He wondered how many times I would pass his driveway so he stood on the porch to count. Somewhere around the 4th time I turned in and he forgot right away that he had been counting something.
I got out of my car and stepped over a snake that was coiled lazily in the sun. He didn’t see it but it saw me. It always does. Red touches yellow, me and this fellow.
Travis invited me in. He had survived the Leo, but the Scorpio is a different kettle of fish entirely. He was apprehensive about my visit.
Unusual. A déja-vu of sorts, like pulling an old book off the shelf. I should be a stranger here but I don’t feel out of place. I press my ear against history to listen for voices. Nothing.
But there’s my picture on the wall. Memories of me that I didn’t know existed were kept alive. I was here in a parallel universe, hiding in plain sight.
“You wear your clothes well” he told me and I remembered that I forgot he had a clothing fetish; an odd quality for a guy who hates underwear. I forgot but he knew all along. The things he carried were with him the whole time. I didn’t tell him about the times I would get up from the couch to cry alone in my bathroom. I couldn’t explain why I would do that. Nor did I mention any of the other things I did to forget him, to get over it, to cowboy-the-fuck-up and get on with the business of living. I couldn’t sit in his house and tell him about these things as I clearly had not done them with any measure of success.
Reality is an all or nothing proposition so I opt for nothing. The key aspect of any lucid dream is the realization that all the characters are you.
I thought I heard the devil talking. “Hey son, why ain’t you got no face? I could paint one on you, for a price.” I wondered which of us was being spoken to and decided it wasn’t me, or maybe it was me talking. My portraits have faces in any case.
“I liked it when you asked if I thought about you”, he said, “and I want you to know that I still have your filter and I use it every day.” He poured me a cup of coffee. I had no idea what he was talking about so my reply was only a quizzical look. “Your metal coffee filter”, he explained, and I still looked confused, “from the gallery“, he seemed to think it was so obvious and then suddenly I remembered and it was funny and sweet all at the same time.
This morning I woke up to find my kitchen floor flooded. I splashed up to the counter to dump yesterday’s coffee grounds into the sink and prepare to start over. Brewing coffee in the rising water: the way the world ends, the way the world begins.