I still remember the dream as though I just had it; we were in a house out on the badlands of eastern Colorado. The place bore a striking resemblance to my parents' farmstead out on Road Twenty-One, the one my father said could house myself, my brother, sister, daughter, mother, grandmother, and him and we'd never be tripping over one another. Despite its location in such a flat expanse of khaki, craft fairs, ranchers, and tractor pulls I always kind of dug that house if for no other reason than that kitchen.
You were standing in the great room, looking out a window, dressed in a simple black skirt, boots, and your Mansfields t-shirt. I did not have to announce my presence, you turned as I walked up. There was thin smile on your lips and a sparkle in your big doe eyes, which shine like abalone shells.
"You want to go out tonight?" I asked, meaning one of the juke joints we would frequent back in those down below past lives. "Reckon the whole Hee-Haw Gang will be there."
"I don't know," you replied. "Let me think about it."
"Okay," I said. "I'll go make dinner. Vindaloo?"
"Sounds lovely," you said, giving me a kiss on the cheek.
The day of that dream, I'd come across a loft in the historical district, where I lived in the greater metroplex, that was for sale. You and your x were looking for a weekend place, closer to the monoliths of downtown, to crash when out gallivanting. Funny. Back then I figured a weekend place was away from the borders of a city, but I was younger and impetuous.
You were over in Grand Junction, helping your parents pack up to make the transition to full-time Arizona residents. I was thanked for my armature efforts at reality and told of a photograph of you in a sombrero. When I saw it later, I almost laughed myself sick. On your way home that night, you swung by my place to give me a paper wasp's nest because you said it made you think of me.
I never told you, but that was one of the sweetest gifts I ever got from a girl. I didn't mention the dream I'd had with you. At the time, it would've been awkward, at best, and wrong action, at worst.
Although, I did eventually tell you about that dream. It was that night you got me drunk. Yes, you. I wanted to drink lemonade and read the bible. I wanted to walk with the lord. You weren't having that, oh no. You kept pouring wine down my throat, and what was I supposed to do? There are children-children!-who go to bed sober in India. I had to think of the children.
Don't look at me like that...
That was the night I tried to warn you about me. Oh, sure, we were fine friends, but anything else could be a bad scene. I am, at best, misanthropic, and you've always been far too extroverted for that. There are those who would say-quite baselessly, I might add-that I'm paradoxical. A girl of your regal bearing didn't need to be getting beyond platonic with a quirky bastard such as I.
Not that you listened, oh no. Instead, you took advantage of me. Yes, you. I tried to end the evening with me discreetly going to bed. To sleep. You were there, naked, jabbing your tongue down my throat, and what was I supposed to do?
I said don't look at me like that...
There have been times when I've questioned the sanctity of my dreams. That one about me and you in that badlands house. There were those dreams I had during my roaring twenties with the Buddhist motif, which I postulated to a street preacher were not unlike what the apostle formerly known as Saul, who changed his name to Paul, went through on the road to Damascus. I would dream of nowhere never-nevers with interesting geographies that operated in a wholly different manner than what some might call the real world. There are thousands of little omens over the years and lifetimes I've never mentioned to anyone.
Although, I should've known with you that night I saw you in the gin joint in the cowboy hat, but that's another story. Then again, I've never claimed to be psychic. The cats I've encountered who say that they are most assuredly are not.
And perhaps it's that; the questioning. It is not within my nature to take things without question and on blind faith. Remember, heretic. I get curious, I dissect. When it comes to finding the satisfactory answer, I can be relentless.
I wonder if those dreams and omens are nothing more than my own confirmation bias. Looking for patterns within the Tao of Chaos. False facts to fit my perception of reality.
Then I wonder how much it really matters. We are where we are now. That's not a dream. It is so spit-shiny real sometimes it borders upon surreal.
It has been quite some years since I had dream and you gave me the paper wasp's nest because it made you think of me. That house, which was based on one my parents lived in, is long gone. The badlands of eastern Colorado all but ceased to exist for me when my father moved from the Rub 'al Khali after my mother died. Much like North Carolina got buried with my father's mother. Other than memory and stories, neither of those places are truly real anymore. Dreams to be forgotten upon waking.
The house we live in is in a place you jump off the end of the world to reach-and here, there be dragons. I still make us dinner because that's what I do. I don't bother to ask you about going to those juke joints, instead about roadtrips and walkabouts.
It has nothing to do with visions, but I already know your answer...