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      11-11-2017, 07:50 AM
      (more jetlag dreaming) In which I show off in front of people I knew as a teenager, then turn into a child... I'm in my childhood home once...
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    One Hundred Eighteen

    by lucyoncolorado on 11-11-2017 at 07:50 AM
    (more jetlag dreaming)

    In which I show off in front of people I knew as a teenager, then turn into a child...

    I'm in my childhood home once again. The dining room is a giant swimming pool. The only light in the room comes up through the water, a greenish glowing light that casts wave patterns on the dark walls. The room echoes with a bubbling sound, as if we are listening to an aquarium filter.

    S is sitting at one edge of the pool, leading a meeting about something very important. A couple dozen people are sitting on underwater benches as if they were all in a hot tub. They have clip boards and are taking notes. S is making a presentation. I should be in attendance. I feel guilty for arriving late. There are a few other stragglers and she calls us over without naming any of us individually. I know she's done this so that I'm not singled out. I walk around the perimeter of the pool, but I don't see a place for me to sit. I will have to join someone else. I look at the people gathered, hoping to find someone who will let me sit with them. I don't know or trust any of the gathered people very well; I have not seen most of them since I was a child. S has stayed in touch with more people from our home town than I have.

    After walking most of the way around the pool, I finally settle on DWG. The alternative is to draw attention to myself by acknowledging that there is no place for me to sit and causing a scene by making others move. Even though S is a very close friend and the meeting is important to her, I feel like I can't do this, so I take my chances that DWG will accept me. I haven't seen him since we were teenagers, but he's still looking hip and attractive. Most of the other men present have a frumpy middle-aged look about them. I dive into the pool, swim over to DWG and slide up to rest in his lap. I lean back so that my head is against his chest and my arms are draped across his legs. From the outside, I look casual and confident, as if DWG and I have an existing relationship. Internally I'm hoping he won't reject me. I'd be humiliated.

    He plays along. He accepts me as casually as I approach him. He puts his hand on my chin and turns my face up to kiss him. It's electrifying. I'm happy that we still have so much chemistry decades later. I know that the public display is inappropriate, but I'm also enjoying the attention. Of course the mature part of my personality knows that no one cares what we've been up to since high school and that making out in a meeting is annoying and selfish, but the sneering and self-absorbed side is satisfied to show off. We are beautiful. Our lives are interesting. High school was worse for us than the rest of them, but we've made it well into adulthood without their dullness. And now we're alive with sexual electricity.

    Everyone else disappears and the dream just becomes a typical sex dream except we're in the water so my body feels light in his lap. I'm facing him now and his hands are on my hips. But when I look down at his penis, I see that there are feathers sticking up, like a comb, on the head. He notices that I'm surprised. He says, "that's why it's called a cock".

    Now we are on a school bus. We are younger. DWG pulls up his pants and I sit next to him on a bus seat. I look out the window at a cow pasture and see a bull mount a heifer. I look back at DWG, but now he is JAB. This makes sense because we are children. I look down at my shoes with delight- they dangle above the bus floor. JAB tells me that I've missed my stop.

    I grab my backpack and walk towards the front of the bus. The driver is Ms. L, as obese and brash as ever. She's smoking a cigarette and thumping her hands on the steering wheel to Don't Mess With My TuTu, blaring with static from the portable radio sitting on the dash. I tell her that she's passed my house without letting me out. She responds that it's my own fault. If I hadn't been sucking on a boy's face, I would've noticed.

    She stops the bus right there in the cow pasture and tells me to get out. It's only a mile or so home, and I know the way. I climb over the barbed wire, but my skirt gets hung and tears. I slosh through the muddy field with a torn skirt, kicking the crawdaddy mounds along the way.

    One Hundred Seventeen

    by lucyoncolorado on 11-11-2017 at 07:26 AM
    In which I help a dead girl find her remains and lead two living girls to a seance...

    We're in the main hallway of my childhood home. A young girl is with me. Her blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail and held with a scrunchy. She's leading me around the corner from the foyer and into the carpeted hall to the bathroom where she will show me where her remains are hidden. She can't touch anything herself since she's dead already. I open the bathroom door as she directs, and she points at the base of the tub which is made up of two porcelain squares, caulked together. I've never noticed that they are walls to hollow compartments. The girl insists that I push on the square to the right, and the compartment opens, revealing a baking tray with rectangular pieces of pizza. I look more closely and see that these pieces of pizza are her bones.

    I walk into my parents' room where there are two other girls, but these are alive. The dead girl insists that these two living girls are key witnesses to her murder. We must only convince them to walk down the main hall and into the dark living where a medium is holding a conference of ghosts where they must testify. The girls are reluctant to trust me, and they are terrified of the dead girl. As I'm trying to persuade them, Buster runs into the room with the pizza-bones in his mouth. I wrestle the remains from him, but they are already destroyed. The dead girl and I rush to the bathroom to see if there are any remains to salvage. Most of the evidence is destroyed. The dead girl starts to cry, and I feel guilty and foolish for leaving the door open. Since the dead girl is a ghost with no material substance, I can't comfort her. I just watch her cry. I'm useless.

    Then the two living girls peer around the corner into the bathroom. Seeing the dead girl cry, they feel less scared. She is their age, and they are compassionate. The bolder of the two enters the bathroom, and I explain the situation. She gets down on her hands and knees and looks into the empty tub compartment. She reaches her hand deep inside and pulls out a small human jaw bone, intact with a complete set of teeth. It's more than enough remains to both identify the dead girl and to use as evidence at the ghost conference. Now I've only got to convince the girls to follow us into the living room.

    The thrill of the mystery motivates them now, but they are still afraid of what awaits us in the living room. It's dark, so all we can see are the candles and swaying figures. We can't tell who is living or dead. I assure the girls that it doesn't matter which are the ghosts and which are the living as they are all harmless people who only wish to work for justice. But as I'm saying it, I realize that I have no idea if this is true or not. I could be leading these two girls into danger. I'm surprised at myself for being so reckless with young children. It doesn't seem right, and I pause at the front door of the main hall. I realize that the responsible adult thing to do would be to grab the hands of the two living girls, throw open the front door, and run- leaving the poor dead girl to the ghosts where she belongs now. But the two girls now are excited by the thrill. Rather than being terrified, they are now tantalized. They've fallen into a pattern in which the bolder girl claims that she is not afraid and will go ahead. The more timid girl urges her on but stays behind herself. The bolder girl, though she's just as scared, refuses to lose face and so steps forward. The more timid girl follows, holding her hand. And like this, the two girls step into the dark living room. I should have taken control of the situation like a grownup but instead I stand with the dead girl and just watch them.

    A medium is holding a seance. The room is full of ghosts. It's cold and dark. The two girls start to tell their story. Immediately, the house starts to shake. I hear a bell ringing and my heart jumps.

    I get out of bed and walk into the dining room. The bell rings again. I pause in front of the table and look around. I'm disoriented. I try to assess where I am and what is ringing. I think to myself, I'm alone. I don't know anything else. I don't know where I am.

    Suddenly, my mother-in-law steps past me. I recognize her, but I'm still disoriented. She tells me that she'll get the door. I still stand there, disoriented. I understand the words. I realize that the ringing is the door bell. But I don't really understand what is going on. My husband walks in. I realize I look foolish. I try to explain that I'm so sleepy that I was confused about the sound. The words feel heavy in my mouth. I can tell by the looks on their faces that I'm not making sense. I decide to shut up before I talk in my sleep. I turn around and walk back to the bedroom.

    Updated 11-11-2017 at 07:49 AM by lucyoncolorado


    One Hundred Sixteen

    by lucyoncolorado on 07-06-2016 at 03:27 PM
    In which I chat about free will with a woman from Wenatchee, Thailand...

    I'm sitting in the living room of my childhood home. It is a Heathrow waiting room. A Thai woman, about my age, sits with me. She looks a lot like G's wife- short and cute with black bangs framing her smiling face. We chit-chat about our travels.

    She is returning to Thailand for the first time in twenty years. She has repeatedly overstayed her visa but has managed to get extensions each time so that she's never been illegal in the UK but she will be illegal from the point of view of the authorities in Bangkok. She's not terribly worried about this; she'll just have to pay a fine to enter. She's far more concerned with how Thailand has changed in the years she's been away. She feels she's more British now than Thai, but with the Brexit vote, she'll have to return home.

    I've been to Bangkok more recently than she has, and she asks my impressions. We talk a little about the city, and she tells me she's from a lakeside village in the south. She says it's the most perfect place in the world.

    What's your village called? I ask her.

    Wenatchee, she says.

    Wenatche? Like the town in Washington?

    Yes, the same. Not too far from Lake Chelan, she answers.

    But that's not in Thailand, that's in the US. I'm very confused.

    No, it's in Thailand, she insists.

    I tell her that my best friend lives in Seattle and that we've visited Lake Chelan. It's definitely in Washington state. She maintains that Washington state is actually in Thailand, and she points out that my best friend is married to a man from Bangkok. I'm astounded that she knows this, and I'm suddenly confused. Perhaps Thailand and Washington are connected somehow? No, that makes no sense.

    I'm pretty sure that Thailand and Washington are two different places. I've been to each.

    Americans are always trying to explain things to me about my own culture, she responds. I grew up there after all. I know a little more about it than a tourist.

    Well, that had to be true. Still, it just didn't settle well with me. I tell her that I don't mean to be a know-it-all but I'm really confused. She asks if it would be helpful for me to look at a map?

    We walk over to the center of the room where a dozen featureless two-inch tall figures stand around. They are round and lack any anatomy at all- just blobs of people. They have large faceless spherical heads connected to cartoonish limbs that look like gobs of play-dough rolled into cylinders and stuck onto round torsos. These clay men are shell white and animated.

    They don't have to worry about anything because everything is going to happen exactly as it always was, she says. She balls her fist and smashes one of the figures into a flat lump of clay. It was his time.

    Are you saying we can't escape our destinies? I ask.

    There is nothing any of them can do about it. It's just a fact that at some point, they are going to each be squished into a giant featureless mound of clay.

    I can't argue with the logic of that. Of course it's true. That's exactly what is going to happen, eventually.

    So we have no free will? I ask.

    She laughs at me. Everything is going to happen in a certain way. No escaping that. The only thing you can do is decide how you feel about it.

    The little men run around the floor of the airport. The Thai lady and I stand up to go back to our seats, and on her way, she steps on one of the clay figures. It sticks to the bottom of her shoe. She scrapes it off, and there is now dirt in the clay. Bits of it sticks to the airport carpet.

    One Hundred Fifteen

    by lucyoncolorado on 07-05-2016 at 07:32 PM
    In which there is a rat snake in my garden...

    I ride my bicycle up into my driveway to find a circus trailer parked under the large pecan tree in my front yard. I walk around to the front of the trailer and see a fat bald man sitting in speedos juggling ceramic whiskey jugs. As they fly in the air in a circle around his torso, a snake's head peeps out of each jug. A very tiny woman dressed in a pink ballerina costume spins on her toes next to him, her arms arched above her head.

    What's going on? I ask the man.

    Juggling, he answers.

    What are you juggling? I ask.

    Juggling jugs, he answers.

    Why are there snakes in your jugs? I ask, starting to get annoyed with him.

    Because they're enchanted, he answers.

    I'm exasperated at this point. None of this makes any damn sense.

    What the hell are you doing in my front lawn? I ask.

    He stops juggling. He lets the jugs fall to the ground where they break. Dozens of small rat snakes slither from the broken ceramic pieces and scatter about my front garden.

    The fat man and the tiny ballerina pack up their trailer and leave.

    I stand outside for a moment and watch the snakes, then I realize they must be babies. There is probably a mother snake somewhere nearby.

    Suddenly I see a thick rat snake slowly slithering up the middle path of my front bed. She has her head lifted as if she is ready to strike, and she flicks her tongue at me. She's long enough that she could strike me in one rapid flash. I slowly back up my front porch steps and open the door without taking my eyes off her, then I hurriedly let myself into my living room and shut the door behind me. Even though she's just a rat snake, I don't want to feel the force of her bite. She's huge and terrifying.

    I stand at my front window and look out at her in the garden. Her eyes glow red as she stares at me. I've never seen a rat snake behave this way.

    Then she slides over to my house and starts zigzaging her way vertically up the tiles towards my roof. She finds a small hole near the eave of the patio cover and flattens herself so that she enters my attic.

    Oh! I think. Fantastic! She'll eat those damn squirrels!

    Updated 07-06-2016 at 02:59 PM by lucyoncolorado


    One Hundred Fourteen

    by lucyoncolorado on 07-05-2016 at 07:12 PM
    In which I stomp across a farting bean field in the nextdoor neighbor's backyard...

    I jump the fence into my neighbors' backyard and am surprised that I land in shallow water. They have converted their entire yard into a rice paddy. Instead of green plants protruding to the surface, there is a layer of dried white rice carpeting the ground beneath the water. As I slosh through the field, hard rice sticks to my feet.

    I look for a path to their backdoor that will cause the least damage to their crops. About halfway through their yard, I notice that I'm now walking over dried black beans also submerged in water. With each step, gas bubbles rise up to the surface and then float up into the air where they pop with a loud toot. They stink like farts. This is hilarious to me, and I start sloshing through the been field tooting up a smelly ruckus while singing, Beans, beans, the perfect fruit, the more I stomp, the more they toot!

    My neighbor steps outside. What are you doing?

    I freeze. I look at her. I lift one foot into the air, then stomp it down hard through the water to smush a bean beneath. A single bubble rises to the surface then pops in the air, releasing a green smelly gas. I giggle. Get it? I say, They're beans! And they cause farts! I laugh hysterically, out loud with my mouth open.

    My neighbor just stares at me. She has a butterfly tattooed across her face, its wings spread open across her eyes as if it were a party mask.

    Is that a real tattoo? I ask her. I can't believe she'd tattoo her face permanently. I look away, pretty convinced that when I look back at her, her face will be different. I just barely perceive some feeling that somehow, the appearance of things can be changed if I just will it to be that way. I can't quite remember why this might be true, but I'm pretty sure I can do it. I stare at my feet through the water and think really hard about her face being different when I look back. But when I look back at her, no; there is still a butterfly tattooed across her face.

    It's real. Do you like it? The work is undeniably beautiful, but I can't get over the fact that there will now be a giant butterfly across her face forever. I try to get used to the idea.

    Face tattoos are all the rage in Ohio, she says.

    Updated 07-05-2016 at 07:35 PM by lucyoncolorado