Don’t Want to be Haunted by the Ghost

In the dream I’m in an airport waiting to depart. Not sure where I’m going but I have a sneaky suspicion it has something to do with the loonie-sized bony bump on my thigh. It is like the one I have at the base of my middle finger on my left hand, only much larger and not at a joint. In the dream, my thighs are much smaller like in the days of boys and bars. All I have is a small carry-on and a jean jacket. I’m wearing a pale blue checkered shirt, the one I used to have with the silver threading, and those short black lace-up boots with the 1-inch heel that I used to wear all the time. My hair is longish and light brown. I’m an odd caricature of myself from different times in my life.

I’m flipping through a magazine, not really reading, when I notice the guy. He’s middle-aged, pot-bellied and balding. His sweat stained tank top doesn’t quite reach the elastic waistband of the jogging pants hanging low off his hips. There are curly black hairs around his belly button. He looks a little crazy, and is definitely agitated as he tries to stuff his suitcase into a locker. It won’t fit. He starts swearing, jamming the suitcase harder. When he notices security officers approaching him, he starts yelling stuff like, “It’s not fair! You shouldn’t say it’s going to fit if it’s not going to fit! I’m a person too you know! I have rights!” And then he throws the suitcase and bolts, running right toward me where I’m sitting calming watching the scene. The security officers run after him, bellowing for back-up into their shoulder radios.

I don’t mean for it to happen, but when he runs through the aisle where I’m sitting he trips over my boots and falls face first onto the floor right at my feet. Security are on him before he knows what hit him. As they’re handcuffing him and pulling him up, he looks at me and I lean in and shrug. “Sorry,” I say. “I have big feet.” He nods and in a completely normal pleasant voice says, “oh, don’t worry about it, I understand. I’ve got big feet too.” And he holds up a foot for me to see. His feet are indeed pretty large for a man of his height.

Just then my flight is called for boarding. I shoulder my carry-on and get in line, but as the line winds its way through a hall I see that I’m not getting on a plane after all, but rather some kind of a fancy train. The extra-wide cars are made entirely of glass and inside instead of aisles and seats there are large ballrooms with round tables set in cream coloured linens and full-dinner service. Waiters in black tuxedos and white gloves rush around with silver trays in the air getting things ready for dinner. Passengers are being asked to board at the very back of the train. A uniformed conductor takes my ticket and helps me step across the gap.

Inside I find myself in a huge lounge. It’s like something out of the Roaring 20s, like a scene from Titanic (before it sunk). Chandeliers, thick tapestries, leather and mahogany furniture, a grand piano in one corner, jazz music … all the men wear tuxedos and chew on cigars while the women glitter in shimmery gowns and take slow long drags off cigarettes held in long holders. I’m shocked and amazed and feeling a little like Dorothy … We’re not in Kansas anymore

I climb into a high bar chair and order a glass of wine from the dapper little bartender. As I turn to set my bag on the chair beside me I notice a woman sitting there. It’s my friend Judy and she looks stunning in bright red flapper attire. I’m surprised to see her but she’s been waiting for me. We’ve been invited to this dinner. It’s important. I don’t know anything about this, but I go along. I am feeling pretty hungry. My wine arrives and we’re chatting and I’m starting to feel really good about this place, no matter if it’s not where I expected I would be. And then a man brushes against me as he steps up to the bar.

He wears a brown wool suit and his hands turn a Bowler hat round and round by its brim. He’s a sharp contrast to all the gloves, tails and top hats. He and I stick out in this crowd. Two of these things are not like the others. He turns sideways leaning on his elbow against the bar to survey the room while he waits for his rum drink. And then I see his face. He’s a little older than I remember, wrinkles around his eyes, less hair. He recognizes me at the same time and his hands stop fidgeting with his hat. We don’t say anything, just stare at each other. For the longest time. It’s like we’ve ceased to be in the room with everyone else, we’re on another plane. And then he smiles. “I should’ve called,” he says. And I smile. “Yeah, that would’ve been nice.” We stand there grinning at each other like maniacs. “But you’re here now,” I say. He laughs, shrugs, rolls his eyes. “Yeah,” he says. His eyes are so blue. Were they always this blue? “I’m here now,” he says. “You look good, Kel.” And he opens his arms and I bury myself in his chest as I hold on for dear life and the tears start to flow.

When I wake up it’s 7:30 on a Saturday and I’m singing Foo Fighters in my head:

I’m a one way motorway
I’m the one that drives away
then follows you back home
I’m a street light shining
I’m a wild light blinding bright
burning off alone

it’s times like these you learn to live again
it’s times like these you give and give again
it’s times like these you learn to love again
it’s times like these time and time again

Mood: dream-like
Drinking: hot chocolate
Listening To: Haunted, The Pogues with Sinead O’Connor
Hair: in a messy pixie

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