by Mike Lee

 

Early Monday Dream:

My daughter and I braved the seas in an old sailboat. We do not know how to sail, but in dreams we can, with efficiency.

We were off the coast of a decaying resort town in a country that had long been in decline. The buildings were concrete, square and squat, the type of architecture you would find in parts of the Mediterranean or in South America. The sea wall was fairly deserted, and gray stains were discernible on the buildings as we turned the boat toward the shore.

When I am bored, I tend to use Google maps, pick a random spot and click on a city. I click on Street View, and explore.

That likely prompted the dream.

After arrival we wandered the city until finding the house on Manuel Acevedo Street. It is green, built in the Bauhaus style, with a courtyard and a balcony on the second floor. Our cat Calvin lounged on the thick metal railing above, and yawned as we entered what seemed to be home.

Before I went to sleep I found the house while scrolling up and down the streets in Buenos Aries on the computer.

I played a lot of video games in the arcade in the 1980s, so I feel nostalgic as I cruise through unknown cities with my mouse.

I dreamed it was home.

 

Early Tuesday Dream:

I met a dead friend. Sandy was about to graduate middle school. I was her age, then. Fourteen. 1976.

Time was a flea market of mismatches. We danced the Madison to The Blues Project’s “Where there’s Smoke, There’s Fire.” The school was Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, but 1976. No disco there, just late 1960s pop rock.

Sandy rocked the blue denim skirt and matching espadrilles. I looked like I fished my clothes out of a dumpster—a cool dumpster—I wore greaser black pegged Farah slacks and a blue short-sleeved tank top. I was in 1966 while she was the Bicentennial.

Sandy was a blue-eyed Irish blonde graduating from a Catholic school she never went to. She grew up in Greenwich Village, above a boutique her aunt owned on Perry Street. In the dream, Sandy was working class girl from Brooklyn. As I remembered her in real life, Sandy was an overindulged Village girl who skidded out in a heroin haze.

Sandy helped get me my first apartment, a squalid affair on Ludlow Street, in the lower east side. She lived next door.

She died a month after I moved in.

I split up her belongings with the super.

I still have some of her records. Gave the Buzzcocks t-shirt to my daughter.

I asked to take her photograph. When developed she was out-of-focus, resembling a desiccated corpse.

When I awoke, I was not afraid. I sensed acceptance.

 

Early Wednesday Dream:

I cannot remember. However, later that afternoon I did run into my lawyer from the divorce.

“Guess who died?” Her face got very sad.

She didn’t ask how my daughter reacted to her mother’s death. She testified against her.

“How is your daughter? Didn’t she end up at Vanderbilt?”

“Yes.” I nodded. “She is doing well.”

“What is she up to?”

“Living with me. Preparing for her future.” I paused. “She is applying for a graduate program in Italy. Summer dig near Vesuvius.”

 

That night, my daughter took me out to dinner. She made good money working on a political campaign and wanted to celebrate getting her last paycheck.

Over Ethiopian food, she told me of her dreams. They were not of aging sailboats languishing offshore from decaying cities, or blue-eyed tragedies momentarily placed elsewhere, out of place in a relationship that never happened, but sometimes I wish it did.

Her dreams are real, and of the good.

 

***

 

Mike Lee is a journalist, writer and photographer in New York City. His work appeared in The Airgonaut, Alexandria Quarterly, Bop Dead City, The Avenue, The Ampersand Review and elsewhere.

 

 

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