Tag Archives: dreams

The Past Catches Up


She hated it when P.E. class became co-ed in their freshman year, even if they just played dodgeball. The guys always waited until the teacher wasn’t looking to throw the dimpled red ball as hard as possible to hit the girls. They aimed at either the bum or the boobs. Every time.

Mr. Ray Monroe once told her, “Pay no mind to them boys. If they pick on ya, that means they like ya.” She could never fathom how abuse equaled fondness. Mr. Monroe turned his head from that business. He probably threw things at girls when he was young, too.

The thought of their high school reunion being just a week away put her in a funk. Why put herself through such misery to see those same guys again? The people she wanted to stay in touch with were still her friends, and the others didn’t matter.

Her hometown hadn’t changed at all, and she doubted the people had either. Many stayed there after graduation, working mundane jobs to pay the bills. Survival would be difficult without an elixir to pass time, so the tavern earned a lot of that take-home pay. That’s how she imagined Matt’s life of subsistence to be unless things had drastically changed for him.

He’d be at the reunion. No way to avoid seeing him. His wavy red hair and deep, hearty laugh haunted her dreams. That wry smile. A repetitive invitation to reunite. Awakening brought back reality.

Unsure how to react at seeing him live, instead of through a subconscious illusion in her sleep, she resigned herself to go anyway. Not going would otherwise feel like defeat. She took time off work to go.

She’d have to speak to him but wasn’t looking forward to it. He cared not one whit for how she felt, then or now, and his apathy left her heartbroken and despondent.

Three days passed with no sunshine, and she hated to wake in the morning to yet another rainfall battering the window. It took every ounce of mental energy to rise from bed and face the day. Want of coffee can convince anyone to at least venture from the solace of the bedroom to the kitchen for a cup. An extra-strong espresso started the morning of the reunion, and caffeine jitters got her through the day.

She put the gearshift in park upon arriving at the venue. Semi-familiar faces greeted each other with smiles at the entrance, and everyone shook hands while adhering adhesive name tags to save each other from awkward re-introductions.

“It’s time to get over this bullshit and face him. I’m not that intimidated girl in gym class any more,” she thought. She steadied her nerves, reached under the seat to grab the bottle, and took a last long drink to stoke some courage. “Here goes nothing,” she told herself and opened the car door to go inside.

*Studio 30+ writing prompt – mundane

image: commons.wikimedia.orgs30p


Filed under fiction, writing

Just like a dream

via Andrew on Flickr

via Andrew on Flickr

Those dreams would sometimes wake him up in the middle of the night. Otherwise, he’d have a déjà vu moment during the work day and remember her having visited during the night. It would almost seem real for a moment, like he forgot some triviality of their long ago history that was only imagined but played back from a mental record during the REM cycle.

The minutia retained was incredible and came back to him in a sweeping flood. Kind words she expressed, seductively subtle looks she gave him. He knew those were fantasy, as such things had been few and far between in reality. Demonstrative affection was cherished but rare in that life they shared such a very long time ago.

Here it was, 20 years or more later, and Mara still crept back into Trip’s dreams like a hungry stray cat that can only find one place offering it something to eat. The timing of how Mara slunk back into his subconscious usually coincided with stressful points in his life, as if that scraggly feline knew just when to howl from the top of a moonlit fence.

Nebulous memories floated around his subconscious, linking his dreamscape to an original attraction to Mara. He wondered what superficial attribute she must have possessed to first gain his misguided loyalty. A Freudian would probably tell him it all went back to his mother, considering the way one tiny morsel of Mara’s attention made up for their lack of intimacy. His want for passion. The topic was a veritable psychoanalyst’s heyday. Knowing the cause would give Trip no solace. 

Once they got to know each other better, Trip realized how Mara liked to stay in a semi-permanent state of self-medication. She jokingly referred to it as being “Super Stupid,” like it was all a fun game, this business of substance abuse and self-absorption. They say ego and vanity go along with addiction, much like a parasite living off its host.

Some corpuscle of goodness drew him to Mara, though, and was resurrected in those nightly transmissions. Her ethereal face with its coy smile pulled him closer in the world of slumber, where no apologies are necessary. Time was suspended there – she had no other lover, no children, just him. She just wanted him and would make up for past transgressions. Damned if the next morning didn’t launch in surrealism as if the exchange could’ve just happened.

Lucky for Trip he didn’t think Mara personified all women, or he’d forever be alone. A common personality trait in the human population unfortunately includes a striking similarity to a chapped ass. Mara’s was proof positive. Certain women hide it better at first glance and then just mask it with whiskey and a smattering of charm here and there. Much like some men, Trip acquiesced.

Awaking in a lingering fog, the latest dream slowly released Trip from its wispy tendrils, their loose grip finally let go. He shook off the residual haze, as if to shoo away the feral cat and send it to feed elsewhere, and realized his luck at being alone in the bed. It was just a dream … not a nightmare … but not the fantasy he’d always wanted their relationship to be. Only in a state of repose could it meet his expectations, and only there was she tame.

Leaving was one of the best things he’d ever done, if only his sleep would realize so.

*This post was prompted by parasite at Studio 30 Plus.  s30p


Filed under fiction, writing