Sam had that weird series of dreams again. He did not fly or swim in great rivers, he did not discover hidden rooms in places he once lived, he did not open doors to rooms full of long dead relatives silently watching television ,eating pie. Those dreams were the regular passengers of most nights. He dreamed he checked his email, he hung out on Facebook, he lurked Twitter and its snow of things and bots, he did his taxes, he checked the weather in cities he would never visit. The weird thing is it really felt real this time, mundane and in real time, that little fireworks flourish of tasks completed too.
Ed Wilson drives down Tampa boulevard, old food wrappers strewn across his dash, radio playing that constricted play list of classic rock in the era of streaming audio on smart phones, turn signal broken again, headlight held on with duct tape again, that new bird dropping pretty darn Jackson Pollock this time around on the windshield from lunch under those trees by the aging burger stand. The sky is full of those high thick shards and odd U.F.O shapes near the mountains in a dry Santa Ana wind; hulks and ruins not of sun or rain, to Ed a kin of newspapers blown along fences. It is 1 p.m
He looked at the very old cat as it came close to him and could almost see cityscapes in its skeletal maze under its dark fur, see the shadows of late winter days in the fur, something of rivers in its slow steady walk with bad paws. He pet the cat behind its ears and saw it had little fangs like an adorable bat. The cat rested her tired head on his outstretched fingers, teeth in but he did not care and she fell asleep. The late day light and her curling into his armpit made her for a time look like she had become a kitten once again. He slowly pet her neck and back, a kind of soft covered architecture like dirigibles or bridges as the tired cat slept heartily on his slightly faded green sweater. A meteor could very well strike the earth outside and Thomas would not move from here, not one single inch.
The texts and automated calls came at 3 A.M. Something odd and quite alarming was happening. Ethan was jarred awake from a serene dream about waterfalls and a mountain top cabin. The dream was so ornate and so real that it lingered for a bit as he read the words, a bit of water seeming to crest into froth in the corners of his room then away.
He had that dream again, that odd, willowy, portentous dream. The one that had been slowly unfurling in real time for almost ten years.
1955. UCLA. Those same 3 roomies in that house now more familiar than mine. So odd. We got the milk delivery in glass bottles like a few dreams ago. It was delicious. The explanation in the dream for a few month gap was I was away on break and the whole thing welcomed me back whole. 8 years and the thing in real time has not even been more than a few days “there”. We had sandwiches and read the paper with that ice cold damn milk. Can almost taste it.
The pilot thinks for a moment high in the sky as an engine sputters of where he might land, of how perhaps it might be in a field near cows and a river, how it might be into a city almost to be lost in the hum of traffic and commerce, perhaps onto a family settling to a dinner at the table.
The sky is a cruel pristine blue. The few high clouds waft above him like serene atmospheric jellyfish.
Alfred had long seen her win the school awards, the ribbons, her homework adorned in early childhood with gold star stickers in great clusters like a night sky on basic math and lined paper. He had seen her name the shared winged bee, the buzzing promise, the sure adulthood versions of ribbons and stickers while he was, well, he was Alfred.
He stood over his sister’s grave as the sky grew leaden and the winds ceased ending the gentle dance of leaves and branches. He stood there and suddenly felt every bone and muscle in his body, every ripple of fat, every scab, pimple and hangnail. All at once, a chaos of things, a cacophony of structure, form and presence. Her name was still seemingly freshly carved as though the crowds would still be there, the nest of crows of distant relatives in dark suits and dresses, a human clot.
It looked like something fallen from a charcoal sketch in an abstract art class but it was much more. The lines were thick and dark and somewhat askew. The forest was thick around it, unyiedingly so, embracingly so. The cold thin river ran from the higher hills past oblivious in the way space and form can be over the years. There were people in there.
The snows of 30 winters had covered this place and 30 thaws. The great quakes of past decades and years had surely flattened the shacks before, the permutations past of sticks and rocks out so far from the cities and even towns small and isolated. At that point far in the past they just walked away, shed the things the rest of us know like an itchy old skin to molt. This was the rumor anyway, the odd often disputed rumor that only persevered as there never were bodies, a return or the grave.
just beyond reach
That odd rumble
just beyond view
The almost imperceptable
The vestigial memory
of bright sun and past
this is the unease
this invisible weightless
great heavy weight
The great rain
from cloudless sky
The second before
the gale rips roof clean away
The moment before
disaster unfurls in space and time
the inches of measure unmeasured
around inhuman acts
sadly this is a great unifier
like birth, death
and the roiling chaos
and pause pockets of peace between dark waves
the great immeasurable
it circles the globes at this hour