(I reworked this old poem into a prose poem with the help of my phenomenal poetry instructor at Grub. Excited and in love with the craft)
I dreamt that you rescued me from a rat. In a nameless hotel, somewhere in the center of an equally nameless town…You and I, notwithstanding the rat, as subjects of the same sentence, are a rarity in itself. In all my proximity to you that, incidentally, does not exist in any town that bears a name. I warn you, kind Reader, the details will be limited. After all, none of this actually happened. I dreamt it, memorized having previously imagined it with great care, I wrote – you rescued me from a rat. Another disappointing side note (should have really been included as preface). The rescue was utterly unromantic.What on earth possessed you to write of all people about me? (Mihi crede, it wasn’t your characteristic monotone.) As you and I age, something remains (prior to our actual remains, pardon the pun). You are oh-so-fortunate to be able to blame bad memory and to have wished your good one away. I hold on to our, even if coincidentally shared memories; cut and pasted.But back to the dream…You sojourned with your family – new wife and two girls, the oldest – little you with lighter hair, lighter you. I was staying alone, with pages upon pages of stories to read and my own to imagine…Sitting on pillow top (on top of the world, really!), drunken in my happiness to attend a literary conference. (Didn’t I warn you about utter lack of romance?) Amongst other treats was a tidy room, ambition to write and delicious quiet…But right when I got situated on top of a queen sized bed – a rat scurried across the floor. Priorities shift and I teleport (What subconscious has time for running, no matter how hurried?). Teleported into an endless hallway with stained red rugs, foreboding some sequence from The Shining (God, Please not the twins…Between two (three?) evils, I choose deranged Jack Nicholson.) But instead of all the gore, I found myself before you, in your quotidian calmness as though this is just what we always do – I see a rat and appear before you breathless. What is it now? -you ask and I detect your characteristic monotone but also a combination of pity and sarcasm peppered with feigned lack of interest.(Welcome, change!) And again and again I ask myself whether we would still be friends if you were less calm, less tolerant? Dreams don’t wait for chatty women to finish their thoughts….You disappeared into my hotel room and next thing I remember – your girls are playing with the rat, your wife increasingly unsure about the new pet… The rescue is complete. A friend is made. My room is set for work. God knows, a lot of work is left. But drunken happiness is gone? Perhaps the rat has taken it?