Friday, November 2, 2012


1. (last night)

We are sitting across from each other, playing a board game. The game is homemade. The board is a series of black-and-white shapes that irreducibly depict houses, sidewalks, trees. The names of the pieces are "Nancy" and "Sluggo." We have been playing the game for some time when it turns inside-out.

It's a very Escher-like event.

We find ourselves walking on a black-and-white sidewalk, towards a black-and-white house, in a black-and-white suburb. We are not Nancy. We are not Sluggo. We are foreigners and aliens, softly pliable messes dragging confusion behind us. The smallest disturbance will transform us completely, before we have the chance to protest.

2. (I don't remember)

I look up, and my aunt is looking back at me. Two perfect mushrooms have sprouted from her eyes, their round white stalks centered over her pupils.

3. (five years ago)

It is a windy day, but we are at the beach, stretched out across from each other on opposite sides of a blanket weighed down by bottles of wine. We are playing chess. We are a little bit drunk. We are also somehow flying kites.

I can't decide on which piece to move next. My remaining rook, for some reason, has grown a series of spikes from the flat edges of its parapets. I feel the need to examine these at close range. "It's nothing," I say. "Harmless." He doesn't say anything, which strikes me as rude. I consider that it might be funny to crack a bottle of wine over his head, but it seems that he has turned to sand. I reach across the board and brush a finger across his eyebrow and he collapses into the beach.

4. (approximately twenty years ago)

I am in bed and I have woken up because of the weight on my feet. I stare into the dark, and the more I stare, the more I see--slowly, slowly--the black mass that resolves itself into a head, shoulders, arms, a skinny torso and knees pulled up in an attentive crouch. Death stretches himself out on top of me and I can't breathe.

5. (approximately seventeen years ago)

I am driving a car, except I don't know how to drive, and it is imperative that I cut a hole in an anonymous chest with a piece of glass that can only be obtained at high speed.

6. (within the last five years)

The canopy is made out of white roses that smell like tuberose on steroids. I am standing under it, and all I can hear is the buzzing of bees, a whole colony of them. If I look up, I can see them, their crooked black legs moving through the petals. I am dressed all in white and I am marrying someone who is wearing a mask. I'm wearing a mask too. We hold each other's hands, but we're wearing gloves, so that doesn't give us a clue to our identities either.

7. (now and then, recurring)

I am being chased and the only avenue of escape is to jump off the roof of a building and fly. This is a possibility, but a difficult and exhausting one, and I know the building is too high. The alternative though is to be murdered in my sleep, so I jump. My muscles wear out quite close to the ground, but not close enough.

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