Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crowded Dream

~A Story~

Dedicated to those who were there.

The girl sat back in her chair, trying to look comfortable - but how can a person be comfortable if her feet won't quite reach the floor? She resisted the urge to tuck them under her and instead entwined her sweaty hands within the slightly-too-long sleeves of her sweater. She twisted and untwisted this mess of brown sleeves and pale hands as an activity to occupy her and somehow keep her grounded. Exceeding the dimensions of the room around her were multitudes of people she didn't know all talking and eating, eating and talking, sitting and standing and going back and forth from kitchen to living room to kitchen to living room. Their loud unfamiliarity only made them seem double, triple, quadruple in amount. It was like living in a dream where people came and went without warning, never seeming to penetrate your own consciousness long enough to leave anything more than fleeting, insubstantial impressions.

She had come with friends, of course, but somehow ended up alone anyway. On occasion, someone she knew would walk by, but when the girl tried desperately to grasp onto that familiarity, it quickly slipped away again, like a hallucination.

And perhaps she was hallucinating. How had she gotten here, anyway? This strange, new place filled with strange, new people. Perhaps it would all melt away with a blink and she'd find herself on the train home.

Home. Where was home? Why wasn't she home now?

And now more people came in. People she was supposed to know.

"Don't you know them?" asked a voice - someone's voice. Someone who knew her, she assumed, but it was so enmeshed in the surround-sound crowd that she might have dreamt it up altogether.

She tried hard to know them.

Blinding colors, neon noises, and then -


Someone shoved a paper plate into her hands, breaking up the twisting and twining of her sweater sleeves.

She couldn't even remember afterward if she ate or not. Eating was part of a world outside her realm of dreamy awareness.

Somehow she ended up in the kitchen. She thought she might have said something, but she couldn't remember what. And there might have been a big bug that someone squashed with a shoe, but she wasn't quite sure if that actually happened or if someone had just talked about it happening sometime before.

Faces, people, chatter, shoes, yelling, laughing, whispers, low voices, loud voices, eating, playing, sitting, standing, walking, spinning, spinning, spinning fun house of color and sound.

And then, like all dreams, it was somehow over without ever having ended.

The concrete reality of the crisp autumn night air splashed her in the face, tugging slightly on her hair and pinching her awake. With relief, she closed the door on the unfamiliar, crowded dream.

The irony of it all is how familiar the unfamiliar thereafter became.
(Thank you HUGELY to Serach and Ezzie for opening up their home to me this past year to the point where it feels like going home , to SJ and Fudge for first bringing me there, and to the Raggedies for just being the Raggedies)


Scraps said...

I've been there...the season might have been different, the people were certainly different, but I know very well how that feels.

Frayda said...