Monday, November 16, 2020

Dream Theater: Visiting the S____ Family

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I rode my bike to to the S____'s. They'd moved since the last time I'd seen them, and were living in a big bungalow-style home on a corner lot with a big tree in the front yard.

Their daughter J____ was there, looking down onto the street from a treehouse high above. She was so much older than the last time I'd seen her.

G____ was sitting on the porch, reading a book and drinking coffee. She saw me as I rolled into view, and greeted me with a look that said there was no point in walking up the stairs and saying hello.

M____ was nearby, sitting with a group of their new neighbors, so engaged in conversation with them that he didn't even notice me.

I wondered why I'd made the trip, and what I'd hoped to accomplish with such a sudden appearance. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dream Theater: Temporary Exterminator

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I went back to my hometown of Knoxville, Iowa for a short while, to work as an exterminator. I had a list of homes to inspect and, if necessary, place poison and traps.

The first was on the far east side of town, an apartment in one of several run-down buildings. The tenants were home and turned out to be a surprisingly young and attractive man and woman. They didn't seem like the type to be living in that kind of an apartment in a town like Knoxville. I was tempted to ask if they were happy there and if they had plans to eventually leave.

They lead me around a warren of small rooms, each with a different color and kind of linoleum on the floor that gave the place a jumbled, disorganized feel. What little furniture I saw was worn and obviously second-hand. The walls were bare and in need of fresh paint. There was no TV or other electronics. It occurred to me they were probably just starting out, and this was their first place together.

We ended up in the living room. A mattress occupied the middle of the floor, and on it a second couple was having vigorous sex, oblivious to our presence.

The first couple acted as though this sort of thing happened all the time, and stood there waiting to explain who I was and why I was there. I waited, too, watching the action before me and feeling a bit perverted, but also admiring the energy with which young people--particularly young men--can fuck.

And then I was examining the perimeter of the room, looking for the telltale signs of insect and rodent infestations.

But there was nothing. No holes or gaps in the walls or floorboards, no mouse droppings scattered like black grains of rice.

There was nothing I could do for them. I thanked them for their time, apologized for the interruption, and went on to my second stop.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dream Theater: Library Makeup

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You could check out makeup from the public library.

This is something I discovered purely by accident, when I wandered into the back.

There were shelves and shelves of it in baskets and bins, organized by type. Concealers in one group, eye shadows in another, lipsticks of every possible shade, endless tubes of mascara. Foundations and powders, brow pencils and contour sticks.

The majority of it was in pretty bad shape.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Dream Theater: A Body in the Tub

Photo from
Photo from

I was back in the house where I grew up, in the middle of the night.

I woke up in my bedroom and had to go to the bathroom, so I walked down the hall in the dark, knowing exactly where the door was.

When I turned on the light, there was a body floating in several inches of water. Not a complete body, but one that appeared to be in the midst of being formed.

Where the head should have been there was only a fleshy stem, much longer and thinner than a neck. Similar half-formed growths took the place of the arms and legs. The torso itself was smooth, and a raw-looking pink as though several layers of skin still needed to be added.

As in so many other dreams, I tried to shout, to wake up everyone else in the house so they could see what I'd found.

But my mouth wouldn't open, and no sound came out. And as I continued trying to make some kind of noise, the body began to stir, sloshing around, trying to pull itself out of the tub.