Sunday, January 4, 2009

The dead come out at night

Well not every night but pretty regularly. If I dream I see them, all my friends, the ones who are gone. Sometimes I dream weird, random scenes but mostly it's them.
We are always in some in-between place that I've never been to but seem to recognize in bits and pieces.......bits and pieces of my life. Places I've lived,passed through or just vaguely remember. It's all stiched together... cut and paste, a Frankenstein nightmare....of my memories.
They exist in this purgatory and it's a world all it's own, it has streets and domiciles. Rooms upon rooms filled with scattered remembrances, insignificant trifles that become frighteningly meaningful if I gaze at them long enough.
I see the Saint Michael candles I gave Mikey when he got his first apartment, the Hello Kitty radio Ash kept in her motel room, the books Sarah left in my car years and years ago. It makes no sense at all and all the sense in the world.
Walking down a dirt road towards a lighted window, knowing that someone is waiting for me. The house is familiar, our old place on Monterey but when the door swings open it's a room at the Tower. It smells the same, cigarettes and smack, the TV on with the volume down....some song I can't make out playing on the radio...Ash's radio.
Mikey walks out of the bathroom and smiles at me and it's like he'd never gone...only he has. I hug him and we sit on the bed and talk, I recall nothing but the fact that we talk and laugh and I miss him terribly, even as I see him sitting beside me.
Suddenly outside and the dirt road is replaced by the parking lot behind the Padre. We're walking to Ripper's, I've made this trip a million times but it's different somehow. The street signs are blurry, everything is out of focus. The harder I try to make it out the hazier it gets.
We see Sara and she walks with us, saying she's headed to Rip's as well. After a few blocks she puts her hand on my shoulder and stops me, "You can't tell anyone about this, you know that don't you?" She's looking into my earnest, almost pleading, "You'll only hurt them if you do."
Tell them what? I'm confused, the dread starting to knot my gut, I know I'm not going to like this.
She's telling me they're all there, living in this in-between place, living in old memories and forgotten occurrences. Not dead...not alive...truly in limbo. Not because they had done wrong but because that's where they...we belong....all of us....eventually.
I look to Mikey for confirmation, he gives me a sad smile, nods his head then looks away.
Turning, I see my sweet baby Ron run across the street towards us. He throws his arms around me and I start to cry.
Ron my beautiful boy, my 19yr old baby, like a little brother, gone for more years than I care to remember. He looks the same...smiles the same smile, wipes my tears and asks what he can do to make me feel better....sounds the same...the same sweet kid. My angel faced boy, that innocent face hiding the mind of a born hustler but he was my baby bro and had a good heart.
I've missed him so much it hurts to look at him but I won't look away, afraid that if I do he'll disappear. I love him like a kid brother, he may as well be my flesh and blood...I love him... my own private tragedy.
I smile and mourn.
He takes my hand and it's like the years melt away, I feel his fingers twine through mine, so alive.
It's a lie.
My Ronnie is gone away...just like Sara and Mikey, just like Ash and Ripper...just like all the others.....
We wander through the dream scape and I see it shift, swirling into new locals with every step. Our destination is the same but we travel a far different path than any I have ever taken. Sara's arm through mine, my hand clutching the deceptive security of Ron's hand, Mikey slightly ahead.....we walk.
I see Sammy working in the old shop on Chester and I know that Ash is somewhere out there as well, I can feel her....I can feel them all. Such sweet devastation and I don't care, I'll bear it just to have them near me again.
The dream ends before we reach our goal but it doesn't matter, it was never about the destination, it was about the journey. The time I spent in the presence of my long gone babies.
I wake up,tears on my cheeks, I can still smell the scent of Sara's perfume and feel the strength of Ron's hand in mine....Mikey's arms hugging me goodbye, almost tangible...almost.
One long convoluted trip but my fondest hope is to go back, to see their faces once more. The not quite dead.
It's all a lie, a glitch in my subconscious.....something I've created to keep them fresh in my mind and ever closer to my heart. I'm deceiving myself on some basic level and I don't care. It's all I have of them and I'll take whatever I can get, that single, hideous lie is better than a million beautiful truths.
I feel like I've cheated, like I dodged a bullet I so deserve....I should be there, alongside them. They weren't perfect but they were mine. Most of them better people than I will ever be...yet they're gone and here I sit.
Content to be worthless...proud to be hopeless and without an once of shame for the things I've done. Irony hangs thick in the air this night.
I'm thinking about the whys and what ifs...something I rarely do. Hindsight is an insidious form of guilt, it sneaks up on you ....and guilt is a useless emotion.
Guilt will get you nowhere, it changes nothing....damages more than it heals. It promotes self loathing and uncertainty...self pity. Misspent energy....rehashing events that have come and gone, look to the future. As a people we rarely learn from our mistakes, we're stupid that way.
So says me as I hope against hope that I will dream of in-between places and the not quite dead. I'm a contradiction, possibly an abomination and I don't care...all that and more, I'll take it....make it mine, make it work for me. Make you love me for it or hate me all the more, you decide...never any middle ground with me.
The people who know me in real life will read this and recognize it for what it is, see me for what I've always been. Adored...abhorred, two sides of the same coin...flip it, see what you feel for me today...
A place I love, where half the denizens prize me and the other half despise me......but either way they all know my name. Not a pretty sentiment but honest....always honest.
Profound nonsense but I record it anyway lest tomorrow wash it from my mind, I need to remember. It's not funny, it's not entertaining and it's surely not clever, it is what it is, it is what I am...for the moment.
A fantastic disaster in love with a hideous lie.