We sit on a couch in an apartment that is not ours. There is someone in the other room and we rise, you and her and I, to go to see who it might be. When I or you or she reach the door, we find it locked. We can’t say who is on the other side though I – the I that is me not the I that is you or she – imagine your ex. You and I and she knock and plead. We knock and plead. But it is useless. It seems we need a key. We need a key to help us open the door; to help her or you or I express why we knock and plead; to express why if we found the key we might not use it.
I and you and she reach into our pockets and pull out a key, three keys. I can’t see yours or hers but mine is shaped like a Buddha or a Jesus or a Mary. In the dream, I don’t know why. In the dream, I sit on the couch. In the dream, I watch her and you and me hold our keys and the I that is me really wants to figure out what is on the other side of that door.
Suddenly, in the dream, I’m by myself. I can’t see you or her, but I’m not alone. I’m holding a kitten and it’s scratching me with its tiny claws. I don’t remember getting a kitten and I’m concerned about my other two cats. Will they be upset and unfriendly to the new kitten? I can still feel the presence of someone else in the other room, and I start to consider the idea that there might be more than one person there, but right now I am focused on the kitten.
It’s so small that it barely fills my hand. In fact, I can close my hands around it completely with very little effort. I think that it might be too young to be away from its mother. Since I don’t know where its mother is, I make a little bed for it out of blankets and pillows and go off to see where she or you might have gone to. I’m still holding the key, but it hasn’t fit in the lock yet, or I haven’t tried it or something, so I put it in my pocket for safe keeping.
When I walk out the door in the dream, I’m suddenly at my parent’s house, or at least, the house I grew up in. It’s Thanksgiving, and we’re preparing for a really big meal. I am setting the table with the good silver and the Waterford Crystal. I walk back through the swinging door, the door I loved when we first got the house when I was six. In the kitchen, I expect to find my mom or at the very least, my dad’s wife, but neither of them are there. My ex-girlfriend turns around and asks me what kind of cranberry sauce I want. I enthusiastically scream, “Jelly cranberry sauce, from the can!” but in the back of my mind, I have no idea why I am here, where you’ve gone to, and why she is here instead. I hear the words from a story book in the background, they are faint and I can barely make them out.
Cat paws kneading on my arm wake me up. I turn over and try to get back to the anonymous apartment.
After a few minutes of sleep, I stumble back into the dream. I am back in the apartment: the apartment that is neither yours nor hers nor mine. I return to the door, which remains locked. I reach into my pocket and note that the key is still there. You and she are still there too, with our keys. We try our keys but they don’t seem to work. Try and try again. Knock and plead, knock and plead. I still can’t explain why we need the right keys and why we might not use them if we had them.
In an attempt to get through the door we start leaning on it, you and me and her. At first we listen closely, trying to identify the voices, if there are any voices in the first place. With increasing weight, I start leaning, and pushing on the door. I feel the people in the other room, and I want to know who they are. Why do they hide from me? Are they hiding from me or you or her? Or are they just in the other room, unaware that we are there, trying to get through the door? We try to plead again, but when I scream, nothing comes out of my mouth. We try and try to plead, but it’s just silence. Suddenly I am paralyzed and I can’t figure out if you and she are paralyzed too.
When I wake up from the dream, I am sweating and almost tied up in a maze of blankets and sheets. I try to go back to sleep, but it’s useless. The dream is over, and I never got to see who was in the other room. I never found the right key and I wonder if you or she did. I wonder if we would have used it if we had found it. I wonder if you and she are still in that apartment; The apartment that is neither mine nor yours or hers. I have that feeling; the feeling that I sometimes get after a long dream; the feeling that I just lived an entire life in one night. I’m not sure if it was mine, or yours or hers, or perhaps that of the owner of the anonymous apartment.