Saturday, February 20, 2010

And we kept talking about things we didn't mention the night before

Wednesday morning I dreamt I went downtown to see the art my friends made as children, but when I arrived I only wanted to take cellphone photographs. I climbed to an apartment building where an old woman cleaned the glass walls until they had better color saturation than you've ever seen. My cellphone camera was telescopic and wide-angled too, and my pictures had depth of field like an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

It was winter-raining, and freezing cold too, but I held my coat over my shoulder and didn't have to step around the crowd. In dreams I'm scared of going down stairs like I am of ladders when I'm awake, worried my legs won't take to that precarious slant, and I just made it down the outdoor stairwell to the ground. The commuter trains ran right through the streets, or the streets turned to trains, and I was constantly jumping for my life. Every color of route ran parallel, but ended up in places that really sounded like sacred-sky blue or summer-romance orange.

I realized I'd forgotten to write down the address of the gallery I came to see, and I thought about going straight home, but I decided to wander and photograph instead. The trains kept coming, and I wound up inside their station, and the voice on the PA read out a search for spare trains that sounded like a missed connections advertisement. There were great marble halls that looked the same but reached different halves, and along them were the rooms of the gallery. They were rectangular and white, sunken into the floor, with a display table for every child like the fourth-grade science fair.

I saw my own work in the middle of the left side, and it was yellow and purple and pink, bright but in a good way because I can love every color. There was a sweatshirt hanging, made of stripes of ribbon, and probably collage and objects too, all of it much better than the empty time capsule I actually left myself from elementary school. I wanted to go stand quietly before it, contemplating others' contemplation, but I sat down on the steps between two boys and a girl, cool-looking kids, and got to talking instead. They were taking the train home, and before I knew it our steps were train seats and we were on the 1:25 express and it was a little too late to jump.

When the train came in, my new friends were gone and Daniel was waiting to walk me home because I wasn't hardly old enough to make it alone. When I woke up I wasn't sure where trains went at all, but I was wrapped in the ghost of Alison, and I felt like I could do anything if I could just get to the station, because if I could make it there I might as well call it home.

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