Sunday, July 25, 2021

Chicago at 7

I was in downtown with my bug out bag. It was the peach and blue Kelty I've been looking at, but it had a full rain cover like an osprey.

Suddenly I got a weird vibe. Something was wrong.

I tried to get an El back to the loop to get out of dodge but the app wasn't working and the help desk (real person at a desk) told me there wouldn't be a train back to Batavia for 54 hours.

I started walking, trying to reach out to anyone I knew in the area, but nobody picked up. I did have their names and my phone was working fine (couldn't use it as a dream check). Bob, Dan, and Dean.

I walked out to Dean's work and they wouldn't let me in.

I walked to Dan's work, and they wouldn't let me in, but they talked to me, and helped me realize what was wrong. It was 7pm on a Saturday and there was no one on the road, no one on the sidewalks. Just me.

Except they looked at me like I was crazy. They could still see the foot and road traffic.

I walked back to the metra station and it was quiet. I tried climbing behind one of the restaurant counters and they tried to take my bag away so I ran.

I ended up walking down a meaningless stretch of road, when I saw a strange alley out the corner of my eye. I turned and walked down it, and suddenly I could hear the traffic again. Before I could turn around to look at it, I woke up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

19 Mar 2019

bookstore run by an Asian woman with a speakeasy in the back filled with banned and restricted books. friend gave me the password.

she recommends a book to me, which is tantamount to requesting a toll. she came into the back room and found i hadn't picked it up yet.

at her insistence, I find it in the shelves. part of a series, it seems, but not all the books are there. I grab the lowest number series 2 volume 10, but before I open it, she warms me that not everything was meant to be read in order. sure points to series 2 volume 17, and I pick that one instead.

when I open the book, I realize it's telling a story of my Life, that age, and the book suddenly sucks me into it.

she cries out something in Korean to me and shuts the book where it goes on the floor, and waits for me to come back.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Old Boys, Old Women, and Reasons

Henrietta had an old dog. He was a golden, and he walked slowly but followed her everywhere. He suffered from a medical condition that caused him to be in a lot of pain especially when he was touched, and the doctors told her he wouldn't live long, but he did. He lived a great long life, and Henrietta was happy. This was before I meet her.

She's an older woman now, with medical problems of her own, but still she holds on to him, she still takes him with her everywhere sure goes, and they walk slowly together.

When they told me of his condition, I looked at him, I laid down next to him,  I held him, and Henriette held his leash awkwardly.

"We need to get outside," I told her, and picked him up gingerly.

"What are you doing? You're causing him pain. Put him down!" she said to me.

"He's always in pain. We need to go outside, right now," I commanded, and she led me out the quickest way.

I knelt in the grass. "You need to hold him."

"I can't. My hands..."

"I will take the weight, but you need to hold him, like you did, all those years ago when you first adopted him."

She shifted into position, so that he was between us, she was on one side, and I on the other. I could feel a great tension seep out of him.

"Now tell him you're ready."

"I'm ready."

"Not me, tell him. Tell him like you've always told him things, but tell him."

She pulled us down to the grass, and laid beside him, not too much longer herself, and leaned into him. She hugged him, and though I heard the words, I will not share them, because they don't matter, only the meaning behind them.

He let out a great sigh, and leaned against her as gently as she leaned against him, and closed his eyes.

We laid there a long time, even after his body grew cold.

"He was ready. He'd been ready for many years. But he held on, because you weren't ready. He'd been living in all that pain, but also in all that love, for you. All you had to do was tell him you were ready."

"Is he happy?"

"Before the end, yes, he was happy. He got to hold you again, remember the puppy he once was, and he went in his sleep dreaming of running. Running through the grass and the trees, chasing the birds, free of pain. And now, he's free."

She had tears in her eyes, and so did I. Henrietta say up slowly, wiping her face, and leaned over him, still between us, still against us, and hugged me. "Thank you."

--
The part of Henrietta was played by Linda Hunt.