Rendez-vous by Gus Ginsburg
Her dream and mine met on a patio at dusk, sitting in chairs opposite each other. Her dream lit a cigarette and mine downed the last sip of a tasteless bitter ale which didn’t even wet my dream’s lips. I wish I could taste my dreaming, thought my dream, ah the delightful weird and random flavors I’d experience, if only I could taste, but I suppose it could be all wrong—this beer might taste like chicken or penguin piss, no…on second thought, tasteless is best. My dream interrupted this musing to face her dream, but her dream wouldn’t look mine in the eye.
The dream waiter who brought us fresh pints was dreaming he had come to work naked. My dream could see that her dream badly wanted to tease him by the flash of her mischievous look, but our dreams followed protocol and pretended not to notice his nudity. My dream wondered if it was cruel to say nothing, to let him walk about with his bare bum showing, his front business flopping around unimpressively.
Across the street, a small boy’s dream ran away from a vampire who chased him; floating through the air.
“A bit early for vampires, isn’t it?” my dream remarked.
“Twilight,” her dream reminded.
George Harrison appeared sitting on a sofa. He played a guitar and sang a song to our dreams. I can’t recall any of the words but it was beautiful enough to make our dreams weep a little, whatever it was. I wish I could remember. I wish I could. Her dream looked at mine through teary eyes.
My dream felt a tap on his shoulder. My dream looked up and hovering there was my late little brother, looking as lively as the day before his accident.
“Boo!” he said, then laughed.
“Well done, nicely played!” said my dream. “Always the prankster, even six feet under!” My brother winked and vanished, sensing perhaps that this wasn’t a good time, and my dream wished he had said to my brother how lovely it was to see him again, and to introduce him to the woman of my dreams.
Her dream took another drag from her cigarette, and exhaled sighing. “I suppose I had better tell you what I’ve come to say.” She paused. Then opened her mouth to speak, but paused again. She puffed her cigarette, then spoke. “I’ll not be your life-partner. I’ll not want to see you every night, or even most nights, and we’ll not live together. I like living in my house and I don’t have room for you.”
My dream said nothing. Hers continued. “Your dream would crush mine, it would chain me to sameness for the next ten thousand and one nights, it would erase whole universes of possibilities. I’m a free spirit. I’m not sure I can do long term.”
My dream remained silent, unconvinced that it would be true to say “the trade-off would be worth it…the love I could provide would make your life so very beautiful.” My dream was wise enough to know that you can’t argue somebody into loving you.
Her dream took my dream’s hand and said “I don’t want to hurt you. I do love you a bit, just not as much as you want me to. Sometimes us dreams have to wake up to reality and adjust to it and manage our hopes and expectations, so that we aren’t completely shattered.” She squeezed my dream’s hand, still waiting for my dream to say something.
Our dreams looked up and saw a man’s dream plummeting from a great height, then he disappeared before he hit the pavement.
“Poor bugger’s prolly falling outta bed,” said her dream.
“Good thing he woke up,” said mine.
© Gus Ginsburg, 2015
Gus Ginsburg is the pen name of a man who writes weird and naughty fiction published in dodgy places. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, he used to live in London where he attended Liars League with some regularity.
Rendez-vous was read by Jeff Wills on 5th August 2015 for Short & Sweet Flash Fiction