in shock and horror and he looked at his phone to make the 911 call and told me his phone was dead. A vehicle of some sort came down the road with its lights on, and we both knew it was the car or truck that had launched the missile. We hid between his car and another and he took his keys out and told me if something happened one of us ought to get out. The car stopped and a light, a very bright white light illuminated the inside of his car and the one next to it, and I looked under the car to see if anyone got out, if anyone was going to come look for us, but no, the light went out, and the car continued down the road.

 

“Wait,” I told him, and we stayed hidden. Suddenly, there were noises, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and we heard the sound of men screaming. Then, there was silence, and I could hear my breath rasping.

 

I was on the run. The young man was gone. I was at the home of a friend of a friend, and she was a little older than me and trying to figure out if I was in more trouble than she wanted to invest in. But we were drinking, and she was interested in the trouble, and interested in the excitement of the trouble, even though she had no idea how terrible the trouble might be. She asked me if I could find some hash, and I called a friend and hinted around at what I was looking for, and he caught on, and told me he would call me back. The woman asked me if I had heard about a house being burned down, and the people inside being killed. I told her no, and pretended to be shocked. I knew they were hunting me. I knew I had seen too much. And I knew that if I was to stay alive I would have to use this woman, and she might die for it.

 

I woke thinking they might already know where I was.

 

Questions:

 

Who are “they”?

What happened in that house?

What do they want?

Did you notice how tech heavy the dream was?

 

 

 

Take Care,

Mike

 

 

 

 

To Dream

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There has to be some function that dreams perform, I think. Maybe, and this is something to think about, the various parts and regions of the brain, which make up the human mind, get bored when we’re asleep, and they create fiction to be entertained. It’s four in the morning and about an hour or so ago I had a really vivid dream where a cop shot this guy in the face for playing his music too loud while we were all stuck in traffic. It was as real as if it really happened. When I woke up the first thing that startled me was it was night. The dreamscape had been daylight.

 

Right there, is one clue as to what was happening, somewhere. The process involved decided to change night into day. Then there was the location, Saint Augustine Road in Valdosta, near the mall, approaching Gornto Road, and across from Lowe’s. That’s all from my memory. The process went into my memory and decided to use that location as the backdrop of the dream.

 

 

Does location tell us anything about intent? I’m not fond of the mall, and that particularly intersection can be a bitch, especially the right lane where vehicles try to pull into traffic, and it’s made worse by those people who allow people in. Yes, I know. I know that it’s a nice thing to do, but it’s nice for the person who does it, and it’s nice for the person who is let in, but for the twenty people behind that person who has to sit through another traffic light change it isn’t nice at all. It would be mitigated if there wasn’t this odd delay between the person allowing someone in and that person actually pulling into traffic. The exchange takes too long and there is nothing to be done for it. It’s best just to let that one person sit through the natural progression of traffic and be done with it. I realize I am a minority when it comes to this thinking.

 

 

Next, the dream is populated with an antagonist. He’s a young guy, maybe just old enough to drive, and he’s driving an older model car that’s had a lot of work done to it; shiny wheels, lots of chrome, tinted windows, all that stuff that kills the older cars’ character. I’m not a car person. I’ve never loved a car or a truck any more than I loved a stove or a pair of socks. It would be really interesting to get a real image of the car and find out if it’s a model that exists or if my mind cobbled one together. How much of a dream is imagery and how much is merely emotions hung on ideas? What’s the difference in a dream? I’m not actually “seeing” anything. I’m experiencing emotions based on fiction my mind had derived from memory.

 

 

Or it is memory? Who is this young man? Who is this cop? I can’t see the young man clearly, only is face in his side mirror, just barely, but I see the police man quite clearly. Are they people I know who I feel a certain way towards? Do I, subconsciously, think a cop would fire seven shots into the face of a young man for having wretched taste in music? Is it in me, somewhere in my heart or mind, that I think people who play this song that loud ought to be shot? None of these thoughts occur to be during the nightmare, but after I am awake I wonder what this says about me, and if there is more here, or simply less.

 

 

One day, I wonder if I will meet a young man and think to myself, “Damn, that’s him!” or if I will meet someone who looks like the cop, but I doubt it. I’ve never met anyone in the real world who has inhabited a dream, unless they were already someone I knew. I’ve met some fairly memorable people in my dreams, mostly women, and no, not mostly sexual encounters. The closest any two people have ever come to matching, from dreamscape to real life, was the young girl I met in a dream where she was explaining her dragonfly tattoo to me, while she was in a bikini, and a young woman at a Wendy’s who put some pot in an order for a friend and accidently gave it to me at the drive through window. She realized her mistake instantly and came out of the drive through window and into my truck window to retrieve the goods. We had a very brief, but very interesting conversation while she was all but sitting in my lap, and she reminded me very strongly of the girl in the dream. Were she ten years older and I ten years younger at the time I might have driven off with her and the pot.

 

 

After the young man was shot I could smell the gunpowder from the cartridges in the air. Rarely, have I met someone who can tell me what they smelled in a dream, and I wonder if blind people dream of scents that sight people do not? Do deaf people have more acutely visual dreams that those who can hear? Did you accept the idea of being able to hear music in a dream yet slightly balk at the concept of the smell of gunsmoke?

 

I can see this nightmare being part of a short story. Someone witnesses a murder and it turns out to be a mafia hit or a revenge killing. The video shot by the person who witnessed the shooting realizes there are subtle clues in the video, reflections in the rearview mirror, reflections in the windshield, that might give his identity away. But the video is viral now, and how long before someone discovers who he is?

 

 

The things my mind does when I am out of the driver’s seat disturb me, betimes. Yet I have to remind myself that I am asleep when this occurs, and that I have no control over what happens on the screen when I don’t pick the movies.

 

But seriously, that song is going to drive someone to homicide one day.

 

Take Care,

Mike

 

 

 

Snails and Puppydog Tails

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Childlike, we humans believe that the ability to destroy makes us powerful. One of the memories that have always stuck with me was one when I was in Elementary School, and I watched one of my classmates stomp a snail to death. One thing I discovered very young was that to point out there was a living creature of any sort to the other was to sign its death warrant. The human young I grew up with was at war with the world around them. As they grew older they only grew more aggressive and more cruel.

 

Sometimes, very late, between the rising of the moon and the rising of the sun, in the darkness where no stars can be seen because there is too much light, we have killed that too, I sometimes am alone and I wonder how we got here, to this point of living. I still feel like the same small child, surrounded by other children, who only want to destroy other living things.

 

The time between the rising of the moon and the rising of the sun, and forget about me calling this day or night or morning or the wee hours, I can watch human activity and wonder what other purpose does it serve other than to kill? We may claim that we cannot live without cars and trucks, but when did we ever consider those creature who are on foot, and those who fly? Cruelty could at least be noticed and railed against, but mindless indifference, the same kind you see in drivers and passengers in cars and trucks, is a cultural thing. Small mammals are in our way. They are roadkill. Deer are killed more often by cars than guns. Birds are merely large insects. Our path over the river and through the woods leaves bodies lying to rot in the sun, and we never wonder if we might have just left some animal wounded, to be finished off by the next person, who will swerve far too late.

 

If you’ve never stopped anywhere on a highway and looked under a bridge you’ll discover that there are those people who believe that the underside of a bridge is one vast dumping ground. The people who are brave enough, or stupid enough, to fish in the small creeks and streams leave their own deltas behind. Plastic bottles, diapers, snack wrappers, and all sorts of trash are left behind, to be swept into the water by rain or wind, and the next set of litterbugs will pull fish from the water that have no choice but to live in a world polluted by plastics. We do have a choice. What choice we have made is quite clear; we simply do not care.

 

 

Bridges are also those places where people dump old appliances, blown tires, and pets. Living pets and dead pets are discarded at bridges, and people also dump dead deer here, and household garbage. Out of sight is out of mind, if they had one, and no one really claims the detritus of their own lives. We have thrown it away. It is not ours anymore. Once we can no longer see the problem then the problem has to be taken up by someone else.

 

 

 

The lack of sleep plays with my mind, like a deep drug, like possession, like a second skin that needs constant tugging and pulling up, lest I trip and fall. I feel it, again, the dream I have at odd times, infrequent yet alluring. I carry a weapon on my right leg, a sitting knife it is called, because men of my tribe sit with our right leg always foot down on the floor, the knife in a sheath. It’s as cultural as spitting gum out of the window, and means as much. The knife is a heavy thing, not a throwing knife, not a hunting knife to be used on prey, no, it’s a hacking thing, for fistfights with blades. But they are heavy and unbalanced things, like men who fight with chairs or drinking mugs. It’s a tradition that is only dangerous to ourselves. You can’t carry a knife like that to war.

 

 

We wear the skins of animals, for it is cold here, and it is more important to be able to hunt than to kill other people. But as of late, there are more people to kill, the people who live downriver from us have been coming into our territory, displaced by other people downriver from them, and some suggest we move north…

 

 

It never occurs to us, them, anyone, that we all could get together and talk about what we need and why we need it, and what can be done to prevent war, for we cannot do that among ourselves. We drink hard, and we allow slights to fester, and we fight with our knives that are bad weapons, and we tell our young that the strangers from downriver of us will be our slaves if they come here, and that seems to be a much better alternative to working it out and allowing their young to live in peace.

 

 

So we go to war, the mass of us, the mob of us, on foot to raid the camp of the people we call strangers, and we walk down the river bank at dawn to surprise them, but they have come for us, too. There are many times our number, a wide band of warriors armed with shield and swords and they are stretched over the entire river, hundreds of them, maybe a thousand, and we are fewer than fifty.

 

Some run. They throw their weapons down and they are cut down as we throw our spears at them, killing our own again, because we’re like that and it defines who we are, but there are so very many of those who seek to kill us we know that we can live for just so long before the end and it is very near.

 

 

A pervious lifetime? Perhaps. Maybe just a dream, really. But does it matter if we die, or our children die, by the blade or if they die, and we die, poisoned by our own waste, and our own inability to know that life is connected by life, not by death?

 

 

Take Care,

Mike

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Friends.

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It’s odd that I know people who do not exist at all. My dream of an old friend who had committed murder sticks with me. The friend doesn’t exist, of course, but he did for a handful of minutes. My mind created him, a fifty something man with thinning hair and three ex-wives. He was athletic as a younger man, but a back disability and a drinking problem ate away at his vigor as time eroded his body. His third wife, the one I remember best, stayed the shortest about of time. Jan stuck with him for just shy of five years and then relinquished him to the bottle again. She called me one night, to tell me he had taken a dare, for a half gallon of whiskey, to jump naked into patch of Yucca plants. He went back first, but struggled to remove himself from the plants, and was horribly cut up by the sharp blades that Yucca leaves are. He got his half gallon of whiskey and he also spent a couple of hours in the ER and lost three days of work because his foot was cut badly.

 

 

After the divorce, he rented a room down at the beach and stayed drunk for a week, drinking himself out of a job in the process. Six months later, Jan called me to go down and bail him out of jail, after his third DUI in less than five years, and I told her I was done with that sort of thing, and I still am. She told me she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t see him like that again, and so we both agreed not to do anything about it anymore. A year or so later, I saw Jan at a friend’s house, and we wound up going out, just as friends, and after I took her home, she asked me to come in, and we sat on her sofa and talked for hours about why men drank the way they did, and if they knew the women who loved them felt like it was their fault the men drank like that. The night crept away from us, and I held her when she started crying. I never realized how much it hurt her to see him drunk, how it affected her at her core as a wife, as a woman, and how she doubted herself for it, and how hard it was for her to be the wife of a man who people could tempt into doing stupid things for whiskey.

 

You knew he was this way when you met him. You knew he would never change. You knew he would only get better at hiding what he did, until it spilled out into the open, you knew he lost to wives to it, and you knew that when you married him. Yes, but I thought I would be enough to fix him. She wipes her eyes as she says this, and laughs, the sound she would make when a female friend of hers said that same thing out loud, and she would laugh at how ridiculous it sounded. Once you reach a certain age, a woman ten years young than I tells me, it’s harder to believe you’re attractive to anyone, and your husband hides in the woods behind the house to drink himself into a state where he doesn’t see you. The space of a few heartbeats go by and I realize what’s she’s said and what she means.

 

 

There is no real love here, no future, no promises or intent. There’s only damage done and more damage perhaps, maybe some healing, maybe something shared that will tie two people together in a friendship that might last, but it doesn’t matter, at the time, at the moment, at the point of need, and small hours ticking away. It’s like an emotional stone soup, where everything everyone has is thrown together and then cooked over a fire, and whatever it is, it is better than the stone at the bottom of the pot.

 

 

 

Jan isn’t real and none of this has ever happened. I had a nightmare Friday night, and left lingering in my mind was the life of a person in the dream, Jan’s ex-husband, whose name never showed up, and from there my mind cooked up the rest. It’s very likely I could put them both into a story about a marriage gone wrong, and maybe even use the murder in the dream. If Jan’s ex-husband went to prison for murder, she would have a double curse upon her; the woman whose husband loved alcohol, and the woman whose husband went to prison. It’s hard in the South for a woman to escape the shadow of her husband, she’s a reflection of his worth, and who he is, rather than who she is. Might Jan be written into a story where she finds a place to stand on her own, and take charge of a life she wants to live?

 

 

The dream has stuck with me all day today, until I had to sit down and write it out, define it, breathe life into the people I know so well who do not exist. But that too, is part of life, to imagine, to dream, to look beyond the blackness of night and interpret the shadows cast by starlight in the woods. So little there is to see, if your eyes are the only tools you trust, and to me there is more, there has to be, so into the darkness I peer, hoping…

 

 

Now, it is clear to me where Jan will arrive. I think she will be a part of a story I’ve been working on, where she’s a survivor among survivors, and she is known to the locals as the woman who lost a man to drink and to prison. Yet, like me, Jan looks into the shadows and see not the darkness, but the light that created the shadows, the forms from which the shadows grow, and at nearly fifty years old, Jan decides to begin anew, and alone.

 

Take Care,

Mike