I had another dream this morning with a great story, so here it is. It’s not a novel, either, like the last one I transcribed was.
* * * * *
An attractive blonde woman of around thirty is sitting in a chair in her friend’s living room, talking to her two friends, who are both about ten years older than she is. (The real-life location is my mom’s current living room.) The three of them are talking about life and current events, when the woman suddenly picks up a spiral-bound notebook and a blue ball-point pen. She turns the notebook horizontally and writes two words perpendicular to the lines on the page, then holds it aloft so that her friends can read what she has written.
“What does this mean?” she asks, careful not to say the two written words aloud, since they named a top-secret government operation that had recently been exposed on the news. “It’s everywhere now. Everyone’s talking about it.”
Her friends are thunderstruck. “How dare you bring that in here! Don’t involve us in this!” They turn and run from the room, making for the front door, but even before they reach it, a few nondescript cars pull up outside the house, and five undercover agents appear at the door. The agents barge in and escort the two friends from the house into two of the waiting cars.
The woman takes the notebook and runs into the bedroom, partially undresses, and jumps into bed. The agents haven’t seen her, at least for now, so she decides to try subterfuge. She reaches underneath the bed and pushes the spiral notebook as far back as she can reach, then slides back under the covers, where she stays for the rest of the day and night.
The woman is my girlfriend.
It is now very early in the morning, long before sunrise, but there is the beginning of light on the horizon. After being out very late, I arrive at the house, unaware of these events. I go into the bedroom, undress down to my boxer briefs, and get into bed. She is awake, waiting for me, and she asks me to hold her. Naturally, I oblige. The alarm clock radio comes on suddenly and loudly, to the news, which I find extremely distracting. I look around to find the radio in the windowsill, behind the curtain, and get up to turn it off. It has four unmarked buttons on the back, so I try them all, and the fourth button is the one that finally ceases the racket. I walk back to bed and lie down. My girlfriend is lying on her back now, and I lie down on my side next to her, resting my head on her shoulder so that I can nuzzle her neck. I reach my arm around her to hold her close again. We hold each other that way for a while, then start to kiss and touch each other.
Suddenly two of the agents appear in the room, rip the covers off of us and grab her out of the bed. She frantically tries to cover up and get dressed from the clothes that are still on the chair where she left them, next to the bed. Agent One, who is black, is dealing with her, and Agent Two, a white guy with close-cropped light brown hair, is dealing with me. “Get up,” he says, gripping my arm roughly with his left hand. “And what is this?” With his right hand, he reaches to the night table next to the bed, where there is a small, round bottle of moisturizing cream. He presses down on the nozzle and a giant red glob squirts out. “It’s got blood in it?!” he yells, and grabs the glob. “I’ve never seen this before.” It quickly becomes gelatinous and extremely sticky. He moves my arm so that my hand is in the glob. “Where’s your other hand?” he yells. I bring my other hand around, and he pushes it into the glob as well, and now I’m unable to move my hands at all. It’s as if I’ve been handcuffed. He drags me out of the bedroom, through the hallway, and outside through the garage.
I look around and realize that we are at my childhood home. The two agents ask me, “What do you know about all this?”
“Nothing,” I say. “Not a thing.”
“Give us a break,” Agent One says, as he pulls the notebook from behind him and shows me the words that are written on the page. I instantly recognize the handwriting. “We know all about this,” he continues.
“Yeah, ‘mona lisa’. . .so what?” I ask. “I listen to the news. Doesn’t everybody?”
Agent One gives me a stern, exasperated look, but Agent Two is transfixed by the tallish pine tree next to the driveway. He has a pained look on his face, tears in his eyes, and he speaks in a choked voice. “Lots of. . .explosions. . .here.” The pine tree looks very thinned out, in a way that it never has before, and the three of us can clearly see a small, green, leafy tree growing up inside the middle of it. It appears to be a living monument of some kind. “Lots of explosions,” the man repeats. He is about to cry.
“Tell me about them,” I say, walking toward him. “I lived here in 1972, 1973–” The two men exchange glances as if those years are significant. I count off each year on my fingers as I’m talking. “–1974, 1975, 1976, well. . .from 1972 until 1987, and we never knew anything about explosions. Anything you can tell me about that would be greatly appreciated.”
The three of us walk toward the car and get in, the agents in the front seats and me in the back. I look around for my girlfriend, but she is nowhere to be seen. I start to ask about her, but Agent Two deflects my question by telling us how hungry he is. Agent One sides with him and says to everyone and no one, “Doesn’t a cheeseburger sound good right now?” I stare at him incredulously. It’s seven o’clock in the morning. Agent One rolls his window down a bit, Agent Two hits the accelerator, and we drive off.
Then the dream changes, and the three of us are eating cheeseburgers from YellowArches. Mine is a triple cheeseburger. Agent One takes a huge bite of his burger and turns around from the passenger seat to talk to me. His mouth is full, and he’s got a blissful smile on his face as he masticates. “Mm,” he says, “nothing like a cheeseburger, especially in the morning. I’m right, aren’t I? It’s good.”
“I haven’t had a real meat burger for years,” I tell him. “I always have Bocas these days, so if I suddenly go into a food coma, you guys’ll know why.” We all laugh.
The dream’s location changes again, and I’m in an interrogation room. There are a few chairs scattered around the floor, and there is a white dry-erase board with a lot of writing on it. It’s my girlfriend’s handwriting. Apparently she has been questioned here recently. I take a glance at the answers that she’s written. Most are simple, like her name, and date of birth, that sort of thing, as well as a list of things she’d been doing that day. She also wrote ‘mona lisa’ on the board, so that the agents could compare her handwriting to that in the notebook.
The last two sentences were written in a way that my girlfriend and I had invented for dry-erase boards, and only the two of us could read it. If we wrote a sentence, looked away, and then looked back again quickly, the words changed, one or two at a time, until the sentence became something completely new and different. To anyone else, however, the original sentence is all they would see. So here’s an example. The penultimate sentence on the white board morphed like this:
I never got out of bed.
I never was good in bed.
I never got away from the bed.
I never got away from THAT MAN.
Suddenly, the door to the room opened, and she walked in silently, and stood with tears welling up in her eyes, looking up at me, as I read the words to the last sentence, which morphed like this:
IN EED BYE
I NEED YOU
I LOVE YOU