Life Dreams

By
Life Dreams
The pulsing music consumed her, filling every breath, every cell, with lyrics. Poems heard countless times. Stories that, with hardly a moment’s worth of sounds, she could recite, living every line as a lifetime. The masters had gotten it right long ago.

Incense (whether scented as Opium, Green Tea, Fairy Dust, Soda Pop, or Coco Mango, she didn’t know.) filled the tiny room. Her mind wandered, tracing the hazy paths smoke made on dirty walls (Her lighter was running low.), going over those same lyrics (That line had to be fixed.), over second, third, or fourth-hand books (Who’s house did that come from?), over a plethora of photographs (That glass was dusty.), over torn-up jeans on her grandmother’s quilt (Was she in Kansas yet?). Over memories too deep keep submerged.

The crackle of her stereo speakers awoke her again as the borrowed track, “Desperado,” neared its end. It was still Monday, still March, still school. A pale orange paw shot into her view, jiggling the door in its frame. A kettle on the stove outside her room whistled and clattered as the steam blew the cover off the spout. The music clicked into another track, filled with lively, melodic beats recorded 30 years earlier. The paw continued jiggling, joined by its companion — Time to face the real world.

She rolled over, one leg falling to the stiff brown carpeting, the other caught in the constellations of her sheets. Pulling back the watercolor cover and shirking at the cold that pervaded the room, she swung her other foot down narrowly missing remnants from an old hand held pencil sharpener. The door clattered again and, pulling and oversized t-shirt on from her father, she opened it to expose the bulging, striped belly of an upside-down cat, staring plaintively at her. Still in a stupor, she heard the faint clunk of her door hitting a corkboard on the adjacent wall as she stumbled into the shower.


Emerging an enlightening ten minutes later, she fell back into the night sky that held her dreams as an aged bassist sang of lunatics in the hall. They sure were, for her mother was moving about.

The click of a new track awoke her, yet again and not for the last time that monotonous Monday. This time it was a reggae singer talking of “One Love.” If only she could never hear that word uttered again. Love was that word you said that dragged time on (The image of a weary mother dragging her unwilling child, Time, into a store popped into her view), filling it with countless moments of meaning (The image burst as she thought of past moments, lost Times.).


Sitting, later, in a car inching towards its destination (because, to her, she could never be there on time. She was always just a few minutes late, always…), she smelled the hand-dipped incense on her skin, lyrics still stained into the back of her hand. “Do you believe in Daydreams?” Of course. If not, then she didn’t believe in the life she dutifully lived every day.

A blur. That’s all life was now for her. Each day it seemed she woke up about fifty times before she was half awake. Each day she could feel the smoke soak into her skin as she lay there, wishing for a snow day, and ice day, an anything-day. Each day she went through the halls muttering the memorized poems she had heard before she climbed into the same car, drowning out the noise of the ultra-violence – Conformity. Life was lived on the days she wrote her own songs, her own earworms that would stay there for the rest of the never ending day that is her life.

She leans her head back, while closing her eyes, creating the same starry sky that held her every night. She didn’t want to smell the same, sterile halls anymore. She didn’t want to see another friend come in with a black eye. She didn’t want to hear about another friend that doesn’t talk to her anymore. She didn’t want to feel the cold chill that every classroom had. New phrases entered her mind, and the next memory in her life would, no doubt, take place when she looked at her hand the next day, a slightly different scent in her skin, and would see her own words written there, on cells that had never known the masters of 30, 40, 50 years before. She decided, stumbling from the low-to-the-ground-car, that she wouldn’t let the rest of her life slip away like the previous 15 years had, like they were all one gigantic ‘monotonous Monday’, or even a withering Wednesday or 'F'n Friday. To live for every day (Wasn’t that life?) not just for the weekend. As if the weekend of Life (that frightening word, Death.) was the sole purpose. This was the time, she realized. A time not to be daydreamed, but lived.


(This will certify that the above work is completely original, by Olivia Lauren Ernst.)





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