This bite is from one of my more vivid dreams. It’s rare that I remember so much from one night, but I needed to get it down whilst I did. There are bits before this that I remember also, but they’re fragments and I’ll get to them separately, if at all. This bite contains a lot of contextual direction-description. If you can’t follow the map in my head, I’m sorry, but I hope to get it down on paper for you soon.
I’m walking with my cousin. She’s not any of my actual cousins – you know, from Real Life – but in here she’s my mother’s brother’s daughter. We’re not really walking. Well, maybe she is, but I’m loping. That’s the closest word I can ascribe to the action. It’s like… jumping across river stones, the childhood imaginings of a moon-leap-step, or the stretch of legs a hurdler uses, only lower to the ground. I can go really far with one, as though gravity stops applying with such force in those moments when I’m completely off the ground. She keeps up, somehow.
This dream-me is taller than real-me. I don’t know for sure how tall, but it feels six feet. My cousin is chin height on me, so maybe five-four? She’s got straight black hair, cut around her chin but angled a little to be longer in front. She parts it in the middle. She smiles those secret-smiles of people who know more than they’re letting on, though she’s not mean about it. She’s wearing a skirt or a jumper-dress, I’m not too sure, but she has a long-sleeve top on too, striped horizontally. I think her skirt-dress is green: olive-y. The shirt is white and creamy-orange. She’s wearing tights, I think, and Mary Janes. I’m wearing jeans again, which is more common in my dreams than Real Life. This time they’re tighter, though not form fitting, and lighter-coloured. I’ve got on red sneakers, this time, still the skateboarder-type. I think I’m wearing a tee-shirt, though I don’t know for sure. Whatever the sleeve-length, it’s a bright-ish colour. My hair is fire-engine red, and I’ve got freckles. I’m not sure on the style of my hair, but I think it’s in braids: two of them reaching my mid to lower back.
We’re walking home from school. The streets are lined with warehouses in bright colours, though they’re all metal siding rusting away and boarded up broken windows. Dystopian Utopia is the closest I can come to a name for it. It’s carefully crafted ruin; ‘shabby chic’ on a city-wide scale. The streets are well taken care of, as if the society we’re in doesn’t care about it’s buildings, but has one hell of a Department of Transportation. There are few cars on the streets, though there are enough that we have to beware when we cross them.
The sky is brilliant blue with a few luscious white clouds; it’s maybe three in the afternoon. It’s summer, or close to, as we didn’t actually have school that day, but were there for some other reason. We’re on the left sidewalk, as you stand behind us, and we reach a corner. We turn, then stop at the next corner. A crossroads, literally, that has me bounding ahead (though it’s really to the right). I make it across before the light changes and we’re separated for once. She’s waiting on the other side, so I explore a bit. The forward side of this cross street, the side I’m on, is blissfully open. I’m now on the right side of a huge hill (though not The Hill). There’s fencing on the outer sides of the sidewalk because the land simply… isn’t there. It’s far below, and free of clustering buildings: I’m looking down on a vast green parkland that I cannot reach.
I cross the road again, to the left of me. At the same time, my cousin makes it to the corner I just left. We’re separated still, though I’m not paying attention to that. I think I see her walk past me, not down the hill, but following the right-hand sidewalk of the street we first crossed. I turn, follow her for a bit, calling out, but realise it’s not her. This girl’s wearing a red zip-up sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. I turn again and see my cousin behind me. She’s called my name, I think, and stands in the middle of the hill-street at the top. She’s not alone.
I’m back at the corner (left side, top of the hill) though I don’t remember moving. My cousin is beside me, half-behind me. I’m carrying two plastic spoons. There are five or six heavy-set Hispanics still in the middle of the road. There are suddenly no more cars around. I’m not sure heavy-set is the right word. The men aren’t fat, they’re as if… as if they used to be muscular but stopped working out, and the muscles just… sagged a bit. They’re tattooed, wearing white tank-tops and black tee-shirts with jeans and white trainers. Not much jewelery. Most of them are shaved-head-bald, all of them are taller than me.
The leader – the tallest, the one in the middle of their huddle – calls out to me. “So! I finally get to meet my sister-in-law!”
I know he’s my cousin’s ex-boyfriend. I know he knows we’re not sisters. Somehow, I know his words mean that his brother has ‘claimed’ me. I’ve never met any of them before. They’ve never met me. I’m still not confused, and only mildly irritated. I still have my plastic spoons.
My cousin is now under his arm; her body half-turned towards him but her face fully towards me, complete with pleading look. She doesn’t want him there. He’s an ex for a reason. I’ve got the arm of a thug around my shoulder: almost a choke-hold, but not. He’s on my left, his meaty right arm weighing me down. I know it’s not leader’s brother. We fight, scrabble really, and move downhill as we do. Our positions don’t really change. We stop close to the bottom of the hill, near where the upkept designer-ramshackle warehouses start again. I raise my right arm, one of my plastic spoons clenched in my fist, and place the curved edge dangerously close to his left eye. I don’t know what I say. It’s threatening enough that he stills instantly and soft enough that we’re the only two that hear it. The spoon in my hand melts a little, bubbles and reforms. First it shifts to spork, then fork, then knife. It’s still plastic: the type you find in a cafeteria or fast-food joint; it’s still pointed at his eye. I say something else, he nods. I lower my weapon, reshaping it to the spoon it was. He lets me go.
I turn towards the top of the hill, and the thug is back with his leader, my cousin is at my side again. The hill is much taller-higher-longer now. Together, we turn away from them, and continue towards her house. I’ve no longer got the spoons. We smile, laugh, chat. I lope. She keeps up, somehow.