In this place of dreams dreamt, I danced on a verdant green lawn with a hound and a herder. They were Sam and Buster, and Sam was the colour of dirty snow sprinkled liberally with cinnamon, his long ears folded down over his cheeks and his brown, brown eyes half-closed in the sun. Buster was black, with a white beard and throat, longer-haired, blue-eyed, nipping. Then I was in a place that was no place at all, yet somewhere I have ever been. A young blond boy, covered in mud, tramped through a garden of pumpkin and watermelon, splashing mud up to his eyebrows and laughing.
This is where my grandmother sat: on a concrete patio in the sun bounded on one side by a rickety trellis. Up one step on a higher patio was my granny (the woman who cared for me when I was a child). My aunts were there also, although I could not hear their voices. The house on the hill was made of glass. And through it all shone the sun, bright and brilliant.
Later, when the talking was done (although I don’t remember talking; I just know it happened. Except when Granny said, “that boy is just like you were. I had to hose you off every day if there was mud.”), I was in a room into which I had not gone, but there I was. It was panelled in pressboard made to look like cedar boards, cluttered on every surface with video tapes and cameras and booms. In under a mixing/cutting board was a low bed with a dark green blanket rumpled on top. I knew whose room it was; a lover I had once into whose eyes I fell whole-hearted.
It was the place I had been staying, though he was not around. And I saw on the bedside table (dresser) a letter addressed to me. I could not open it; it could not be opened. Rather, it was a disc. One I knew I had lost years ago. And the handwritten note stuck to it was from my oldest childhood friend.
I’m not at all interested in LARP, it said, in her squat hand, but if I were, I’m certain you would be a lovely person to pretend with.
Was that letter meant for me, then? Or for him?
No, it was for me. Of this I was certain.
The dogs had gone, the sun had set, and the garden with its rickety trellis had faded, folding itself into the gloaming.
Listen to this song and know that I am watching.