The restaurant serves upscale everything, but none of it is good. Pizza: mediocre (at best) small pizzas that are trying to be artisan, poblano peppers, sound better than they taste. The service, ok, but they wouldn’t hire me.
“Why are we here anyway?” I ask
“The dream. You were telling me about the dream.”
“Commuting by boat. The sharp turn. We went to school in that big house at the bottom of the river. I remember Munoz breaking down weed on that glass table when the principal walked in. He was back early from his voyage upstream. I tried to text him and he had everything put away, but the smell was still there. And we got in trouble, and he had to go away and once again I found myself thrown into the universe with nothing to hold onto and completely alone, feeling the same as I did before but only with the knowledge that everyday things were going to be worse than the day before.”
“What about the boat?”
“I used to be afraid of falling. I would fall in many of my dreams and I would wake up before I landed my body jerking from adrenaline, and I would sometimes have a panic attack, or be right on the cusp of one. But recently I’ve been letting myself fall.”
“There was a sharp left turn in the river, a leftward current to trace [or follow] it, but you still could fall out of the river, down 200 feet into a stagnant pool of water. At the end the raft didn’t make the turn and I was falling for what felt like an eternity. I was sure that the impact was going to kill me, but because we were in such a buoyant device I was considering if the buoyancy would have any say in the matter.”
“How did that make you feel?”
“Relief,” I say, “I was glad to have it over with. Waiter, can I please have 30 more mimosas. But then I woke up in the same part of Pennsylvania with the same feeling that nothing was ever going to get better and more alone than the morning before.”
“I was paralyzed before I hit the water, my mind was awake, but my body was frozen, and I was trying with everything that I had to shake my body awake, but none of it worked. I was glad that I was able to wake up before I started hallucinating.”
“And you said there was a dream about me…”
“You came to the restaurant where I was working and were friendly and interested in my life, and I showed you the small apartment where I was living right next to the restaurant, and I could tell that being alone with me was making you uncomfortable, so we went to some Israeli bar in Snowmass.”
“I’ve never even been to Colorado.”
“I know that. And I don’t even fuck with you anymore, which is what made it so sad that you just showed back up in my life when I felt like I had finally healed and rubbed your memory off of my skin. You said that you liked the website which was strange because in your text you sounded indifferent and then I texted you back and you never responded and at that point I decided I never wanted to talk to you again because if you didn’t want to talk to me than I certainly didn’t want to talk to you.”
“Is that all?”
“And when I woke up I knew that something was wrong, but I had no idea what it was, and I was certain that I never would know, and I looked in the mirror and hated the person I saw looking back at me even more than I did the day before.”
“You cut your hair.”
“I hated my reflection.”
“Have you gone to the doctor?”
“I got a physical yesterday, but I’m not sure if it was in a dream or not.”
“How did it go?”
“The doctor who examined me was beautiful with large round eyes and beautiful blonde hair. I was trying to be cool because I couldn’t even imagine how many men had uncomfortable stared at her, or even verbally harassed her. My guess was at least some, and I just wanted to be cool and normal and not act like the freak that I am.”
“Did that work?”
“She asked me to take off my pants so that she could examine my genitals, and I felt terrified that she was going to see all of me, and my heart was beating very quickly. And I took my pants off and she started the examination, and I tried to be cool and think of giraffes and try not to look at her.”
“It was something my father always told me. So I was thinking about giraffes, and then, uhhh, I got an erection”
She laughs, orange juice and champagne almost coming through her nostrils.
And I started thinking about how much of an idiot I was and how bad this was, and how uncomfortable, and how much smaller the room seemed now, and then she uhhh… she…”
“The doctor flicked my penis.”
She’s laughing so loudly now that the people around us almost think that we are having a normal conversation. I wish we were. I eat my chorizo chile rellenos pretending that it doesn’t look more phallic after remembering that dream.
“What about the cemetery?”
“You can read about that in another article.”
“Tell me the eggs one then. That’s my favorite.”
“I was dreaming that I was in Fiji and I was doing the camera for a documentary filmmaker, which is dream-ironic because I have unsteady hands. But we were doing a documentary on these eggs that got thrown in the ocean, and because of the oil spill they got dyed black and hard-boiled. And if you could find some, they were only in Fiji and they were a delicacy. Supposedly the best hard-boiled eggs on the planet.”
“But you don’t like hard-boiled eggs.”
“I know that. So we found one, and it was kind of shrunken and completely black and the director in front of the camera ate one, and loved it and I ate one too. And at first I thought I could see the appeal, but it was so salty that it was unbearable, and I spit it back up all over the pacific ocean. And when I woke up, I had spit all over my pillow.”
She laughs again.
“Are we in a dream now” I ask.
“I’m beginning to think so, yes,” she says.
“I’ve always wanted to have a lucid dream even if it means”
“Waking up in the same place just a little worse than you were the day before, yes we already heard it,” she says.