I think I’m really in bed now, with my headphones curled up on the pillow next to me.

 

I drift off, then roll over and spit out my gum onto the nightstand, then roll back over to where I was.

 

Now I’m really asleep, smelling that gum where it lies. I pass through all the customary antechambers to get into the dream, waiting my turn like the pretty good guy that I am as others pass by before me.

 

When I’m in there, I get taken right away to the lip of a cave. I don’t get to go in, but I learn, by standing there like a cold sore on the lip, that this cave (on the edge of Dodge City) is occupied by someone who travels the world collecting rare papers by and on H.P. Lovecraft.

What a cliche, I think. I come all this way and that’s the best you can do? I thought I’d canceled my Lovecraft dreams at 15 ..

 

… But I let it go on the way it’s going.

 

This cave occupant travels time and space collecting documents, and brings them all back to this cave here, where it broods over and, presumably, reads them. Then it lays eggs in them, which, upon hatching …

 

I try to peek further in, to get a glimpse of the cave architecture, but the dream scolds me for peeking too far, like I wasn’t supposed to be here at all, and whips me back out over the landscape, over the Dodge City Outskirts, and hard onto a bench at the bus station, which, landing on, I expect to bounce off of, but don’t.

 

They’re executing that guy on TV again, but he won’t die. They try everything, devolving from execution to torture, and his body only looks healthier and more radiant the more they do to it.

 

Eventually, all the guests leave.

 

That’s where I wake up (in the dream), listening to the announcements and watching the parking stalls where the buses will file in once the morning gets going. I figure I’ll stay right here until then, or until I am restored to the bed I know I’m in (if I could only do something with that knowledge besides cherish it).

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