Here is a story,

written by Jaime Bennington

 

 

 

There is a woman speaking Mandarin across the way. She is by the laundry room in between worlds yelling about something I cannot know. Somewhere there is a child whining. The two are unrelated.

From where I sit, I listen.

I think about the dream I had last night where I was home, but you weren’t there. They went by the same names and said the same things, but their faces weren’t yours. There was dread near my heart. I felt that if I said anything about their fraud they would have made quick work of me.

Whatever that should mean.

And then without warning I was in another place. Gone were the walls and the people that had tried to feel so familiar, it was as if they were never there in the first place. I wonder if they were relieved to no longer need to hide in plain sight…

I was,

with friends.

We were happy, by a fire. Someone suggested that we go swimming. It was night and exciting. I said yes. It was nonverbal. We didn’t speak much.

We gathered around the pool.

It was open.

In a circle we wrapped ourselves, hand in hand.

So many of us.

I couldn’t see their faces if they had any. It didn’t matter though, because I knew them. I could feel that much.

Fingers met mine and weaved themselves to the knuckle where our palms met. I wasn’t alarmed.

I should have been, but they held my hand. It was a better feeling than the one that had been and the one that would soon be.

They bled each other with knives.

In the pool it gathered.

I ran. It might have been luck, but they didn’t come looking. Instead they laughed and they chased the others who had felt that what had transpired had been too violent. It had been.

 

I can’t ever tell when I am dreaming. There are people who can and I’ve heard that when they do they dream better because they can make a difference for themselves.

Maybe that is why.

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