Monday, November 28, 2011

I dreamed that I drove to the A.A. meeting in my real car, a silver-gray Infiniti FX35.  I brought prescriptions from the pharmacy in their original wrappers with the instructions tucked inside.  The pharmacy had given me a free prescription as a promotion—something for the vagina, though I’d had no complaint.  It was Tuesday night at St. Luke’s, the church where I was baptized.  I always say that about St. Luke’s—“the church where I was baptized”—as if I owned the place.  Leo Kottke was there, and, for a change, it didn’t make me nervous.  I just slipped through the door.  There was no meeting in session, but people from the meeting and other people, too, were gathered.  It was the Christmas holiday season.  I had not seen Mr. Kottke for something like twelve years.  I had bags, and he had bags.  Besides the bags from the pharmacy, I had my work in satchels.  Leo Kottke had his work in satchels, too.  I fished in one of my satchels for a copy of Country Without a Name to show him.  I thought it was appropriate to start there, with work we had done since we had last seen each other, and he thought it was appropriate, too, and began fishing in his satchels for work to show me.  Country Without a Name and Solzhenitsyn Jukebox are ebooks, however, and no true print copy of them exists; instead, I had booklets made from them on my printer.  I couldn’t find the best version with the illustrations by Daniel Harris, and instead found a prototype with a drawing of Leo Kottke on the cover.  It looked like a doodle I had made of him, as if in my daydreams I had him in mind for my writing.  It embarrassed me that I couldn’t find the real and finished version.  I explained that it was an ebook, and he said he’d seen it because he had downloaded it from the internet.  Then he took my hair and neck in his fingers, and he kissed me.  He kept on kissing me.  It was pleasing and exactly as I’d imagined it would have been had we started kissing in real life back when it now seemed we must both have known we had wanted to.  I wanted to ask him, but knew it was better not to, why he hadn’t written to me long ago.  If it was so easy to kiss each other now, why hadn’t he written to me in response to my letters (sent to his publicist) and kissed me then?  I didn’t ask because the passion of the kissing, also the ease of it, the simple familiarity, brought us into present tense.  I became cooperative with my heart and his.  He had a plan, he said.  “Let’s move all our belongings into the hallway and begin to transfer them to our cars.”  He had so many things with him, not, it seemed, because he was homeless, but because he was camping or on the road performing.  Susan Tepper was there helping with Christmas preparations.  It was easy, as in real life, to get along with her.  Leo went down the hallway.  I assumed he was moving some of his things.  I began organizing my things and thought of the complimentary prescription for vaginal healing.  When he did not return for a while, I went to look for him.  He had gone into the church where a Christmas concert was in session.  He sat in a school desk near the top of the sanctuary.  He looked a little drunk.  He asked for another drink.  He was drinking an almond-colored foamy concoction.  I looked at him as if sorry, and he said, “Don’t feel sorry for me.”  Drinks were being served on the grand piano.  Sam Chauncey was one of the men serving the drinks.  I said, ‘Sam,” and he said, “Ann, ask your question.”  I said, “What is in this drink?  Is it alcohol?”  And Sam said that the almond-colored drink had a low alcohol content, and the cranberry drink did not.  Someone said, “Maybe Leo is not used to drinking any alcohol, and the low alcohol content went directly to his brain.”  I returned to where he sat in the school desk carrying an almond-colored drink.  I served it to him.  Our plan had shifted, but we didn’t mention it.  He seemed to be in his own mind and amused by it.

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