I am able to see things from both inside and outside of the dream. Scenes shift. The velocity of consciousness quickens. Optical passageways illuminate the dark mind-space within. Cool air and hot blood collide in my lungs. Drumbeats sound in my chest. I am conscious within a pulsating chamber of flesh.
I see the searing suns of the Milky Way collapse into a vortex of interstellar emptiness and in the same instant I see a cosmos emerge from energetic emptiness.
A high-pitched sound reverberates. I do not hear it so much as feel it on the periphery of my awareness. Soon, it is painful and overwhelming.
Still reluctant, I wake up and answer the phone.
“Art, I called a few times. Did you get my message?”
“I crashed man. I’ve been asleep since I got home.
“Oh, too bad. William Burroughs invited me to dinner. I tried to get hold of you. He has this amazing mind… We talked about art and writing and philosophy. You should have been there.”
“That’s cool, thanks for thinking of me, Keith. I always thought his stuff was kind of negative.”
“He’s a sweet man, really kind. He was so nice to me. I felt an instant bond with him. His work is just…you know…his work. I think he’s trying to wake people up.”
“No doubt. So yeah, man, that was a strange trip today, wasn’t it?”
“When we drove up here…all of that…leaving the car on the side of the road… the cave.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in town for the last week. So have you – as far as I know. Are you OK?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m OK. Let’s get together soon. I want to talk about the project.”
“I’m going to Europe in a couple of days. Can you stop over tomorrow?”
“Sure. In the afternoon?”
“Yeah. I’ll tell Julia you’re coming over.”
“OK. See you then.”
Again…this feeling of strangeness, unreality…
I hang up the phone and am overcome with confusion. In an effort to feel in control, I trace sequentially through my memory of the day’s events. The fact that there is a sequence – or that I am convinced I can recall a continuous chain of memory linking one thing to the next – doesn’t change the sense of disorientation I feel about each bizarre occurrence. I am left with the knowledge that this has happened before and that it does continue.
I look up for a moment. The dark-haired girl in the building across the alley is undressing again. About a month after I moved in she started leaving the shades up all the time. Youthful and curvaceous, she is as beautiful as a girl in the window could possibly be. She moves like a dancer until her liquid eyes catch a fleeting glimpse of mine.
Looking away, I turn toward the screen and remember my dreams.