Dream Machine

A breeze flushes through the white columns upholding the latticed portico. Luscious green grass extends from the edge of the ceramic white stone. An azure pool, illuminated like sapphire stone, sinks in the geometric center of the long lawn. Towards the distant end of the rolling mall, dunes appear and continue for as long as the eye could see; their caliginous outline grips the horizon. Only a black stitching fractures the ceramic sand, and pale smoke rises from these tracks as an engine makes its way across the dry desert ocean. The bleating sun pulls moisture from my forehead. It sucks water from vegetation. The sprinklers reside in the earth, waiting for night to douse life into the struggling greenery.

“George,” my mother said “you need to get a handle on your loans. We’re no longer supporting you. Your uncle refuses to enable you any longer. What you need is good habits, and this will teach you to be wise with your money.”

A winding wind whips my cheek and I look up at my mother seated on her white weathered chair. She sits at a glistening crystalline table with a glass of wine perched casually in her left hand, rotated away from her. Her head is bent slightly forward and both eyes are waiting for me to respond. Blonde hair drapes gently across her brow and shivers softly in the hot humid breeze.

I turn and continue gazing beyond the green grass, over the blue pool, into the dry dunes. My gaze finds a setting sun. It is enlarged, engorged with fiery haze. Ribbons of heat ripple across its fading face.

My mother continues talking, “George. Do you hear me?” She is drunk with delusion. The heat had gotten to her, and the cruel cult she has been attending has left her utterly detached from reality. The wine softens her delusion, but her world still remains different from mine, still remains hers.

I stand from my chair and walk down the marble stairs and onto the green grass. I hear my mothers voice straining to gain my attention, growing red with irritation. I pretend not to hear. I don’t hear. My thoughts are with my uncle. I want to kill him. I want to kill him by escaping, by killing the idea of him, by fleeing forever. My feet reach the dry sand and I feel the heat penetrate through my shoes. I step and the sand absorbs my sinking shoe. I trudge on.

Moments pass and my eyes open and I am gripping a smooth obsidian-like stone situated on a rail car. Both my arms wrap around its gun metal gray polished exterior. A long line of rail road cars are loaded with these stones. The landscape streams past me and my balance is thrown. I adjust my knees. Suddenly I see my uncle climbing up a ladder; my heart grows cold, goes wretchedly resentful, like a punch in the stomach, but in the chest. It pains. I move away from him. The train is moving quickly. I eyeball the earth to calculate the trajectory of my landing, to measure the magnitude of my fall. Not now.

“George!” he yells. His voice contains a streak of sentiment, of desperation. His eyes furrow and squint, holding back emotion, but too cold to mean it. “Come back! Come back down here: you need to come home!” He yells against the wild wind. It howls past my ears. His words are biting and meaningless. My eyes narrow and I lift my arm and extend my phallic middle finger into the air and yell, “Fuck you!”

I am unsurprised when he accepts defeat. A mutual emotional silence hangs in the air and I sense a shrug in his eyes that says, “Well, I’ve done all I can do. He’s on his own now.” I resent him for his meager attempt to contact me. Why can’t I be on my own with my family? Why must I be apart of something and lose my will in the process? Why can’t we acheive a respectful balance of opinion? “Fuck you.” I say again, and leap from the moving railroad. I brace myself for impact.

I wake. Darkness envelopes my senses. My eyes adjust to the ceiling.

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