This morning in bed I dreamed myself sideways— shoulder tucked, face protected, fists out. It took more than a few minutes for me to realize that I was here, lung out across a mattress, and not there, standing in the entryway of a walk-up apartment that faced a sunny street, having a sweet discussion about record collecting and humid climates with a man who had the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. (He had very clean teeth!)
August is the month of my deepest and most primal dreams. I sleep and my brain begins its real work, which is traveling across the crenelated continents of my memory, or so I told the man with the head of an ancient lizard this morning. He nodded sympathetically. His oxford shirt was neatly pressed, and his smile so endearing, that his scaly complexion seemed merely an afterthought.
While my dreams unfurl in a gentle roll through the hottest month, my body flings out into physical space, flipping over water glasses and lamps; bunching pillows; kicking blankets. Wherever it is I go in my dreams, the rest of me, that dogged corporeal self, attempts to follow.
Instead, I crash my way through the night and wake in the morning to a blue-grey ceiling and a pretty story. What was that man’s name? The man with the head of a T. Rex and the cultivated record collection? Stanley? Berber? Stefano? I don’t know. The bedroom smells of dust and book and dog and heat. The twisted sheets fall away as I sit up. His fingers were manicured— this I remember.
Did I make this up? Is this how my mind works? Who dreamed who, here? In some large city is there a man with a scaly head waking to his own August morning dream about a girl with a tin-pan laugh and strange green eyes? The one who kept asking about weather conditions and records? What was her name? Whitney? Britney? Dolly? He sits up sideways in bed. Her head was so mammalian, he thinks. That girl really needed to file her nails.