Released from my nightmare I follow the long corridor of doors to the landing, rattling keys lock the rooms as I pass by. A tipsy ballerina, my bare feet float above the heavy carpeting that covers the oak stairway. At the end, I find my myself entombed in the dark parlor of the once opulent mansion . Nothing has changed, high back chairs and Toscano settee’s beneath dull white sheeting over-fill the room. Dusty paintings of daffodils and brocade vases of still life line the burgundy walls. Above the mahogany fireplace a portrait of a grand lady stares down at me. On the side tables small gilded frames hold photographs of deceased loved ones gazing in to their own reality, pitiable cores of flesh struck down by providence. I see you in the haze of sunlight that has seeped in past icy windows through the cloak of tapestry. The scent of your cigarette fills my nostrils and I breathe it in like air. I sit down across from you and reach for your hand, hold it in mine. We don’t talk but share an unspoken despair. I want to escape and through my medicated eyes I can see that you do as well. I tell you I am sorry, if you must go take me with you. You smile sadly and let my hand slip away.
I begin to fade into the shadow world of your eyes. Slender bodies of wet newts crawl on my skin, their slimy tails wrap around my tongue and I am stricken with aphasia when I try to call out to you. Grasping at a mass grave of memories my fingers lose their grip. I blaze in fury at the the once beautiful anorexic who runs her skeletal fingers through my hair. She pulls my face into her shallow chest and softly tells me that you are not coming today. She wipes my eyes and forearm, injects her syringe into the soft skin smiling so sympathetically. She reminds me of what I have forgotten, it has been years since we passed away.