That’s probably wrong, but it sounds cool. Regardless, I was doing the drifting in and out of consciousness thing a few nights ago and at one point heard my mother speaking to me:
“You have to settle things with your bitter jacket.”
Sure, I’ve had several jackets over the years, some I probably treated better than others, but I can’t recall any with hard feelings toward me or its life as a jacket. I was just awake enough to think, “That made no sense” and just asleep enough to think that maybe it did.
Later, during the true REM portion of the evening (Rapid Eye Movement, not the band, and perhaps more’s the pity), I was having a conversation with Phillip. Phillip was a childhood friend of mine. He’s also been dead for many years. Being dreamtime, neither of us seemed to consider this situation at all strange. We were talking about girls we knew in High School, probably because that was the only common frame of reference we had, his life ending when it did. We were looking at a picture of one. “Which Sherry was that?” he asked “The second one, remember? Tall, brunette?” He nodded. “I remember. Who is she?” “What do you mean, ‘who’? You went to school with her for twelve years, same as I did!” And he gives me a look, and goes right on– “Yeah, but who is she?”
And I realized that I didn’t know. That was the strange part. But it was good to see him again.
Later, after Phillip left for wherever, I had one more dream. Not to go on about this or anything, but over the years I’ve learned to pay attention to dream imagery. That is, specicifically the imagery as opposed to all the rest of it. The plotlines of my dreams only work when I’m dreaming, and in the morning tend to cross the line into incomprehensible (but it all made sense at the time!). Imagery is another matter. A vivid image remains a vivid image, conscious or not, and sometimes it’s something I can use. Or its my subconscious trying to tell me something I might need to know. Regardless, it’s not to be dismissed. The character Golden Bell from “Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng” came to me in all her particulars from a dream, telling me “I have a malady of music, a fever of poetry that consumes me” by way of introduction, and I wrote her into the story just that way. Often it’s nothing so substantial as an actual character, maybe just a weird bit of scenery that fits, or something else I can use.
This time the dream was all about what should have been a fairytale with a happy ending, the imagery was all there, but the story had gone horribly, tragically, irrevocably wrong. It makes me uncomfortable and sad just thinking about it, so I may have to write that one.
“Socks to be me.”
– the bitter jacket
“Yeah, we musn’t sugar-coat it.”