"I know why you have come to me
Prince Charming my assassin,
But I am not the damsel in distress
I am the fucking dragon..."-Space Team Electra
When you appear in my dreams, you change form, tripping the light fantastic of memory snapshots I have of you within the walls of my skull. I see my monkey watching partner from the vampire dens, my adopted grandmother, my friend and confidant during that time of transition when the games of Machiavelli were played right before our eyes. I see the form I saw but a few times, and rarely under pleasant auspice; the friend, a few years older, at the sickhouse after the bruja's rollover, the one dressed in mourning at the memorial, the one I had tea with that one time, who bummed me a cigarette, though I've not smoked for years now, and helped my daughter harass the gypsy about being Canadian.
The shape-shifting does not bother me in the slightest. I know it's you. Dragons are, by their very nature, magic. And moving from one form to the next is a part of that. Even so, I know things; and like the old story goes; Everyone Knows what a Dragon Looks Like.
In the dreams we meet at a juke joint. I am, understandably, not happy about this; I left that world many years and lifetimes ago. I live in the mountains now, and have very little interest in the greater metroplex. You all know that, though some have a harder time accepting this fact than others. When I see you, you are upset, choking back tears when you see me. In one dream, I asked you why.
"My owl doesn't come here anymore," you said.
Ah, the monikers. You were the only that called me your owl, although the bruja once or thrice called me Mister Owl. A matter of perceived mojo and those unnaturally large eyes of mine, see? The penance price to be paid for being an aberration.
I once told someone I do not find the names of characters-whether in tall tales or the pointless skull-story I call my life-the monikers find them. It is up to the individual to decide what that moniker means. I just get to feature those cats in the stories I tell. Nothing special.
Over the years and lifetimes, I have met legions of tossers who have claimed to have something to do with dragons. Ones who have claimed its mojo to one or two delusional souls who went as far as to say they actually were dragons wearing the flesh of a half-bald monkey as a topcoat. How special.
But you, Madam Lung-the Mandarin term for dragon-were the dragon lady, and anyone who would argue the point was either daft or trying to sell something. I always knew; sardonic smiles and a language of riddles spoken in the tongues of liquid silver. That look in the eye that if you were fucked with, not only would you immolate your prey, but use their bones for chopsticks, toothpicks, and a host of other decorations.
I only see you now in my dreams, and it pains me. In that silent lucidity, neither of us are happy about it; I am somewhere I do not want to be, and you know it, and no amount of attempting to make a go of it for a friend makes it better. It may all be true, even and especially the lies, but we've never tolerated deception between the two of us. After everything, despite the years and lifetimes that have elapsed since, that would be disrespectful.
Once, I was told, you did not do the mountains. Oh, did that hurt my feelings. Much like how I was told you reacted when I first moved away and spoke of my time in the city like a nightmare best to be forgotten. I'm sorry, and I wonder if you are. Perhaps, so much later, it doesn't matter anymore.
How I'd love to see you once more, mon ami. Of course, the pulling it off is the demonology in the details. Getting me within the borders of the greater metroplex is most often a blood obligation, which involves many libations and free food. Trying to convince you to try the mountains may be a Herculean feet I shouldn't contemplate because I'd be forcing that upon you, just like going into a juke joint these days would be forcing me.
I joke to myself we could do Mexican and margaritas in the shadow of Red Rocks. You could lie, and say you went to the mountains. I could lie, and say I did not leave them. It would all be true; even and especially the lies, right?
But then there's that matter of deception. That demonology in the details. Out of all of us, I seemed to know quite a bit about demons. Yet, there're some infernals gumming up the works. A riddle I intend to solve.
It's not like we could do the badlands of eastern Colorado for a meet. Fuck, I moved to the metroplex to leave that place. There has to be another way.
Until then, dragon lady, I have the dreams, whereupon you shape-shift the light fantastic of the memory snapshots along the walls of my skull. Despite it all, I cherish those dreams, because I get to see such a dear friend once more. Though, I confess, I wish for a dream that I was not uncomfortable and you were not upset about it. I wish to see you again within the realms of the flesh.
Someday, mon ami, I'll figure it out. You can bet on it...