Dreams I dream while sleeping beside you
In the dream I awake from vivid dreams but do not reach for my notebook to write anything down. The notebook is slightly out of my reach. Instead I lay there on my back staring at the ceiling without really seeing it and contemplate texting my mother. The last time that was done it was done in anger and the guilt crushes me inbetween the anger consuming me. I feel bad. I wish she understood that I don’t need anything from her anymore. She has given so much already. I just want what you cant see. I want to forget what was said as she sat on my hospital bed that day.
”Your father feels like this because of you.”
All I did was try to talk about the book I was reading. A book about a young black woman growing up in Australia and the racism she experienced. My father did not like this conversation topic. ”Im so sorry I’m white,” My father says. I explain thats not what I am saying but it’s too late. ”I don’t need to listen to this.” And he storms out of the hospital room. When he returns he says he was sitting in the car thinking of killing himself. That is when my mother says what she says to me. Suicide is not the fault of a child even a grown up one. I was just trying to show that though in hospital again this time my mind is not slow. My intellect is intact. After you both left I was so distraught that two nurses came and one held a clip board as she confirmed my name. The other nurse slipped a needle filled with a small dose of Fentanyl into my thigh. The soft warm wave of calm is instant.
There is a young woman in a bright yellow dress fighting with her boyfriend outside a shop window. It is late at night and the shop is shut. The fight escalates and the boyfriend shoves the young woman’s head through the window. There is a great deal of blood. The boyfriend is strong so strong that he managed to push the woman’s head all the way through the glass. As she bleeds to death the boyfriend takes of his shirt and tries to start cleaning up the blood. He leans into the dying woman’s face and whispers that he will hide her body where nobody will ever find it.
There is a large party full of various famous Melbourne writers. Some are friends. I am standing around at a loss when a kind friend comes and leads me to a quiet corner of the room to ask if I am alright. I look like I am about to cry after all. I say that I had forgotten what it was like to be in a large group of people again.
It is a bright sunny day and I am walking around a fancy neighbourhood searching for a doctors office. I have an appointment soon and am panicking that I will be late. It grows dark and still I am walking around in search of this illusive medical professional. What kind of doctor even are they? Why am I searching for a doctor’s office in the middle of the night in a seaside town that feels like it should be a holiday destination?
There is a wedding for a young couple barely out of high school. They are very much in love and there is champagne flowing freely. I am not allowed to drink any of it. I grow so desperate I snatch a glass of champagne from my sister and gulp it all down before handing her the empty glass. She stares at me in outrage and then slaps me in the face in front of everyone. I escape from the party and go to read a novel in the toilets. The novel is about a person who catches a giant shark and cuts it up into perfectly equal parts. The person takes these chopped up parts out on a boat into the centre of the ocean. The pieces are then thrown overboard one piece at a time. It takes ages and pages and pages of description. The bloody pieces of shark get consumed by other sharks.
Young and reckless like I never was in real life. You are a complete fabrication of my sleep imagination. We steal a car together and drive it around with the radio on and up loud. The windows are wound down to let the night air mess up our hair. At 3am a cop pulls us over. Your Dad is a cop so that’s not good for us. This cop knows your name. This does not faze you. You have a great story to explain everything. We borrowed the car and had every intention of returning it with a full tank of petrol. We are not old enough to have drivers licences. The policeman rolls his eyes at your story. ”Thanks so much Gregory Basic.” The cop says. ”For that compelling anecdote.” You nod in mock modesty. ”You’re welcome officer.” You say. The officer wonders out loud what the hell to do with us. My dreamy rebel boyfriend launches into a speech about how he does not want to be sent to the elephant graveyard like the majestic elephants in the zoo. It’s completely unethical to coop up such creatures just as it would be a tragedy to lock up a couple of young people who meant no harm. They just couldn’t be expected to stay home on such a night filled with possibility and hope. We get taken in and the cop calls our parents. As we sit in the police station together the sun starts to rise and you reach for my hand.
I have a zine making afternoon with one of my best friends. She has never made a zine before and I encourage her to do whatever she wants to do. That’s the joy of zine making. We listen to Beyonce and Kate Bush. When her zine is finished and she has folded up 100 she shows me and i find that she has use the word prostitute. My heart sinks. I explain that you can’t use that word anymore as it is unkind and not inclusive to the people in that profession. I explain the word that is preferred is Sex Worker. My friend refuses to change it as the zines are finished and she can’t be bothered. I decide to do it by changing the word in every zine by hand. After all the character in the zine is a hero. On my way home on the tram Prince is there and he sits next to me. I show him the zine and what I plan to do to fix it. He is very encouraging.
The theatre bug has bitten me and I will be playing the role of Puck in a production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. I organize a nightime rehearsal in a park with hundreds of candles lit and fairy lights strung up in the trees. I am nervous about how i will excel at this and all my other commitments. There is a pre rehearsal meeting with all the other actors. They convince me to stay involved.
It is late at night and I am on a roof top bar all alone. A giant robot hovers high in the sky before it starts falling all at once. It is going to crush me and all I do is stand there staring up at it transfixed. Unafraid. Ready.
My mother is chatting with me as I pack to go on tour with my very successful post punk intersectional feminist band. I have no instruments to pack as I am the singer and songwriter. As I fold countless pairs of underwear and expensive t shirts my mother and I chat frankly about stuff like sex and feminist theory. My heart is full of happiness at how connected I feel to my mother. She asks if I have given thought to putting a limit onto how much penis I will suck. I am outraged and throw a pillow at her. I will suck no penis. I declare. The more relevant question is how much oral sex that I receive is too much? I do not want to exploit my status and take advantage of fans. I will party responsibly. In this dream like Janelle Monae I am a queer woman and sexually a ”free ass motherfucker.” This fills my mother with pride.
It’s been three nights now of sleeping alone with you across the sea. You are no longer around for now to hear me smirk in my sleep.