Thursday, May 3, 2012

Every Day the Same Dream

Good evening, world.

There's a man walking down a barren stretch of outskirt road, near a little suburban town in the heart of America in the infant hours of the morning. He's got heavy eyes, and heavy hands, and oh...isn't everything just so heavy? He's headed home from a friend of a friends, he's been seeing her regularly for a few weeks now and sleeping with her for a bit longer than that. He still doesn't know her.

As he's walking, it's the same scene he's looked at so many times. His feet pushing away the cracked ground with hypnotist's rhythm, a blurry film beneath him that always ends in the credits rolling just as his legs swing up and over into his own bed at home, and his eyes close on a fading script that wasn't ever put to paper. His life, this life, these lives.

He sleeps, and he dreams like a dog might dream. There's a lot of running, and it's all old Polaroids and raw emotion. In these dreams he isn't sick; maybe the sickness hasn't come yet, or perhaps it's long gone. But for whatever reason, he knows that in his dreams he is the best form of himself. He's with her here, not the friend of the friend...but the other one. Her.

There they lie, an embrace of souls. Two of the world's living, breathing dead in a tangled tempest of silk sheets, on a beat-up full-sized mattress that has seen businessmen and hookers in fair turn. A run-down motel room on the corner of Hell and Nowhere. She is as faint as static from a far-off radio tower; he sees her and he does not see her. She smiles at him, but the smile says it won't all be all right. No, not this time, lover.

She is a small bright light in a dark and lonely room. She is the last whisper of foam as the waves that smashed rocks and roared across the slick planks of beaten-down piers recede with temporary finality into the vast coldness of the ocean. She is a still flame set deep into the folds of a thornless rose, one that can find life only from beneath the cracks and fissures between tired places. He lays there, lost with her, and knows she is as dead as the day is long. She is gone...and her force of balance, the love that kept him together and pushed his sickness into remission, has left with her.

He wakes up, all shaking hands and sweat, and knows that his princess isn't in another castle. He lives in a world without roses.

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