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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

You Are Dreaming of a Worried Secret



You are dreaming. You are dreaming of acorns and alicorns, of magic and mysteries and other oddities.

You are driving in the city at night, driving a large automobile, big engine, steering wheel three feet in diameter. At a stop light you turn down the radio volume. You don’t hear screaming. A police car crosses the intersection in front of you. You do not hear sirens or see the flashing blues and reds. The cop doesn’t even notice you. When the light changes green you proceed through the intersection with caution.

A left turn at the next light and you drive over the bridge across the river. With the window down you can feel the cool, moist air. You can hear the barges on the river, rivermen shouting.

You make several more turns, almost at random, a circuitous route to throw off any pursuit. You don’t see anyone. You arrive, after a time, at the Trusty Arms Motor Court and Travel Lodge. You don’t hear screams or sirens. You have not been followed.

What happens next you do not understand. For the next 36 years you will keep it as a worried secret, afraid of what it might mean, what it might reveal.

You park the large automobile. You exit the vehicle. You are opening the trunk.  You do not hear screams. You are looking around the parking lot, but no one is watching. No spying eyes from the other motel rooms. In the trunk of the large automobile is a black plastic garbage back. A hefty one like in the commercials. It is full and heavy, but you are strong enough to carry it up the stairs to your second floor rented room. This doesn’t surprise you, but it should. You are small and the bag is full and heavy. You wonder at your own lack of surprise.

A key ringed on a green plastic diamond is in your pocket. You set the garbage bag down to free your hands to unlock the door. Before you open the door you are scanning the parking lot once more, looking down over the balcony. You hear traffic noise moving through the city at night. You do not hear screaming.

You open the door, carry the bag inside and close the door again. You twist the lock and fasten the bolt. A lamp is set on the table by the window. You close the curtain before turning on the lamp. The room looks like every other motel room: a lumpy bed covered with a faded bed spread, a non-descript abstract painting hanging crooked on the wall.

Do you hesitate before opening the bag? You cannot remember. But you do open the bag. Inside is a woman. This one has blonde hair – long. The other had short bobbed dark hair. Where there others before her? You cannot remember.

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