Patricia Morningstar and Susan Bee





Susan Bee  “Water”

Inspiration Piece


Maggie’s Dream

By Patricia Morningstar

The night Maggie met Sergei, she had a dream. If there was one thing Maggie detested, it was dreams. She hated their obscure symbolism, their shifting consciousness, their refusal to play by the rules. As far as she was concerned, their other characteristic, their notorious disappearance at the first sign of awakening was fine with her. The waking world of clear lines of distance, boundaries of logic and mathematics, made sense to her. In that world a equals a equals a, or, if a equaled b, it would do so faithfully, or there had to be a damn good reason for it not to. But in dreams a hovered at the edges of meaning, refusing to remain itself. Worst of all, if a appeared in a dream equation, it would stubbornly refuse to be part of a solution. It would equal b, c, d, and e, and none of them, all at once.
There was another, more personal, reason Maggie hated dreams, or more correctly, nightmares. When she was 5 years old, she was wakened by a bogey man. She ran to her mother’s room. She shook her mother by the shoulders but was unable to rouse her from her stupor. Maggie would only later understand her mother’s state was induced by the bottles on the bedside table. In Maggie’s childhood mind, alcoholic stupor and the stupidity of dreams ran together like dye on a cheap cotton dress. This also accounted for Maggie’s dislike for religion. It never ceased to amaze her that a woman so thoroughly drowned on a Saturday could be so easily absolved on a Sunday.
Her strategy for dealing with these unruly intruders in the night was not to have them at all, or failing that, to forget them as quickly as possible. This worked well enough on ordinary occasions but that night she dreamed and she could not forget.
She felt she was swimming in a lake and the water was streaming images that caressed her like soft fur, waves rising and falling over her body so that everywhere she looked objects appeared and dissolved into the colors of the water, golden light, jade of the banks, and cobalt of the sky. She felt she was at the edge of the world.
The water streamed off her as she rose to the shore. She began to fly in a gown of silk moiré in shifting hues of jeweled and electric blue. The colors and sensation of flying surprised her, but instead of waking up, she awakened deeper into the dream. Her robes melted into the floor of a room lined with books. As if responding to her presence, a volume flew off one of the shelves and hovered before her. The cover was a mirror. As she turned the pages each was yet another mirror reflecting her world, her life. She found herself thumbing through them faster and faster until the pictures ran into one another and she saw herself moving through her story, until the moment she kissed Sergei and wakened from the dream.

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