...(haze)... Mother and I are shopping for groceries. Looking for some sort of cheese ...(haze)... We come out of the store, and mom loads up the back seat of my car with groceries. The black lady from Law & Order is there, and she has a son, can't be more than five or six. They are our good friends, and they are moving away. They climb into the back seat, and the boy reaches out to me for a hug. I hug him and tell him, "If, in the course of your life, you are ever in trouble, or having a hard time, need someone to talk to, or need a place to go, just call me." Mom gets into the passenger seat of the car. She has pedals over there, but no steering wheel. She gets in, and starts to push the gas. As the car begins to move, I look through it at at her, still standing outside with the door open. "but mom, who's going to drive?" She begins to accelerate. "MOM, WHO'S GOING TO DRIVE?!" I am running, now, and left with no other choice, jump into the car, and steer as she floors the pedal. We careen through the subdivision, crashing over brick terraces, and down steps, through yards, and over curbs ...(haze)... We are on foot, standing in a dead end road. The boy is strapped to my back, so that I can carry him. Suddenly, there is this rhinocerous/bull thing there, and it is charging me. I tell mom and the lady to run, I will stop/distract it. They do, and it continues to chase me. I run in small circles, jumping, vaulting, dodging around the creature by staying close to it. Every time, I just barely miss the horns. I can only think that I must protect this child. I must protect him. I find a broom, and take swings at the rhinocerous with it. Finally, he turns, and I thrust the broom handle deep into his chest. It keels over and the broom snaps in half. I bludgeon it with what is left .............(haze)...............


...(haze)... It is a gathering of some kind. An Aikido seminar perhaps. We are all wearing our gi, and my old sensei is there ...(haze)... Clothed normally again, we are in a huge room filled with small round tables. There are magazines laying about, and we are each to complete some project, some collage. People mill about everywhere, wandering from table to table. And she is there. She walks up behind me and rests her head on my shoulder. I feel the warm curves of her body pressing into my back. I could melt. She asks me a bit about what I am doing, and then she moves on ...(haze)... We are sitting at the tables now, with some new task that angers me with its stupidity. I throw away the soft red loops before me, stand, and walk out. I see her looking at me ...(haze)... I am packing, and she comes in, with her father. They tell me they care about me and want me to stay, please. A menu pops up in front of me, computer-style buttons:

From The Bottom of My Heart

I pick the second from last, and tell them I will stay for a while ...(haze)... The three of us standing around a giant oak tree. Black and White. ...(haze)... We are in someone's living room. She has a white blanket over her head, the soft warm one from my closet. She looks like a cheesy halloween ghost with no eyeholes. She is wearing a strange metal hat. We are wrestling playfully a little. I find myself lying on top of her, face pressed close against the outline of hers under that blanket. "I need to take this hat off" she says, and does. And now I can pull the blanket back, from the top first. There, there is her hair, her eyes, her nose, her beautiful soft lips. And I kiss her, and it is bliss. I close my eyes. And I see. Colors, lights. I kiss her again and again and again ...(haze)... We are in a stadium of some sort, at a baseball game probably. Just sitting together, being near one another. I look at her, and know that she loves me, and all is well. I think about what it is like to kiss her, to hold her, and I know what it is, because I have done it. ...(haze)...

And I wake. The alarm sounding by my head. I lie in my room, thinking of the dream, and thinking of her. Remembering that I don't know what it is like to kiss her, to hold her. Slowly, I eventually roll out of bed. Happy Birthday to Me.