Nocturnal letter to someone I fleetingly know

Dear —,

I had a long dream tonight about a girl, desperate or sad, and about you, and about a band of three women who had powerful lyrics and unexpected melodies (and believed neither) which I could sing clearly in the dream but forgot waking up, and who, bafflingly, wanted me to join them – I forget too much, but you were our neighbour for a while in some wooden cabins somewhere, about to leave the next morning towards some place you said of which you didn‘t really speak the language, but were confident of understanding and being understood. In the morning, before leaving, you told the sad girl to swim the catastrophically flooded, narrow medieval streets of the town, cobbles underneath and the stone of uneven walls to the left and right of clear waist-high water, floating like a stream, turbulent down the hillside. And as she swam, all her scars, which had to do with something terrible, or forgetful, her father had done, and which were the shapes and vivid colours of childrens‘ stickers of birds, and fish, came off, peeling in the water, floating and tumbling and being gone.

I woke with a start and a racing heart, later, when I couldn‘t stop the girl‘s evil aunt who had come to the house of her parents (which was, of course, my parents‘ house, as all houses in dreams and books turn out to be that house eventually) where the girl had been hiding around the back, beneath an eiderdown out in the massive snowfall, but got disturbed by the sudden presence of an elderly, thin man (an optician of sorts) in a brown suit, carrying a document of some importance obscure to me, appearing in the dream at first unconscious but waking after she had, on his behalf, entered the house (which was unsafe to her) and installed him and herself in a room cluttered like an attic (which it was not), with old furniture and stuff, to avoid the evil aunt while waiting for her parents, also due to arrive, to present or confront them with the document he carried, I believe. But after he had woken, she, sure for some reason he wouldn‘t think to give away her hiding place, had let him go to meet them by himself (for which reason I know he wasn‘t me, at least not any longer at this point, for when he had gone I was with her there, re-entering the dream in person) and was hiding again herself in the cluttered room; but failing to take a bag of obvious posessions with her into it. So I wanted to take them in, and close the door, and turn off the light and fall into not moving before the dreaded, very evil, fearful aunt – whom we had observed before, from above, arriving in a wheelchair, with two servants – would enter the adjacent room, the one the bag was still in and I was still in. But we were too late, I was too late, and while the girl had disappeared into the cluttered room the door was still open, and the light still on, while I still was gathering up her obvious belongings in the obvious bag and saw the aunt already crawling towards me and the still-open door, like a snake, a thing of naked grey flesh and a face on the floor; the next moment, standing and watching like a human, in a tight red dress; and with more desperation than courage I was stepping up to her, touching her arm, hard, and demanding „ – and you are – ?“ in bold tones while her eyes flickered past me towards the door and I knew it was too late, she had seen or almost seen the girl who dreaded her, like I did, as she clearly was to be dreaded. So I woke with my heart racing and a grid of curved lines underlying my vision, rendering the night to puzzle pieces, as if the world had been apart and been put back together hastily just now, without a hole or a piece missing but fitting together just so, cuts still showing. My ears were still full of the soundtrack to the dream, a crescendo, loud and clear and rich like film music is, almost deafening in the moment of waking, always gone and forgotten the minute after.

I woke as from a nightmare, and lost most of it in that instant. But it had been good to have you as a transient neighbour, good to see you picking up your bag and your guitar about to leave; and though haunted by the terrible aunt, and going back to the unsafe house, the girl wasn‘t scared anymore, she had lost her vivid colourful scars in the water for good. I thought I‘d tell you that, before going back to sleep.
I don‘t know who she was, or who I was, as I very faintly was but much more was not her, or where to find that band of mine or that music of ours now that I‘m awake; but your music was yours and went with you, out of the dream, you were just you.