Here’s the dream: Contest Finalist

by Monica Wendel

Here’s the dream:

that I’ve made the right choice. That everyone forgives me for everything.

That we can sleep at night. That the dog I’m dog sitting never barks or snaps at me but instead curls up and is comforted by me                     Here’s the dream: that I am a comfort to someone. A pin somewhere: “I’ll be codependent if you want me to be.” That I’m a good dancer. That I never do anything stupid while blacked out drunk. There I always come during intercourse. That I’m a better reader. That I write better book reviews. That I own a dog. That I know what it’s like to be pregnant. That I know what it feels like to have unprotected sex with ____                                   Here’s the dream: I’m in Park Slope and I’m trying to walk on cobblestones in high heels. I fall and both my ankles hurt. The stones are grey and eye level. I take out my phone to call the office and tell Dr. ____ that I’ll be late. My cell phone won’t turn on. I wake up                     Here’s the same dream: big stone walls like those next to the FDR drive on the east side of Manhattan. A museum there, that I’ve just emerged from, and a highway underneath that                  Here’s the dream: I am outside a house, two or three stories tall, with columns. The man grabs me, stumbles, touches my breasts. I tell him to stop, stretch my arm out to push him away, drain my face of panic so he does not grow hard with my fear.                    Here’s the dream: he lowers his head, wraps me in his arms, kneels so both of us are low, breathes, ashamed, ashamed of what he has done, and comes to me for comfort.