We were at some kind of outdoor festival in a hilly town. It looked European but in my mind I thought it was somewhere in the States. Maybe one of those tourist traps sprinkled throughout the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee where you can find shops selling crystals and trolls.
They were getting ready to roast a pig and had dug a pit. Instead of a fire, a curved sheet of metal had been put in the bottom of the pit to reflect heat. For some reason I knew it was very hot. Maybe the burning logs were underneath the metal? I could see it radiating in waves that distorted the air above it.
We were both very drunk. You got it into your head to roll around in the pit so you slid down one side feet first. But you got stuck. I looked on in horror since I knew you would be burned badly. I yelled at you to get the fuck out of there! You did but just laughed.
You were wearing a tight white t-shirt with big block letters spelling something out that I can’t remember. You’d cut off the sleeves, of course. I ran up to you and turned you around. The hot metal had burned off the t-shirt and the skin underneath was all black and blistery. I gasped and said, we have to get you to a hospital. But you said, no, it was fine.
Just then, three straight German backpackers trotted up wearing giant dark sunglasses with beer mugs in their hands. These guys show up in my dreams every once in a while. I have no idea who they are. Anyway, they convinced you to go off with them looking for girls. You told me you’d see me around.
I was so angry with you, but couldn’t decide whether it was because you’d hurt yourself and didn’t seem to care, or if it was because you ditched me.
You were working at some giant grocery store and I had come to visit you. Maybe I was thinking of Whole Foods where you used to work. I rode up on a BMX bike but when I got off it I realized that I didn’t have a lock. I left it outside anyway. Throughout the whole dream I had this vague dread that someone had stolen my bike.
The store had its own huge farm area and you were the horticulturist, growing heirloom fruits and vegetables. You were also a caterer. You’d invited me over to eat.
While waiting on your dinner break, I wandered around the store for hours and finally found the farm in the back. It was huge and partially covered. For the entertainment of the people who worked there, they’d installed some sort of glider that could be launched into the air and people could take rides on it.
You showed up on a break and we got in and went up into the sky. The glider was kind of like a motorbike with a sidecar but it had wings. I have no idea how it was launched. It was attached to the ground with a cable but I don’t remember any sort of mechanical means to get us into the air.
When we were flying, I could look down over the farm and could see how big it was, like a small town. Very lush and full of color and sunlight. I was so proud of you for having created it.
The wind was rushing past us so fast. I could hear the wings flapping and straining as we got higher and higher. You knew I was afraid of heights and took my hand. I looked over at you said, I would never have been able to do this without you, you know. I felt such joy and freedom.
Later we got locked in the store and had to break a window to get out. My bike had indeed been stolen but in its place was a scooter. We got on together and rode off.
In this dream, I was getting ready to kill myself with the helium method. I was alone in some house I didn’t recognize. The helium tank was there and the bag was attached to a plastic tube. Instead of plastic though, this bag was made of fuzzy fabric, striped to look like a watermelon. I put it over my head and turned on the gas. As the bag filled and expanded around my head, it went from opaque to transparent, with just the shadows of the stripes still visible at the bottom and top.
I began to panic and almost took the bag off, but didn’t.
I don’t remember anything else.
Chris, who is dead
I was backpacking through Russia in the summertime and was walking through a square filled with people eating and drinking in outdoor cafés. I was by myself. I walked by a big table of people and cruised a couple of the hotter butch Russian guys. They noticed me looking and laughed. I passed by the table, sipping some beverage.
I walked a few feet and heard someone calling my name from behind me. I didn’t know anyone in Russia but I turned around anyway. I couldn’t see anyone who looked familiar. Then I noticed an older brown-skinned man sitting at the table full of cute Russian boys. He was waving at me and smiling. I didn’t know who he was, but I went back to check it out.
The older man was wearing a bright, multi-colored striped t-shirt. He was a bit chubby and had nappy hair that stood up on top of his head, with close-cropped sides. I stopped, stood in front of him and then began to suspect I knew him.
Then he said, Rick, you don’t recognize me?
So I looked closer. Despite the change in skin color, hair, and wardrobe, I could see the familiar Santa-Claus cheeks and the mischievous eyes of my old friend Chris was undoubtably my best friend among the sexpats in Prague. He was a 60-something antiques dealer who moved to Prague mostly to escape the... from Prague. (Chris was undoubtably my best friend among the sexpats in Prague. He was a 60-something antiques dealer who moved to Prague mostly to escape the... wore eyeglasses when he was alive, but in the dream, at one moment he’d have glasses on and in the next moment they were gone.) But I was still confused. I just stood there with my mouth open, astonished, my heart beating faster.
You told me that you’d faked your death to escape…something, I didn’t understand that part…and had moved to Russia. In St. Petersburg, where I guess we were, some “underground scientists” had changed your appearance so you’d never be found.
When were you going to tell me? I asked you. It had been over a year since your boyfriend Jaro told me you had died of a brain tumor.
You shrugged, stuck a lollipop in your mouth and said, When I knew I was safe. But I’m so happy to see you! And look, we’re surrounded by hot butch boys!
It’s real interesting here, you said like you always said.
And we were and it was. But I was still very fucking angry at you.
I took your phone number and we agreed to meet for cocktails later in the evening at some hustler bar.
If the dream continued, I can’t remember it.
I woke up from that so sad that I couldn’t even get out of bed.