June 16, 2011
Dinner. Scarlet carpets. Gold walls. Maybe I’m in the city in an expensive restaurant. Vast crowds of sophisticated people dine and mingle around us. They exist, and yet they don’t. They’re here, but faceless. They talk, but it’s just noise, not speech. They’re fillers, as much a part of the room as the tables, or the chandeliers, or the red carpet so bright it seems to be illuminating everything around it.
The girl I’m with sketches hedge mazes on her napkin. I don’t know why they have paper napkins at a place this upscale. I pick one up and look at it. The girl’s mazes are very well drawn. Thick rows of bushes twist and tangle around fountains and statues of Roman deities. None of the mazes have solutions.
The girl smiles at me and adjusts her dress. It’s red Versace, or something like that. It doesn’t matter. I tell her it’s nice. She thanks me and tells a story about how it’s her favorite dress because her aunt gave it to her just before she dies of leukemia. Before she dies, not before she died. We must be in the past or somewhere outside of time.
We rock back and forth on a dance floor. As she buries her face into my shoulder I wonder what part of my subconscious this girl represents. It’s weird to think that I’m essentially dancing with myself. Surrounded by myself. Deep inside myself.
An inch of water covers the dance floor. I think I’m the only one who notices. Two inches now. Four. A foot. The ceiling splinters and brilliant blue water extinguishes the red carpet of the dining room, and the red walls of the dance hall, and the red dress and red lipstick of the girl. I think I’m upside-down. I think I’m spilling into consciousness. I think I’m waking up. I think I’m in a hedge maze with no solution.