Last night I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details:
I recognize the woman kneeling in between my legs. She is my sometime lover, though I have never seen her masked with so much clothing. Indeed, I have never seen her wear anything at all. She is young, blond, perpetually pouty, with the big, expressive, childlike eyes of someone about to be slapped. Her stark bob haircut frames her face like a gift to be presented to me. Wrapped around her neck is a red boa scarf that tickles my thighs. I lean forward in my chair so that I can hear her better over the music. Ray Noble and his Orchestra is playing “It’s All Forgotten Now.” There is also the interminable chatter and the iced cube shimmies that tell me that we are in the semi-private corner of a swanky speakeasy. I do not see the rest of the room, though, for my eyes are as enchanted with my sometime lover’s as hers are with mine. She speaks with the whiny cadence of a girl about to yank me into the candy store. Being with her is an indecent act, a kind of serial molestation, though the wrinkles around her eyes remind me that she is decades above the legal age limit for the kind of attention I have bestowed upon her. Her words are too simple for the subject matter at hand, but they are direct, and they get my attention. She nestles her chin on my crotch, looks up at me, and tells me that we need to stop playing with fire. If we continue as we have been, then it will be only a matter of time before she has to make a trip to her abortionist. I am perplexed. Surely, she knows that she is well passed the age where that can happen. Nothing can come of what we do together, and there will be no need for her to be cracked open by a doctor hidden away in shadows. I try to assure her, but she seems more upset by the fact that she is too old to conceive a child than by the prospect of getting an abortion. I stand up, take her hand, and help her to stand up as well. She nests her tears in my chest, and I wrap my arm around her as a protective father might for a girl pulled out from a swimming pool. I let go of her, and for a moment she seems confused about where she is. I kiss the top of her hand. Perhaps, that will rekindle her memory. I step back into the crowd, and walk away with my head down and my hands kneading the bottoms of my pants pockets.
I pass by a long bar counter. The drinkers are all flappers in long, slinky dresses and tight cloche hats. They are beautiful swans with black cigarette sticks in their beaks. As I pass by them to my left, and try not to look at them too closely, the flappers all look over their shoulders like they have been disturbed by a cold breeze. I snag a corner banquette, but before taking my seat I sense that I left my wallet back with my sometime lover. I nod to the waiter to hold my table, and then I walk back through the crowd of clinking cocktails to where I had left her. Before I get there, I feel the wallet in my pocket. I sigh in relief. I turn back toward my banquette to order the first drink of the night.
I am gliding through the iced cold air over bluish white, Arctic terrain. There is snowcap splattered here and there, but most everything is encrusted in an unforgiving ice. Below me are the round tops of what look like abandoned missile silos. The silos are crumbling back into the ice, so that now they look more like ancient ruins than platforms that once housed nuclear missiles.
I am standing inside of a tall, large igloo. There is a dead woman on a marble slap to my left. She is encased in ice, and the ice has perverted her pretty face into a ghoulish mask that is staring up at the ceiling with a look of eternal defiance. She is wearing still the old, floral dress and slippers in which she had died. The ice has not disfigured her clothing so much as it makes it seem more brittle and two-dimensional. I sense that if the ice cover is ever chipped away the dress and the slippers will chip away as well.
To my immediate right is a table with an opened, leather bound Bible. The pages are all bound together by ice, and so the opened pages are the only ways I can read. I rub my gloved hands together and bend forward to try to read the verses. It is too hard to make out anything except that these are verses from the Gospel of Saint John.
I am standing on the side of a lush, green, grassy knoll. It is a warm, clear, Summer day, and the sky above is incredibly blue and seems to stretch out into eternity. At the top of the hill is a tall, green scoreboard that looks like something transplanted from a historic baseball field. There are other folks scattered across the knoll. My sometime love walks up to me from the bottom, and I wrap my arm around her. I do not look at her. Instead, I follow everyone else’s lead and look up at the scoreboard. A chapter and verse from the Gospel of Saint John appears at the top center. Then, scattered across the board, other slots open to reveal other Bible chapters and verses that are connected somehow to the chapter and verse from John’s Gospel. They may be verses with similar phrasing or with similar meaning. Or they may be Old Testament verses that foreshadow what is written in John’s Gospel. I search the Bible Scoreboard from something from the Book of Joel. I have no idea why that book should matter more than the others, but my intuition is now telling me that that is what I should do.