Last Night’s Dream…
I was mad. There was no question about that. Anybody watching could’ve seen the meltdown in my eyes, smelled it coming from ears. I was walking and hoping nobody would follow me. Then I ran into her.
From the back she looked like any other girl that might make a guest appearance in any given dream. Then she turned her head and I realized…she was Webster’s definition of homely. I didn’t mind. Even in REM sleep, I wasn’t feeling dream-randy.
She was playing catch with her dad, like an even younger girl in my future life would. I caught her eye and offered a walking invitation. She accepted without saying anything to me or Dad. We walked for three suburban blocks (blocks that were as bland and as homely as she was) without saying a word. I watched her unbrushed hair brush itself against her shoulders, her mouth turn more and more into a frown.
When she started talking, I realized, she was as mad as I was. Maybe more. That fact made less angry. I listened but couldn’t figure out exactly why she was mad. She didn’t make much sense, and I only knew that the more she talked, the more I hated her dad. I forgot why I was mad and just listened, not understanding, but listening nonetheless.
We walked through that old suburb, up the street, back. She had cooled off and I had somehow fallen in love. I didn’t know her name. I couldn’t understand a thing she was saying. It didn’t matter. I didn’t care. I wasn’t mad. She wasn’t mad.
If only dreams weren’t controlled by some sweating, angry, bored being, I could’ve woken up happy.
The three men slunked toward us. They weren’t suburban. They were cracked sidewalks, tree-less streets, steamy manholes, and honking cabs. They were happy to be angry.
Before my sleep-riddled mind could figure out how, they were on us. Their leader–a toothey man with a stocking cap–pressed a .22 to her head. He pulled the trigger and she exploded.
I wanted to help, to put her back together, to make the men angry that they were angry. I couldn’t. I ran. Toothey shot. The bullet burned into my back. I kept running, leaving the girl who was angry to be angry–and happy to be happy–all over the suburban street.
I spent the last few fitful hours of sleep dreaming of a way to convince an absetminded doctor that I needed surgery.
I woke up with the bullet still in my back.