I gotta tell you about this nightmare I’m having. At least talk about it so I can remember it later, tell you in person.
I dreamt you died, murdered. Gnarly right? Someone had cut your throat open and your blood was all over the outside patio. Same spot you asked me to marry you, where we finally decided to have kids, where you chipped your tooth trying to do a handstand. Hahaha. You are not coordinated, my love.
Who would do such a thing to you? Hurt you like that? Take you from me. It was so vivid, even for a dream. Still is...
I’m here, in our shop, but it isn’t. It’s dark, always dark, and someone is always watching, just beyond the walls somehow, from above, from just outside my line of sight. I even caught movement once, something that sounded like the fluttering of wings.
If I wasn’t dreaming, I’d say I was crazy.
I-- I killed myself. That’s why they say I’m here. Stuck in this place that’s home, but isn’t.
“They.” Yeah, after I swallowed a bunch of pills with that bottle of Russian Pride you kept in the freezer, I found myself in my dad’s old ’89 Lebaron, staring out the window at a liquor store. I could see him through the window, my dad, nervously playing Keno like he would every morning before he dropped me and my sisters off at school. He wanted to hit that jackpot so bad and when he didn’t... I dreaded his return trip to the car. Never went well. He never won.
That’s how I was feeling. Then, there was someone sitting in the front seat to my left. I’d never seen him before. He was older – a white beard – but like baby fresh skin, sparkling white teeth, like a talk show host; it seemed like he was wearing a mask. And his eyes, just this bright, glowing blue. That was the scariest part of him. Oh, and he smelled like absolute shit. Like when the toilet leaked sludge in the studio bathroom for those few days, only like a hundred times worse.
He told me that I was “a prime candidate for The Pit,” with this spooky-ass smile. “Just needed to get me through processing,” he went on, tapping his manicured nails on the steering wheel.
I tried to adjust a bit to the right to get away from that smell when, seated on the other side of me was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. But I guess she wasn’t just a woman because she immediately announced that she was “of the celestial order... an ‘angel,’ to simplify.” She didn’t smell at all. She was so warm and welcoming. Kind of like that first cup of coffee in the morning. Said her name was Maggie.
We sat in silence for a time, with Maggie spritzing an air freshener at the creepy old mannequin-man next to me a few times to cut that stench down, before the radio to the Lebaron came on and announced “proceedings must be administered immediately. You may pass through.”
With that, the old man revved the engine and I was on the floor in some circular room, just outside a massive, crooked, metallic, bad-ass looking door – that vision of the liquor store and my father, angrily ripping up his Keno ticket, on the other side.
The heavy door slid closed on its own and suddenly the smelly old doll-man was back on my left and the supermodel angel was back on my right. I have to tell you the Maggie chick had the coolest wings inked down her back. I’m jealous of the work, even better line work than yours. I know, I know, Jamie, that’s blasphemy.
Then they started in on each other. She called him a Melfircrumum or something, and I think I remember hearing the word “demon,” which would explain the smell and while he was obviously afraid of the taller woman, he did manage to get out “it is not fair that my counterpoint in these proceedings is one of the most powerful Authority Dominion’s in existence!”
The only point of their bickering I remember was something about CLAUSE 1: True love is grounds for salvation. Then this Maggie, the angel, bent down to face me with a smile and said, “You are a special one, Hannah Donovan. Love has earned you a stay of damnation... You’re welcome.”
With that, I found myself outside the shop, keys in my hand. I thought I’d been daydreaming or something. I walked in and saw your blood on the floor. Went out into the patio and there was a stain from where I’d found you. I fell to my knees. I couldn’t stop crying, I spent a year and a half crying after you were murdered. In this nightmare. In this endless nightmare.
I haven’t stopped killing myself. Again and again. I’ve lost count. Then I wanted to feel pain, so I sliced my wrists and watched the blood drip onto yours.
I haven’t seen you for so long, when will this nightmare end?
It hasn’t been all bad though, Jamie. I’ve been visited by that Maggie. She’s got a stick up her butt, to the letter, but has this consoling way about her. Just makes you want you to dance, to fly.
And I did...
Just now, a few moments ago, I was bleeding on the floor and she was here and then a flash of blue light and I was in the air, twisting and turning in this amazing warmth, it tickled everything, tempered my sadness. But I didn’t want this sadness to go away, because you were taken from me and I screamed for that pain and was back on the floor, alone...
Is this a dream, Jamie? Can you please wake me up? Make me a cup of coffee.
Please, my love. I’ll be waiting here.