This is a true story: I’m looking for a bandaid I lost in a pot of kale I’m about to steam. It’s a red bandaid, not red as in blood or metaphor but just red as in red, in the shape of a crayon, which makes it stronger. Sometimes it’s hard to play music if I don’t want to listen to the same CD over and over. Every bad movie is about trying to get back into a dream you never really had, and I’m still trying to get out of that movie. Meanwhile, there’s this mall like a pathway between parking lots, but still it’s a hangout, I’ve just been to the thrift store so I’m holding clothes on hangers, wearing the eyeglasses I would never wear in public, so that’s how we know this is a dream. Some guy looks at me and says he’s young, and there’s that hint of approval from someone embodying the masculinity I could never attain and then rejected, there’s always some kind of allure in that.
He’s talking to someone who’s an outreach worker for youth, she says I could just say 19 and check off a box; she’s joking. I say seven. I realize two people I know have recently tested HIV-positive, but where did I see that? One of them is my best friend who died almost 20 years ago, and the other is someone I’ve never met, and I know I could look on Twitter to see if it’s really true, except you can never see if anything’s really true on Twitter. The comfortable part about dreams is when you go to a place where you’ve been before, in another dream, or at least it feels like that, this mall between parking lots or the place where I’m living in a corner of a room that’s another room and I’m on the phone with Chris, trying to tell him where to find me, but there’s too much wind, and I don’t know where I am anyway, and I guess that’s why I want to go back into the dream because in the dream I haven’t lost him.