by sophie

last night had a dream that I found my cat Bridget, dead for 3 years now, sleeping under a pile of chairs somewhere. in the dream, at first, seeing her at a bit of a distance I thought she was dead, but she made warm sounds when i approached. i was so surprised that i hurried off somewhere to get her a bowl of food, and when i came back, to place the bowl (of cheese?) close to where she was curled half-sleeping, i saw a bowl of cat food had been left there and remembered–in the dream–that i had been there recently, in another dream, and left the cat food. i was ashamed somehow that I’d left the food there for so long — not that long, but long enough to have the edges of the meat curled in that slightly burnt-looking way, and three flies quietly eating from the side of the dish. i whisked the whole thing away and replaced it with the dish i’d just brought, which Bridget roused herself towards, making little smacking sounds as she ate up the new food, the happy cat sounds, and i was petting her, sitting beside her as she ate. and i woke then, just a little, remembering inside the same moment that she was dead, that now was now, and also feeling the distinct warmth of a cat curled against me, the way she used to sleep on the pillow beside my head, and in the moment of half-waking i knew she wasn’t there, but thought i can keep this feeling, the small circular space of warmth beside me.

fell back asleep then. into a dream about snow, and games, something disruptive. trouble driving. all that snow. i am tired of addicts, i thought to myself, or said aloud in the dream.

it happens sometimes: i am somewhere in a dream, and remember suddenly, inside the dream, that i have been to this particular place in a dream before. i don’t know what it means, if it means anything. it means i am not so convinced all this is real, I suppose. the sickness and the fear. the melting and the traffic. the mountains. the wells. the fields. the copper colored dog sleeping in the sun on the driveway across the street. his happy barking suddenly at a boy beside the fence. since the time i have moved to los angeles, sometimes i think i am dead, and that this is all some other dream. i have thought it more than once. it isn’t a sad feeling; the feeling doesn’t create any different action. i still go to grocery store, buy the mangos on sale, call my parents, go to dance class, take my medicine. maybe it means i have a sense that reality is very thin. maybe it is part of why i collect stones and feathers and interesting pieces of bark. part of why bark is interesting at all. sometimes i am claustrophobic at home. last week, it seemed that there were photographs of fetuses all over the internet, and i had to leave the house. i got on the subway, with no plan really, and went downtown to the bookstore. downtown los angeles feels like another planet. it is part of what i like about los angeles — a hundred different cities inside a web, threaded together. downtown is dirty and busy and abandoned and full of religion and bustle and students and jewelry and music pouring out onto the street. i stood on the street and ate an apple, cradling a heavy paper bag of books i’d just bought and listened to an amish choir of two dozen singing a hymn, and felt happy. maybe it was because, for a moment, i stopped thinking and was just there, on the street, in the sun, listening.

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