Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreamers (Original Text - Part Two) (1997)

For those  who may have missed Part One (and the rambling that preceded the story), it can be found here.  Part II is only ten paragraphs long and took up about one handwritten page.  It is not the shortest section in the story.


     Vicki didn't say anything to Burke as she took him home.  Burke tried to find a radio statio that played what he considered music.  After about a minute he gave up and turned the radio off.  Usually, this would be where he felt the need to start a conversation.  Vicki sat waiting for the opening line.  Burke didn't have a classic opening line like J.B.'s "You're so different from..." or Jason's "So then she slapped me".  No, Dave stole his from old television and movies, occasionally from music, but they were always brilliantly utilized.  If nothing else, Burke knew where the dialogue should go.
     They were less than a minute from Burke's and still not a word.  Vicki was tense in the driver's seat, now pondering if he was going to attempt to move their relationship to something beyond friendship.  That would explain it.  Or Burke might just be angry.  Or drunk.  Somewhere there was a reason.  It was not so frustrating as it was...well, Sean had a pleasant surprise waiting for him that night.
     Burke got out of the car silently.  Vicki asked about his cousin but he only shrugged.  He disappeared into the apartment building.  Vicki didn't leave right away.  She thought of getting out and trying to find out what was wrong.  Then she thought of Sean again.  She was off like a flash.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

     Vicki Souser sat bolt upright in her bed, drenched with a cold sweat.  It was very different from the sweat she and Sean had created a few hours earlier.  She felt her shirt cling to her body and her hair matted awkwardly around her shoulders.  Sean lay beside her on his stomach, his head twisted toward the far wall.  He could sleep through anything.  That had been a good thing on more than one occasion. 
     By habit Vicki maneuvered to the kitchen.  She wouldn't call it a scary dream.  It was just off.  She didn't want Burke.  Burke didn't ignore her.  Things didn't happen like that.  Their trip the night before – or was it earlier today? – was just like all the others.  Why was she dreaming about Burke?  She would just assume to have wild, debauched sex with J.B. as to even consider an affair with Burke.  As she sat down at the kitchen table, eating a small bowl of chocolate chip ice cream, she developed a fantasy about she and J.B. and a cabin in the woods.  Sean slept through it.
     Off in his apartment, Dave Burke slept soundly.  He hadn't been troubled by his dreams in years.  He never remembered his.  To Burke, life was completely composed of one's waking moments.  Dreams seemed like wonderful manifestations of neglected imagination.  Burke never looked for the hidden meaning to a dream.  He would not have agreed with the concept of latent content of dreams if he were aware of it.
     When Burke did wake in the morning, he was rested.  It was between 7:15 and 7:21 a.m., because he always woke up within that span.  Looking at the alarm clock he noted the time – 7:18 a.m.  It was one of the patterns Burke had fallen into over the course of his young life.  This meant that, on most days, he slept for about six hours.  After a night of light drinking he usually slept more.  Once in a very great while he found himself asleep at 9:00 AM on a Saturday.  He didn't work weekends.  Not at the store.
     Burke showered and got dressed.  He rarely ate breakfast on the weekend but he did today.  He watched one of the TV shows he liked, on tape because he would never have seen it otherwise.  He fought the temptation to open a beer while he watched it.  It wasn't even 10:00 a.m. when it was over.  Soon after the tape was rewound Dave's cousin stumbled out into the kitchen for coffee.  They made small talk for a short while.  In the afternoon there would be band practice, so they just relaxed until then.
     Elsewhere, Larry Pudenski and Mike Carver worked.  Jeff Binghampton slept a good portion of his Saturday away.  Melissa Brooks might have been studying, as it was assured to be the case with Jason MacLeod, but it was more likely that she would be out with friends from her school.  Nancy Klein woke up alone, but that was no surprise.  She went home alone.  That happened more and more frequently now.
     Saturday plodded along, not noticing anyone's dreams.  Saturday was for the dreams of the conscious mind, a respite from the closed-box world of the work week.

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