Notes: In a writing workshop with Laura Lee Bahr at the Kerouac House in College Park, Florida, participants brought written accounts of their most vivid dreams in order to work them into stories. The workshop was entitled “In the Language of Dreams.” One of my favorite exercises involved using the phenomenon of synesthesia to depict a dream narrative. Synesthesia is an unusual connection of the senses, such as seeing colors when one hears a sound, hearing sounds when one sees an inanimate object or colors, smelling colors or sounds, etc. I have already written one such example in a previous post entitled r.e.m. 1. Here I have written r.e.m. 2. I hope to write more as I remember my dreams from my present life and from my past. Maybe you would like to write the contents of your dream using synesthesia. I challenge you to try it and let me know what you think.
When you awake in the reverberating silence of the dead night you remember the deep crimson anger of your ex, the burnt meat hunger for your life. He is on his way to get you in his gray silent stealth. When you step out into the hall, there is his silhouette framed in the door to the living room, his limbs hot tar menacing, shimmering in the light behind and to the side.
You must by half measures approach, first grabbing a figurine friendly as pink on your lonely days. It is on the hall table and you think it could serve as your ally with which to bludgeon the void at the end of the hall intent on nullifying you, then you think better of it, recognizing the power of long knives rubbed together for the effect of the silver invasion of the body white heat through the belly. And so you grab them instead.
The red arrow intent to kill is no part of your soft purple disposition, your mother soft purple, a little blue, a little indecisive, Blue in Green pensive. You must press a bone corset to your back. With the kid gone it is now only you, only you to save what you have this little harmonious honey smelling house shedding past lives, your income dependent existence, contingent mother purple life, Mozart’s Lacrimosa days with Jesus who is plum peaches proud of you.
But Jesus doesn’t want you to die, not because of your ex’s resentment heavy, death certain as millstone drowning, torture by crushing, him and you.
But your ex has left your home by the time you enter the living room, shotgun style shape, backdoor directly facing front, knickknacks from lifetimes past standing at attention like disarrayed soldiers in cabinets and curios against the embrace of walls.
There is a line of elderly women, silent question marks, filing through, back door to front, taking a short cut from church. Should you shut your doors and force this line of gray green stream of hobbling but certain pebbles, bent knees and hunched frames, to walk around the outside of your house?
Surely this stream has found its most natural least resistant route. Would you want the question marks to break over the unevenness of your lawn, thrown off by the syncopated rhythm of roots, uneven resistant sod, hidden wells the deep voices of male voices chanting brown and merciless? You have nothing against the raisin wizened feet yearning for the concreteness of blue even.
When the stream dies, a young woman, a bright pink cotton candy bird, flies in, intent on taking something precious from your depleted honey house which is shedding its skins of former lifetimes. You tighten your bone corset as she flies from object to object, sending puffs of light candy scent from her wings, her attention the disappearing melt of candy floss.
And yet you, by comparison, are a wide open midlife ancient sea whose value had become diluted, whose salty tidal undulations are nonplussed regarding the bright and shiny, the new and fresh. Soon these things too will be overtaken, rusted and sighing.
She spirits into your house, ultravioletly jagged, picking up the few shells of your belongings, a crystal biscuit barrel, a milk glass pitcher, a silver cake stand, a china tea cup. You do not recognize her chocolate hair or robin’s eggs eyes, her spirit a puppy’s, not unkind but aggressive.
Teletype incessant she fires at you as she picks up your belongings: Can I have this? What about this? Would it be alright if I took this? Until most dissonant of all, yellow white clashing, one note off of each other: A Spanish sword demand she take your cream colored porcelain vase inscribed with a bright blue double happiness.
You, the ocean, spit up onto your shore an alternative: a smooth piece of driftwood, an immense antique book containing a story with a pink red happy ending, a chocolate cherry love tale suitable for her age, the double happiness beyond her wisdom, but the book offering the ideal for her, the cosmetic appeal of pages with script regular as a ticking clock, the pictures dancing from the flat white.
Candy floss girl settles into smooth salt taffy and signs your notebook – A guest book? A list of contacts? A signature book? She forms her large loopy Beethoven’s Eroica letters, pulling and pulling and pulling notes from the orchestra, the strings, woodwinds, brass, drums, larger and larger and larger.
When she finishes forming her letters, you see the marks that signify your identity, the soft purple mother love of your nature, the chaotic strands drawn together like a neat package tied with a bow, a package hidden and mysterious, secret. “Margaret” it says, your own self blowing against your face, the breeze against your face gentle and mild, your morning at last blossoming into your pale summer.