I fell asleep with all my clothes on and the cats crawling over me, the neighbors on the roof opposite my window, the curtain open, my music (Idaho) playing loud. It was early.
I almost thought it was a dream when Dan appeared, kneeling at the foot of my bed, saying hello. I don't know what time it was. It might have been a few minutes or several hours until he asked me if i wanted to go get coffee or tea or something. I don't know if i answered right away. i don't know if i opened my eyes. The time was like taffy. I wanted to dive into sleep, and i could hear the rain outside, and i didn't want coffee or tea or something. Then i asked him if he was still going to go, and he said he'd already gone. I noticed his hair under my sleeping hand was wet. Oh, i said. And slept.
The dream was long and complicated, and this is what i remember:
I lived in a dusty corner of an empty remote house which was not owned by me. A squatter. I hung nothing on the walls, and only had what i needed, or less. Things were grey and the wallpaper peeled and i was happy and quiet. Then people moved into the front rooms of the house, and i had to leave.
I moved to a house nearby surrounded by woods, with a friend, who was either male or female, and easy to be with, and lived lightly also. This house was also empty, but this one was haunted, but the ghosts stayed in the front rooms, mostly, and we stayed in the back rooms, and the windows were covered with paper and let in a yellow light. There was a ghost who lived in the middle rooms who we became friends with, she was soft and middle-aged, with grey hair and a warm smile. I think maybe she was secretly sad, but that never came into it. We trusted each other.
I think we cooked things over wood fires, i remember the smell. We watched the leaves fall, and tried to hear them land. And then the boy came, he was 8 or 9 and strawheaded and stubborn. The ghost liked him very much, and we took him in.
I don't remember why he was alone in the world. But he was different: sometimes he would grow very large and trample houses and office buildings and malls. He would crush the buildings like ant hills, so angry and gleeful. And we were happy with this. I remember my friend explaining that he was crushing the wealth of the oppressor, and disrupting the flow of power. S/he explained that as long as the boy did not tear up the fields with a pitchfork the way the English did to the Scots1, destroying all crops and all livelihood for the proletariat, we were on his side. His revolutionary consciousness was what we were working towards.
But you don't say those things in front of kids. The next day he had a gigantic pitchfork, and gorged huge wounds in the surrounding farmlands, destroying the crop, causing the farmers to cry. We could hear it, and saw him striding, like a cute tow-headed Godzilla, across the fields, scarring them with four parallel lines at each pass.
And of course, there's nothing like raising revolutionary consciousness and raising a giant destructive kid to attract the cops. We knew that there was nothing for it but that we had to leave that house, too. We could hear them getting closer. So, i had to go back to the first house to get my boots (for the walking) and the rice which i had left behind, to eat on our journey into the woods, where we could keep moving.
So i came to the back entrance of the house, and found it fully inhabited: not only that, but there was a party going on! Not only that, but a feast. There were tables set up in the room i'd lived in before, full of people, so i could not get to my corner. I tried to blend in.. the only buffet table i could reach had only large bowls full of marshmallows, and people, laughing, chattering, stacking them on their plates. I retreated to the library which now occupied the back room of the house, trying to reconsider my plan. I grabbed a small volume of Rilke from the shelf, determined not to return empty-handed. People strayed through the stacks, with a well-fed joviality, and i spotted a thin, poetic boy, and tried to figure out whether to invite him into the woods with us. I decided he would be a burden, no matter how attractive he looked. I strayed out the back door onto the lawn.
In each window, someone lounged on the sill, reading a book and munching uncooked marshmallows. I wandered among the clots of conversation arrayed like sculpture on the grass, and headed back to our house; there was nothing i could scavenge. The police were already searching the front rooms, so i headed to the back door.
Inside, my friend, the boy, and the ghost were discussing strategy or plans. We wanted to be sure we had everything we would need before we left. I realized that although they'd remembered to pack the harmonica, they hadn't brought any food, so i searched a shelf for the box of couscous i knew was there. While my back was turned, a huge threatening man came in the door. I could hear the police getting closer, and when i turned around, the grotesque man had no pants on and was moving towards us (in a wheelchair?) with his splotchy, sausage-colored phallus waving menacingly towards us. No one seemed threatened but me, but our exit was blocked, unless we wanted to dodge the cops and go out the front door.
I woke and realized that Dan was sleeping in my bed. That had not been my plan, but i'd been too tired to think or say anything otherwise. I couldn't blame him. One cat slept on one side of my legs and the other on the other.
I dreamt i'd woken up at 11:30 and gotten a voicemail from Carrie, telling me to check my email. I checked my email, and it said "We were supposed to meet at 8!"
I was late again. I'd screwed up.
- As far as i know, this is based on no historical truth.. it's just dream-logic, and it was a stirring speech at the time.