i needed to escape my thoughts
but didn’t feel like driving
all the way to the library to be
surrounded by books
on a half price books
i was hoping to find
kafka on the shore
by haruki murakami
no such luck
a hard cover with pristine jacket
of larry brown’s
and a two buck
i sat in the wing chair
of the architecture section
devouring my unearthed treasures
trying to forget
for a moment
people were elsewhere
in the world
i found myself
wishing for a part time job
in the intellectual oasis
as a way to support my book addiction
sighing as i realized it could never be
i don’t have enough facial piercings
i’m not pale enough
i don’t have an ironically bad manic panicked haircut
i haven’t stretched my ear piercings with grommets
inside which one could wear an antique salt cellar
or piece of driftwood
in each lumbering lobe
i don’t wear my sweaters belted and frayed
or present with a look of general disdain
and loathing of the shoppers or human race
a permanent puss on an acne scarred face
they would never
Well, I guess we were due another one of these, so here goes: I had another dream about you last night. The third in the five years we have known each other. The first was your grandfather on the porch, the second was about coming to see you teach with a drum kit in the lecture hall, and now this one. I don’t often dream about people who exist in my real world, nor are they typically as vivid as this dream was. I don’t often recall my dreams, so when I have one still ringing a bell this loudly when I wake, I take heed. This week has been so absurd, I haven’t been paying much attention to my radar regarding anything, as lately it seems the world has gone mad.
I’m writing to you about it, because I want to get it on paper, but also due to the fact that each time I have had a dream regarding you, I’ve been left with this feeling like I’m supposed to tell you about it. I don’t subscribe to any supernatural beliefs, but I do know that I’m a bit more tapped into the whims of the universe than most, so take from it what you will.
You came to visit me at my home on a crisp, sunny autumn morning. In the dream, my house was sitting on the woodsy plot of land where my childhood home was in Clermont County, beside a gently flowing stream. The exterior of the house was a grand Victorian with a beautiful filigreed front porch. I had Indian corn hanging on the dark carved front door and pumpkins lining the steps leading up to it. The interior of the house was identical to the modern suburban behemoth I currently occupy on the edge of Landen. The only difference was the amount of lamps. There were lamps of all sorts sitting everywhere. Lamps where lamps shouldn’t be, and if you spotted one that wasn’t turned on as I gave you a tour of the house, you took the liberty of turning it on for me. Tiffany lamps, research lamps, magnifying lamps, and the green glass domed sort you once saw in law offices and libraries. All of them were turned on. It was magnificent. The dream was clearly trying to illuminate something.
I asked you if I could hang up this handsome brown leather waist coat you were wearing, but you didn’t want to trouble me, so you hung it over the back of your chair, then sat down. I offered you coffee as I took the chair beside you, and you accepted. We then heard coffee beans grinding in the kitchen, then the coffee appeared before us in tea cups and saucers on the small round antique table between the two chairs.
We seemed to be in a celebratory mode. We had news to share. We had both just had new books published, which we exchanged signed copies of happily. You asked me to put Dave Brubeck on my Victrola and you used the word “Victrola.” I smiled in agreement, and the record immediately began to play without my getting up. The strains of Le Souk filled the room as we proceeded to laugh and engage in catching each other up on recent events in our lives.
After we were done with coffee you asked to view my book collection. We ran up the steps together the way small children do, as if they’ve been informed magic awaits them if they are but willing to go find it. We poured through the shelves together. You were mesmerized by the size of the collection, but also by how similar my library was to your own. We pulled our favorites down and stacked them, sitting on the floor together to look over them like two children playing with Hot Wheels or army men. I showed you all the rarities, antiquities, things you had never seen in my old embalming texts which blew your fucking mind. We shelved everything back as it was when we had our fill.
As we came back down the steps, one of my ex-husbands was sitting at the dining room table drunk and ranting. We ran him off and you told me I should better secure my doggy door so unwanted vermin could not get inside the house. You put the coat back on over the blue button-down shirt and tie you were wearing and I showed you outside. It was at that moment you complimented me on the red cowgirl boots I was wearing with my 1950’s era dress. You said I reminded you of Sylvia Plath if she had gone on living happily. We walked over to the creek to have a look at the water. We then made our way back to the driveway where your car was parked beside mine. You were driving a pale yellow Chevy Citation in mint condition. We laughed at our old cars and our unwillingness to part with anything that had been so loyal. We hugged and said our goodbyes. I turned my head for a moment toward the late afternoon sky, and when I looked back down, you and your car had vanished silently. I walked back up onto the porch.
The next moment I was awake. I brewed my Sunday morning coffee, slid Brubeck into my shelf system cd player, and began to type you this letter.