The Dream

Sometimes I dream of the place, and the dream is like this:

A street, in sun. Under snow. Blanketed by waves of oppressive heat and pounding rain, rain that bounces up from the concrete and defeats the umbrella. Spring air, clean and fresh and laced with cherry blossom pollen and car exhaust. Summer air, rank with mold and that’s the smell of Tokyo for me for it was the first smell I smelled when I arrived.

Cool nights, running alone along darkened suburban streets, the slap of my sneaker’d feet lost under the electronic blare of a now-ancient and long-lost digital music player that strapped around a bicep years before iPods were even things.

Hot nights, sweating alone in front of a glowing CRT monitor too heavy and thick to be real. Building websites and writing dark poetry in the broken air conditioner near-torpor of creative denial. Writing a lot of words I’d later regret.

Making love on a rough carpet, burning my knees and not caring. Making love for the last time with the woman I’d spend most of my life with.

And long, long days of captivity. More stifling than the heat and the society that pressed around me. Crushing the soul and reducing the drive but paying oh-so very well it's almost criminal. Then the understanding of the actual slavery involved, and the years spent wriggling myself loose from those shackles.

All of this in an afternoon, coming hot and quick during a siesta and I’m awake, and free, and still as lost as I ever was.


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