(Part of a long story in progress.)
It was around this time that the dreams began. Looking back, it seems remarkable that they hadn’t begun sooner in all of us. But, even if they had, we probably wouldn’t have known. We wouldn’t have talked about it.
Tyler would have belched and blamed the beer or the Eagles or the general stupidity of Carling. Greg would have gone along with him, regardless whether he secretly harbored some superstitions or otherwise fanciful beliefs about the provenance of dreams. And Lindsey, perhaps the smartest and most insightful of us all, would have left it open. “Maybe it all means something,” she’d say. “Or maybe not.” Then she’d ask, again, about the bonfire.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I would have been more forthcoming than Lindsey. Someone who has a hard time talking about love wouldn’t be able to easily broach the subject of dreams—which supersede love and, in that sense, seem to grant access to an even more private, deeper vulnerability. It was better for all of us not to ever speak about dreams or love, as was our custom. But the dreams were real, as real as dreams can be. And there was no escape, no respite, no bright simple explanation for how they seemed to dovetail with our thoughts, our anxieties.
In the shadows of my dreams, I saw the lighthouse at Beacon Point. And the vision struck me like the resonance of a deep temple bell, though when I woke I could not say exactly how or why. The lingering impression of something incongruous and dense just beneath the surface of the very mundane lighthouse made me doubt my mind.
Dreams of water and rain, of a dark rusted hospital ship drifting toward the rocks. Waking to thunder and lightning outside my bedroom window. It had been storming just off Beacon Point for days, never moving too far inland, just enough to cover Carling and the beach. How much had I slept? Three hours? Two? I went into the kitchen and started some coffee.
Dreams and the fragments of dreams. Echoes and reflections of a mind untethered. I didn’t like it when I dreamed, the loss of control, the stillborn sense that I’d been somewhere else, leading a wholly different life. The residue of those feelings and the fragments that sometimes returned throughout the day: the lighthouse illuminated from behind by an unknown source, its tiny circular windows dark and still, the rain coming down hard but completely silent. Such images would come back to me like memories.
In my mind’s eye, I’d recall the surf crashing noiselessly against the rocks, arms of white water raised in a voiceless paean. And the dead hospital ship making its way inexorably toward the land. It would crash against the shipways. The destruction would be incredible. Enormous. In my dream, I felt desperate to tell someone. But I was always alone.
The coffee maker beeped. I leaned against the sink, looking out through the little window far above the apartment lot, the space tinged green by sodium floods. And watched the sheets of rain glitter pale emerald against the night.