Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Those strangers who sometimes populate
our dreams, those whom we have never met
yet in our somnolence, know well.
How is it they take such fleeting residence
in our dark night minds? Last night, this visitor:
the lovely, tall woman whose name is Lor,
short, I guess, for Laura. She prefers Lor for its
mythic quality, a conceit that may be true of all
dream strangers. We share a mutual but
cautious attraction, the beginning of a courtship.
I feel the irresistible lure into unexplored spaces
of the heart. She shares a ground-floor apartment
with a male roommate, Joe or Tom or Steve, a
monosyllabic who is trouble. Her sister is Pamela,
photos of her frame the hallway. Lor is thin, with
sandy skin and short-cropped blonde hair that
suggest California and sunlit beaches, ocean.
We sit outside her apartment now, afternoon,
plastic deck chairs on a concrete slab, while her
roommate throws a tantrum inside. Sawdust
from a construction project across the street
floats in the air: wooden snow. “Is it always like this?”
I ask, meaning him. “Pretty much,” she admits,
resigned to his behavior for some reason she
fails to elaborate. Later we are inside, her space
daylight in springtime, discretely floral. I have
never seen this place awake, yet the subtle
scent of lilac drifting from her bedroom lingers,
coats me in a kind of memory that folds around me
long after I have finished my first cup of coffee.
c. 2012, by Martin A. Bartels, working draft
(part of my new collection, “Unlanguage”)