I dreamed the house on Mallette had multiplied. I dreamed dating several, including sweet Rob. It wasn’t cheating because it never felt like cheating. I dreamed in the same dream that my grandmother fell. A bad fall that became a trust fall because I laid her on the ground. She got more caretakers after the fall but the relationship between the first fact and the second was correlative not causative. Her care became a TV show and her bathroom became like a bathroom on a very nice boat. I was a contestant on the show about her care. It imprinted on me like The Bachelor and I was there to look around, not win or make friends.
In the dream I had before I had the dream I had last night, I dreamed a woman named Cheryl Strayed and even in the dream was surprised that name signified something to my subconscious. I slept with Cheryl Strayed and ran away from the law with her. We stood in a sand-colored mountain town and drove on a street with lawn ornaments. It was loose cheating; Cheryl was sometimes switched out and replaced by my boyfriend. In the dream he was not watchful.
Last night I didn’t dream sitting on the shower floor watching our faces move next to each other, my rectangle dark and little inside yours. Screens are almost nothing like dreams. I was content to watch the fuzziness of your head while you talked and felt surprised like you broke the fourth wall when you wanted a response. I felt like I was in London. Because I didn’t feel nauseous and I feel forever nauseous in New York.
Dream-parts: the part where I see my dead Dad, the part in the Internet, the part where it’s high school, the part with pregnancies and unexplained maladies, the part when famous names attach to vomiting personages, the part when the architecture goes minimalist and white, the part of John, and of other ghosts, the part when I’m saying “Don’t put layers in my hair,” the part where you’re wet, the part where water is blue and the part where it’s black, the part where I’m texting “doing gay drugs,” when what I meant was birth control. The part with guilt, the part when I rise slow to the surface and remember us as metaphors.
I saw two men speak recently on a night I did not sleep. One of them said that Andy Warhol’s films taught him to pay attention. He was writing a book about the films and watched them all in a summer. When he left the museum where he was watching them, he would stare at the people on the street. Because they were so beautiful.
I agree that summer is the best season for looking. I agree that it’s when you should look. A whole hot summer lives no different from a drug trip or a dream in your memory. June 10 we sat in a circle of books in my room and set a timer to look at each other. One part of me seeks opportunities for performance or transcendence and you hold that part like it’s a jerking field mouse. You didn’t know we were aping Marina Abramovic. After an unmarked time, your face reconstituted. I had trouble seeing both your eyes and had to focus on one. I saw its twitches and the asymmetries in your lid. I’ve never seen myself stare for fifteen minutes. I wondered what you saw. Thunder cracked like we’d summoned it. There was a minute left on the timer when we kissed and gave up.
While I dreamed my grandmother, you dreamed me. I was in your village, never once American, speaking the language you grew up speaking. Another thing you’ve seen me do that I can’t quite picture. All your dreams are allegories, according to the way you tell them and the way I hear them. You saw your grandfather in a dream when you were eighteen and for reasons I can’t remember it made you stop praying. When I was eighteen and talking to god for the last time without begging, I had eaten mushrooms. I looked at leaves for hours, and at couch cushions. I needed a vessel for my gratitude, because they were so beautiful.
What did it mean last night when I dreamed you were dying? You were going into a surgery that would definitely kill you. I watched too much white powder being poured into the liquid they were going to put inside you. I knew it would kill you but there was nothing anyone could do. It wasn’t a secret that you would die, you knew also. Katie texted me a picture of you propped up on your death bed an hour before the surgery. I was rushing back from somewhere. I got back to you at 3:30 and the surgery was at 4, which is when you go to work when you’re awake. I laid down on your chest. I was sweating when I woke up in my bed and texted you: I’ve seen you dying, take care of yourself.