Places in Dreams
I have seen these places before, in pictures I took. Of course I also saw them before in the world when I took the pictures, but because I have viewed the images on so many more occasions than the actual things, the images seem more substantial in my mind. That fact creates a strange sense of recognition, as if I know these locations from a scene in a dream. I have looked at a representation of that cliff over there, with the telephone pole on top, a thousand times. It exists in a frame in my studio, with a drawing I did attached. The picture was printed by a cheap machine onto plain white paper that now holds more weight than the eons-old rock before me.
An image of the image too, I have viewed again and again as documentation on my computer screen, a thing with absolutely no weight at all, which I can, nevertheless call instantly into focus before my mental eye. As I examine the cliff again, here, now, I know exactly where the green dot, an effect of the camera lens, would go to make it conform to the one from the frame.
The last time I was here, which was not the first time I was here, these spaces had different meanings to me than they do now. I was so paranoid that the stones and forms embodied dangerous intentions, the towns seemed sinister. The man in the campsite next to me frightened me when he asked if I had some salt. He seemed not right. Later, I was afraid he was following me when the car I saw in my rear view mirror was white. Something about him reminded me of my father, but, at that time, most things made me think of him.
There is a character in my dreams who does follow me sometimes. He never says a word, but has a looming presence. This character can take on any persona: an art teacher I had in high school, my father, some man I have never met, a man with whom I am secretly in love. This character is always mute, dumb, and is sometimes more malevolent than others. I killed him once, or rather, I, as a little girl took a keep breath and grew very tall and stabbed him through the head with the leg of a kitchen chair. It was just like killing a spider. Even the black widows upset me to kill.
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