Art Studios to Boots

Last night, I dreamt about one of the dogs. Little Darcy. Somehow, she’d become trapped beneath the floorboards of the old house. It’s been six months since I moved out. How did that happen? Feels like six days. Her desperate cries rattled through my sleeping brain, and no matter how much I tried to find a way to free her, she remained unseen. At one point, I tried prying the floorboards loose with my bare hands, only for my fingernails to snap like matchsticks. Before the pain sank in, the dream shifted to some girl I studied with at university. The scene was a replay of real life—of one grey afternoon in late winter when we walked from the art studios to Boots to grab some lunch. She picked up a bottle of water and some cheese and onion crisps. I had a Red Bull and nothing else. She had tiny hairs on her upper lip and wore a dress that reminded me of Gretchen from Donnie Darko. The moment shone like a reflection, like a disco ball in a rank student union, but before I could touch it, the scene shifted, and we were sunbathing on a porch someplace in America. She smiled as I offered her my cigarette and touched my outstretched hand. The heat of the sun burned away the beads of sweat trickling down my face, and I was nervous for reasons I couldn’t decipher. Her lips radiated outwards, swallowing the land. I was nothing on this land. Not even bacteria. The buzzing of insects was maddening, as were the echoes of the waves of the sun blasting through space. Sticking my fingers in my ears, I felt blood trickling from my nostrils, and as her smile wrapped around my throat like a noose, in the blink of my lazy eyes, I was back in the old house. It was snowing, just like the last weekend before I left. Poor little Darcy. It’s been six months since I held her in my arms. Six months since she last stuck her tongue in my mouth. In the dream, I never saw her, only heard her cries. Somewhere beneath the floorboards, she lurked like sunken treasure, or the buried dreams of a future never meant to last.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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