Katherine Van Dis

Accordion Club

My insomnia is a single dream that wakes me at three a.m. with a flash like lighting. 

It is always the same dream. 

In my dream my face is always the same. My face only knows how to smile. In the dream my face wears blue eye shadow and knows how to say all the right things without speaking. My dream face is a veneer, a mask with no strap, a lipsticked memory in a man’s mind. 

In my dream the floor is dirty and I am the floor. In my dream I am afraid of the ropes and the darkness. In my dream darkness blooms inside of me like ink dropped into water. 

In my dream there are people watching. My mask without a strap smiles at them and they smile back. They order me pink drinks and we laugh. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, we laugh. Can you hear the laughter like porcelain bells in a grandmother’s glass cabinet? Can your hear the other sound? The sound like the cabinet breaking, all the bells smashed to pieces? In my dream I cannot tell which sounds are outside of me and which are not. 

Each time I wake from my dream I know that I having a heart attack even though I know that I am not having a heart attack. I try to have other dreams of fireflies dancing in rain-wet fields or birds speaking to me from inside autumn-tinged trees. The dreams do not come. Instead, I consider my heart and stretch my limbs in the growing light. It is morning. I sit on the edge of the bed and try not to remember the end of the dream that is always the same dream. 

In the end of my dream I am wearing layers of lace and chiffon. It encircles me in rings. There is a man who unravels me. When he has peeled away the last layer he discovers a wooden pencil. He picks it up and writes the story of the rest of my life.