Dream Runner

Lost in the city of poets, I tried running down random streets in the hope of finding you. That’s the thing about dreams: just when you’re trying to use your mobile to call someone, you find it’s suddenly been equipped with internet access, and you’ve been registered for some lo-fi mobile phone film festival, and the films keep playing over and over again, and you can’t exit the freaking browser, for hours on end. I ran past a building on which writing had been scrawled and I recognised your words but couldn’t bear to look at them. I called out your name but that’s the other thing about dream shouts: your voice gets lodged in your throat, no matter how emo your yell. So I kept on running, giving that dream treadmill a massive workout. Seems the mobile film festival was part of a larger series of events, culminating in tonight’s street party, and I’m trying to get past all of these people on the streets but of course I can’t, because that’s the other thing about dreams that doesn’t require an explanation. Barricades appeared before and behind me, so I started running vertically, like Lionel Ritchie. Of course that worked. I hung a vertical left and ran along a wall for a while but couldn’t find you. I entered a building that was full of people trying to get up and down a great spiral staircase but none of them looked like you. There was more of your handwriting on the walls but I was still afraid to look at it, fearing the worst. The rest of the dream only confirmed it. I ran and ran until the streets were just dust beneath my sneakers. Then my sneakers blew and I ran on barefoot, while the seashells shaped like razorblades sliced at my soles. In my dream I was the runner but you’d already run away. Some zombie told me as much as I stood there, before your house, crying. He laughed, as they do in all dreams. I myself turned into a dream then, and listened amazed at the pitter-patter of heartbeat feet inside my chest. That was the end. The next night it got even worse. My mobile had become a miniature megaphone in my hand but still nary a sound coming out. I’d given up all hope of finding you and just ran about yelling your name to the poems on the walls, their dead authors’ faces glaring from the runes of information.

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