You told her you’d built the house.

She was in my old bedroom at the time, in her underwear.  She defended her indefensible actions as a way of confronting me, defense being her preferred mode of aggression. She stood on her hands, leaning her crossed legs on the wall. This disrupted the pile of books that had been stacked tidily, but she didn’t seem to notice. She yelled wildly between her poses and postures, pupils dilated and eyes wide. She waved her arms, hands punctuated by fists, muscles tense and striving. You sat quietly, ill at ease, on the edge of my old bed. She looked franticly back and forth between us, expecting your corroboration. “You never built that house! He did everything!” She introduced your material and technical skills as evidence. She dismissed, based on grounds of invisibility and immateriality, the notions of planning and organization. Also of paint, even if color did not fit perfectly into invisibility, one could get away with arguing against light these days, the political climate being what it is. Paint itself, when applied to a wall, was so thin, so insubstantial.

Her gaze demanded you join in, but you looked away and toward the ground, silent. Would you have to admit you’d lied? I wondered, but quickly decided that would be no revelation, in fact, it was the very premise and mode of attraction. This performance was the engine keeping things running.

I countered, describing the work I’d done, which I immediately regretted, preferring to leave you both to your storytelling, because I realized it was now impervious.

I shouldn’t have been in there anyway, despite it being my childhood home. I backed away and closed the door.

I scribbled notes in the dark with crayons on torn out sheets of lined paper from a spiral notebook, tossing each page to the side once I’d finished and starting fresh. I moved around the circle of children also drawing in the darkened pre-dawn, but then I spoke to my friend. “Go back to your drawings, there’s a code,” she advised. I rifled through the stack of papers I’d left on the floor, trying to remember something I knew I’d just known. “Remember to remember.”







DREAMLIFE: A collection of women’s dreams, recorded and then translated here as part of the Female Background metabolism. A way in, a way out.


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