What’s book of life? The girl says
I don’t know. Hard to explain.
Why are you crying?
I have a demon beside me.
Where? I don’t see it. Does it eat oranges?
Let me ask. Yes. He says he likes them.
Maybe I should give him an orange. Would that help?
You can try.
For the past three days, you’ve been crying. No reason. No rhyme to it. You just cry at the sight of trees. Or a car with plates from somewhere with trees. Dreaming isn’t kind. It’s mean. Last night you were called to paint a room. Which color would you choose? You thought you’d like to try to paint it blue, different shades. But you knew you were dreaming, and the dream-room isn’t real. And the walls would vanish. Did the man by the East gate nail the jackrabbit’s ear on the trunk of the tree for you? Are you listening? Someone in the coffee shop talks about her roommates in college. They did drugs. She left. You imagine an orgy of limbs. She writes in her journal, I hate it here. I want to escape.
Before you fell asleep, you texted a friend. He didn’t respond. In your dream, he responded. He talked back to you. Something evil. Unkind. You woke, crying. The window bit your ankles. I’m still alive, you thought. I hate it here.
The man by the East gate can’t eat. He’s lost his appetite.The mare is coming along well, he thought. Someday, I’ll make love to a woman and tell her my secrets, he says to the mouse. Why are you still here? The mouse gathers a nest for himself. Listens to the man speak, dreams of being eaten.
I found an orange! The girl says.
Give it him.
Where is he?
I don’t know. Let me peel it.
Do you wanna know how to see auras again?
I need words. That’s why I’m here, remember?
What’s the book of life?
I told you, no one knows.
I probably have one inside me.
Next to your stars?
Maybe. You can’t see them, can you?
You taste like man.
What does man taste like?
You think the sun is a gift. At least today it is. The body wants warmth, and you’re glad. Bless the sun, you think.
There’s no point to numerical equations.There’s no point to anything at all. The girl with no-face sits down across from you.
Whatcya thinkin’?……Look, you may as well talk to me.
I had a dream about a dentist. He wanted to take me to the ocean. There were whales.
Did the whales eat you?
No. They tried to carry me away.
See any tattoos lately? Or horses? 33X07?
No. There’s no point to anything, is there?
My arm is disappearing.
So is mine.
The man by the East gate can’t sleep. The new mare tells him there’s a girl in a field he should know about.
I nailed the ear, didn’t I? he says. Shit. What else do I gotta do? Perhaps I should start playin’ the guitar again. You got any visions for me?
The mare refuses to eat.
Jealous cunt! Why won’t you eat? I’ll play ya a song. How’s this?
He picks up the Martin and starts strumming a song his daddy taught him.
Now all we need is a campfire, eh? Ha! I feel it in my bones. Mmmm-hmmm, Oh, she’s on her way.
The mare says she’s not hungry. She won’t sing.
Damn woman! I’m callin’ Joe. You ain’t gonna sing for me, I’m sendin’ you back!
Joe? Where you at? Ruidoso? This mare’s a dud!
I don’t give a good damn! She’s lame!
Can you get here by tomorrow? What?
Well screw the tracks, Joe, I’ll take whatever you can giveme. I know you got your bets, but I got my visions. I need to fulfill them. No, I’m not drinkin!
I hear he’s lookin’ for a new horse, says the girl.
The man by the East gate.
I used to be a horse.
Yeah, you told me.
Wanna see what I found last night?
My arm is disappearing.
That happens sometimes. Like auras. How’s your demon?
He’s taking a walk.
I hope he’s back by midnight. I wanna show him the ear I found.
I think he’ll like it. I think he’ll eat it.
Well, he didn’t eat the orange.
Can I have it? My stars are hungry.
The café is filled with squeeling college students. This makes you anxious. Angry. You’re not sure why the dentist wanted you to go to the ocean. The whales were scary, but there were a couple dolphins.
You thinkin’ about your dream again? Says the girl with no-face.
I know it’s weird to talk to me. I know you think you’re goin’ crazy.
Naw, I’m used to it by now.
Well ain’t it about time! Ha! I think the whales wanted to show you somethin’
Remember how yesterday you were reading about conscious-dreaming?
You thought it didn’t work, right?
Well, I did get that text in the dream. So maybe I was communicating with something.
True. But you didn’t follow the whales.
No. I was scared.
I don’t know.
Did the dentist show up after you got out of the ocean?
I think so. I think we walked along the shore.
Did he say anything?
I don’t remember.
You got a ways before you see auras again.
Who said I wanted to see them again?
Oh come on. I’m not real, remember? I hear your thoughts before you know ’em.
The girl with no-face kicks up her legs, laughs.
The window bites your ankles. I’m still alive, you think. I hate it here.
You know what? says the girl, dancing in the dust.
Your demen and I talked last night.
I wanted to show him the ear on the tree.
Did he eat it?
No. He said that’s for you. He said his name’s Dead Man.