…prefaced with a documented and clarified thought. What happened was that I was increasingly amazed at how much I perceived us to have in common. But we were poor at solving puzzles, not knowing how to execute such an uncanny, but fragile fit. Still, the more I learned of you, the more beautiful you became. To have that entire blossoming experience dismantled so abruptly was the source and slow-burning sustenance of my shock. I still see you that way sometimes. Except now, I’m not really participating. It’s a one-sided warmth that I can’t really justify these days.
I dreamt that my family was having another summer reunion. I was trying to plan around it so that I could take a standardized test during some summer course of mine, and so that I could visit Cathy, Meagan and a couple of their friends. I discussed all of my options with my aunt and mother, and then headed over to Cathy’s apartment, where I watched her and her date make twin beds while we talked openly about boys. They lifted the sheets over and over again, trying to properly place a sheet on a bed? Something about it was really nice. I could have watched them make their beds all day.
A bit later, I was in the car with Lily, Cathy, her date, and some mutual friends. Buildings we passed by looked like paper. I felt like maybe we were in London. I remember claiming that I was glad they had made their beds, but that now they ought to lie in them. I was reprimanded a bit for this perspective, but I recovered by saying that I loved them. Then I recall being at home again. The lighting was a little odd. My mom was there, as were Joyce and Lorrie. We exchanged clothes in a corner and talked about Second Life. I sat at a computer and asked my mom if I had missed the reunion. She said that it started tomorrow.
The reunion actually took place. I kept answering the door to timid cousins and indiscriminate black relatives who just wanted to say hi to me. The lighting here was weird. I could feel my dad’s presence somewhere in the background. A woman who I assumed to be a younger, more lively version of my ailing grandmother arrived. She said she wanted to sing during karaoke, but that she needed the proper lighting and sound setup. I discussed with her all of her options. I set up chairs for all of the attendees and explained to her where each person should sit for maximum listening enjoyment. But as the night wore on, she was upstaged by Celine Dion, and the chairs kept shuffling. Except, instead of there being people consistently in the chairs, sometimes it was people…sometimes it was empty bottles. I think they were bottles of wine, liquor and beer. I saw a few of the labels, but I don’t recall exact titles…just that they were alcoholic. Bottles were sitting in chairs in place of people, and moving around the room in tune with the lights. Everyone was there, either in person form, bottle form, or in spirit(s).
I was suddenly no longer at home, but in a large white room outfitted with professional grade cameras, photography equipment and two black leather sofas. Light canopies surrounded us. Against the back wall were racks? It was like…a store. It looked like a Big Lots or a Dollar General of some sort. People were against that wall, buying things. I was sitting on a couch in the center of the room, however. I was with three other girls, and a photographer. Two of these girls were redheads. The other was a deep brunette. We were all Caucasian girls. We chased one of the redheads around and talked shit about her to the photographer. He made slightly lecherous comments to us about how he wanted to shoot our album art, and this was when I first noticed that we were rather scantily clad.
I don’t remember all of the details of this part, but I feel like he might have violated one or several of us. I seem to remember running through underground corridors with these girls, trying to get away from him. He was pursuing us in one of those ice machines they use at skating rinks. The nearness of its buzzing gave me chills up my dream spine. I think the photographer might have been Matt…Sitting in the center of that white store, we discussed which one of us wasn’t worthy enough to stay in the band. I guess that’s what this was about.
Back at the reunion, I heard my grandmother start ranting about which of the catered foods should be eaten, and which foods were unhealthy. All of the white and pale colored foods were safe, according to her, while the colored foods, the deep oranges and rosy reds of the fruits and casseroles in the adjoining room…those were somehow dangerous foods. In what felt like a second, I found myself in the other room, gorging myself on some sort of red pasta dish. It was so heavily seasoned that it looked entirely encrusted in red. It might have been paprika. I wasn’t certain, but I stuffed myself with everything in that room, while I could hear my grandmother’s voice drawing near. It was shrill and dripping with admonishment, but I never saw her enter the room. So I ate my fill.
The dollar store from earlier was having a closeout sale. Joyce, Maddy, Kim and myself all stopped by. They were down to selling real snakes, fake rings, and alcohol. A number of locals were lingering around the alcohol case. I asked Joyce what type of alcohol young people most like to drink, and she wouldn’t really answer me. I remember repeating the question “Vodka?” over and over as I walked down the aisles.
Now that I think about it, this dream was really all about having options, making choices, and living with the consequences.