My friend Dianne told me about a dream she had.
I had a dream about my first apartment. It was on the Upper East Side. Small 1 bedroom. Not long after signing the lease I moved in with my boyfriend. His apt was a very spacious prewar midtown & very convenient. I kept the apt for 10 yrs. Many a friend stayed there. Sometimes I even stayed there. When we moved into a loft together I finally gave up my little apartment.
So in my dream I go back to visit. Nothing is the same. The building is the same on the outside, but inside the layout and everything about the 5 story building is crazy. The apt kinda reminded me of a submarine but with high ceilings – lots of pipes & all painted from floor to ceiling in blue lagoon. It was also very dark and smokyish. The super didn’t recognize me and we were very friendly
Doesn’t memory seem like an underwater terrain, time like light that paints it all, barely reaching through the murk to what you’ve loved? We dream a lot about seeing through that dark to what’s there now, usually to find it alien, breaking through its memory and replacing it with a new symbol. This happens in all the dream-lives. Once I was on a school bus, coming home from a field trip and I saw a shirtless man working under the hood of a school bus. I was sure this was my grandfather. My grandfather wasn’t a mechanic, nor did he drive a school bus, but I couldn’t stop thinking this. To this day, when I think of my grandfather I picture this image, not my actual grandfather’s face or warm embrace.
Aquamarine is a shade between blue and green and clear. Clear is the color of time. Clear is in all the colors here. So are we. We all have a color. They’re always changing, like the sky. Sometimes that color is shaded in murmurations of cloud people or birdsong breath. Sometimes we want a mood room so we use a shade of wild paint in a secret place.
Often the color in the mind and the thing itself, not the afterimage, don’t match. This is from the smokiness of gravity. Gravity pulls at time’s clarity and shifts meanings. The mind is a synecdoche of all of this. So are the stars and planets.
In dreams I also go home. We all do. Sometimes that’s as close as we can get. Every Tuesday I drive by the house I grew up in. It’s changed owners several times, been repainted, destroyed and repaired. By now, so much of this house isn’t where I lived. Still I consider it home. I try not to drink too much, afraid I’ll drive there in a broken haze. Maybe this is gravity.
My father had a friend who worked in a nuclear submarine. We gave me a sailing whistle and narced on my father. There were lots of people like this around when I was growing up. Maybe this is gravity.
My favorite movie ending is a house blowing up, everything inside floating, debris falling slo-mo through the bright blue desert sky. Sometimes, when I have the house to myself, I watch this scene over and over and listen to sounds of outer space. This is a spell to undo gravity. Someday it will work.